Third-hand smoke (THS) may harm a person’s respiratory health by altering the gene expressions, say the researchers in a new study.
The study reveals that THS can damage the epithelial cells present in our respiratory system, pressurising these cells into a battle for survival, reported news agency Xinhua.
THS occurs when the smoke coming from burning cigarette and exhaled smoke settle down on surfaces such as hair, clothing as well as furniture.
For the study, the researchers at University of California, Riverside (UCR) gathered nasal scrapes of 4 healthy, non-smoking women between 27 and 49 years in order to analyse their gene expression alterations. The participants were first asked to receive clean-air exposure and later THS exposure for about 3 hours before the researchers obtained Ribonucleic Acid from them.
The findings of the study showed that out of 10,000 genes, 382 genes were vitally over expressed while 7 other genes remained under expressed. Moreover, the researchers also discovered that the inhalation changed pathways linked with oxidative stress which might cause cancer in the long run.
Nasal membrane tissue and bronchus are quite similar, which is the reason why the researchers recommend that the damage might penetrate deeper in the respiratory system.