Seacliff Home Inspections

Phone: 519-916-5132 / 866-559-1160
8 AM - 9 PM

Tobacco Smoke Check

Third-Hand Smoke
Third-hand smoke is contamination by tobacco smoke on the surfaces of objects that lingers following the extinguishing of a cigarette, and after the second-hand smoke has cleared. Although "second-hand smoke" dissipates from a room or confined space after a short period of time, nicotine and other components of the smoke tend to coat a space's surfaces and continue to emit toxins.

A 2010 study found that the residue of the nicotine from second-hand smoke can coat room surfaces and react with nitrous acid present in the air to create tobacco-specific nitrosamines, carcinogens found in tobacco products. Ensuring ventilation while a cigarette is smoked does not eliminate the deposition of third-hand smoke in an enclosed space. The study found that up to eleven carcinogenic compounds can be found in third-hand smoke, and can potentially cause the greatest harm to infants and young children, because younger children are more likely to crawl on the floor and eat from their hands without washing them first, ingesting the toxins into their systems. Currently, however, the actual magnitude of risk, if any, is unknown.

Test beneficial to asthmatics or anyone concerned with exposure to secondhand or third hand smoke.

While tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemical compounds, many of these chemicals can also be emitted by multiple sources. Often these compounds are at such low levels that they can’t be monitored, or are not volatile enough (like nicotine) to stay in the air for very long. By utilizing sophisticated sample collection and analysis methodologies with detection limits in the 0.1 ng/L range, specific chemical markers can now be isolated that indicated tabacco has been burned.

Seacliff Inspections can conduct a Tobacco Smoke Check if you are concerned with exposure to secondhand or third hand smoke. This test is invaluable for anyone wanting to know if an apartment, home, or house they’re planning to occupy can be considered a smoke-free environment. It is also beneficial for life insurance companies who want assurance that their applicants are living in an environment free from the effects of secondhand smoke.