Toward an Understanding of Children’s Exposure to Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds in the Indoor Environment
Cooper, Elizabeth Lydia
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The prevalence of smoking has declined significantly from the middle of the last century in most developed nations. Since the mid-1990s however, the rates of decline have slowed and prevalence of smoking among young women is projected to rise in some countries (World Health Organization, 2011; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Most U.S. states and many countries have restricted the smoking of cigarettes in public places, which has made the home the major site for exposure for non-smokers. These patterns of tobacco use place more infants and children at risk for involuntary exposure to tobacco smoke. While many smokers recognize the potential harm of secondhand smoke, and change their behavior to mitigate direct exposure to people around them, the extent to which constituents of tobacco smoke, termed thirdhand smoke (THS), persist in the indoor environment and contribute to exposure is poorly understood by the public (Winickoff et al., 2009). Rehan et al. (2011) described THS as a “stealth toxin” due to its presence in places and on surfaces that are used by unsuspecting and vulnerable populations, and because most people, both smokers and non-smokers do not recognize any danger associated with THS.
- Environmental health