Beware Thirdhand Smoke! Babies can also get dangerous substances from cigarette smoke through clothing. Picture: Hohenstein Institute
Reading aloud Smoking parents endanger their baby not only during the smoke but also long after the cigarette has been squeezed out: The harmful substances that adhere to the clothing after smoking can penetrate the skin of infants, thereby impairing their health. This has been proven by scientists at the Hohenstein Institutes in Bönnigheim through studies on a baby skin model. Accordingly, there is already a questionable pollutant transmission through this so-called third-hand smoke, for example, when parents smoke on the balcony and after the cigarette break again weigh the baby in his arms. The results of the researchers led by Dirk Höfer are reported by the Hohenstein Institute. For their study, the researchers used a specially developed cell culture model of a baby skin - a 3D skin model that resembles in its properties of the skin of babies and toddlers. In order to simulate the effects of pollutants caused by deposits on textiles, a T-shirt was deliberately mixed with nicotine, in accordance with the amount that is reflected during a smoking break. To detect the pollutant later, the researchers used radioactively labeled nicotine. The smoky pieces of fabric were then placed on the baby skin model. Subsequently, the scientists were able to document the penetration of nicotine into the skin with special detection techniques.

The results show for the first time that the neurotoxin nicotine is not only removed from the skin sweat from the clothing and is detectable in all skin layers of the imitated baby skin. It also passes through the skin into deeper body layers. For comparison, the scientists repeated the experiments with donor skin of adults and came here to the same result.

In order to test whether the pollutants so absorbed have actually been proven to have harmful effects on the body, the researchers also investigated how cell cultures of the skin and nerve cells react to the smoke-welding solution. Result: In the laboratory experiment, the pollutants released from the cigarette smoke massively damaged the skin cells. For example, they changed their form and even died off in high concentration. Likewise, nerve cells, which are particularly active in the early developmental phase of humans, showed significant changes and were no longer able to network properly with each other.

"Parents should be aware that their own clothing can also serve as a carrier of the pollutants from cigarette smoke, " emphasizes Dirk Höfer. The scientists are currently working on textile coatings that can neutralize the pollutants of cigarette smoke and thus scare the Thirdhand Smoke. For the development of appropriate baby-friendly clothing is now available with the baby skin model, a versatile measuring system, the researchers said. display

Hohenstein Institute dapd / science.de? Martin Vieweg

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