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ths lab photoThirdhand Smoke Exposure and Health Effects

California Consortium on Thirdhand Smoke Funded by TRDRP

The term Thirdhand Smoke (THS) refers to tobacco smoke toxins and contamination that persist long after a cigarette has been smoked, and may adversely affect human health.  These toxic substances may remain on the surfaces, or as gas emissions in the environment to yield new secondary pollutants. Toxic compounds so far identified in THS include many that have already been identified as toxic or cancer-causing agents. How an exposure to THS affects human health is still unknown.  To lead an effort in this direction, TRDRP has funded a state-wide consortium of California researchers to conduct scientific research on THS and its effects on public health.

This Consortium brings together investigators in a broad range of disciplines from across California, with strong research backgrounds in the characterization, exposure and health effects of tobacco smoke.  The Consortium is led by Dr. Neal Benowitz MD, Professor at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Lara Gundel, PhD, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) will serve as the scientific coordinator. This highly collaborative team of investigators draws other scientists from the Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory (LBNL), UC Riverside (UCR), University of Southern California (USC), San Diego State University (SDSU) and Portland State University (PSU) to provide their expertise and study THS from four major angles: 1) chemistry researchers in the consortium will examine what happens to secondhand smoke (SHS) and thirdhand smoke when they age on indoor surfaces, including the formation of new chemicals in the environment that may be harmful to health; 2) the Consortium’s analytical chemistry laboratory will develop new ways to measure human exposure to THS, including measurements of THS chemical constituents in house dust and surfaces and biomarkers in people who are exposed to tobacco smoke; 3) health effects of THS will also be studied, to better understand how chemicals in THS could damage genetic material in cells and affect the reproductive system; 4) finally, economic and policy researchers will develop risk assessment models, projections of health care costs, and strategies for dissemination of findings. It is anticipated that the outcomes of this research effort will contribute to understanding and reducing exposure of people to the disease-causing toxicants in THS.

researcher pic
lara gundelParticipating Consortium Investigators:
Dr. Neal Benowitz, University of California San Francisco (Principal Investigator)
Dr. Lara Gundel, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley (Scientific Coordinator)
Dr. Peyton Jacob, University of California San Francisco
Project Investigator: Human Exposure, Toxicology, Pharmacokinetics, Biomarkers Core”
Dr. Suzaynn Schick, University of California San Francisco
Project Investigator: Controlled Exposure of Human Subjects to Thirdhand Smoke”
Dr. Hugo Destaillats, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley
Project Investigator: Identification and Characterization of Toxicants in Thirdhand Tobacco Smoke”
Dr. Bo Hang, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley
Project Investigator: Genotoxicity of THS in Mammalian Cells and Tissues”
Dr. Prudence Talbot, University of California Riverside (UCR)
Project Investigator: Effect of Third Hand Smoke on Oviduct Function and Embryonic Development”
Dr. Jonathan Samet, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles
Project Investigator: THS‐Thirdhand Smoke, Exposure Risk, Policy and Economic Implications”