Most people understand the importance of avoiding second-hand smoke, but doctors say that the risk of third-hand tobacco in one’s living environment is not only as dangerous, but that small children are more likely to come into contact with it and could develop a cough as a result. For this reason, parents should be aware of the dangers.
According to Chiu Chen-fong, director of the thoracic medicine department of Feng Yuan Hospital in Taichung, third-hand tobacco occurs when a person smokes in a closed environment, and the tobacco smoke particles settle on surfaces in the room, including the smokers’ own clothing and hair, as well as the curtains, sofa, walls and floor within the living space.
Once the smoke has settled on the curtains or furniture, even if one opens the windows to let the air circulate to freshen up the room and allow the tobacco odor to dissipate, or even if one wipes down or washes the surfaces, this will not necessarily thoroughly remove the settled particles. In some cases it will actually require replacing the furniture entirely, before the room can be returned to a living space completely devoid of tobacco hazards.
Photo: Ou Su-mei, Liberty Times 照片：自由時報記者歐素美
Chiu says that the second-hand smoke we are all familiar with is easily avoided, but once third-hand tobacco has been produced the people in the immediate environs are not really aware of it, and it will be invisible to the naked eye by family and friends sharing the same space. As a result, it can often lead to the development of respiratory problems with no obvious cause, such as a chronic cough or excessive sputum.
Importantly, small children are particularly at risk of coming into contact with third-hand tobacco hazards, because they will tend to climb over furniture and touch surfaces, unknowingly exposing themselves to the third-hand smoke particles. Families with members who come down with respiratory tract symptoms with no readily apparent cause should pay attention to whether or not anyone in the family smokes, and those who do smoke should look to quitting as soon as possible.
(Translated by Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)
The Latin word plaga means a snare or a hunting net, and is thought to derive from the Proto Indo-European root *plak, meaning “to weave.” From this came the Latin noun plagium, meaning the act of “kidnapping” and “the netting of game.” The perpetrator of the act was called a plagiarius, that is, a kidnapper (a person who steals a human regarded at the time as “belonging” to another, for example a child or somebody else’s slave). By extension, plagiarius also came to mean a seducer or, after the Roman poet Martial complained of another poet “kidnapping his verses” in
Russian scientists are poring over the stunningly well-preserved bones of an adult woolly mammoth that roamed the Earth at least 10,000 years ago, after local inhabitants discovered its remains in the shallows of a north Siberian lake. Part of its skull, several ribs and foreleg bones, some with soft tissue still attached to them, were retrieved from Russia’s remote Yamal peninsula above the Arctic Circle on July 23. Scientists are still searching the site for other bones. Similar finds in Russia’s vast Siberian region have happened with increasing regularity as climate change warming the Arctic at a faster pace than the
In the eastern Afghan city of Herat, 18-year-old high school student Somaya Faruqi adjusts a suction cap as she puts the finishing touches before unveiling a low-cost, lightweight ventilator created by her and six other young women. The all-female Afghan Robotics Team, which has won international awards for its robots, started work in March on an open-source, low-cost ventilator as the coronavirus pandemic hit the war-torn nation. It took the team almost four months to finalize the ventilator, which is partly based on a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) design, and they received guidance from experts at Harvard University. The device is easy
The beloved boy Viking character is back! Animated film Vic the Viking — The Magic Sword is hitting the screens in Taiwan today. This time around, Vic’s father, village chief Halvar, steals a magic sword from pirates that turns Vic’s mother into gold, and the clever hero ventures to a dangerous land to find the cure. Based on children’s book Vicke Viking, the Viking boy first gained global fame when animated TV series Vicky the Viking was released in the 1970s. The show relates the adventures of a boy who uses his wits to help the people in his village. It