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Study Finds Toxins Linger In Smokers’ Homes Long After They Move Out

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Aired 12/17/10

New research from San Diego State finds harmful chemicals from cigarette smoke linger in a home long after smokers move out. The study reveals smokers' homes become toxic reservoirs.

— New research from San Diego State finds harmful chemicals from cigarette smoke linger in a home long after smokers move out. The study reveals smokers' homes become toxic reservoirs.

Researchers examined the homes of 100 smokers and 50 non-smokers, before and after they moved out. Air, dust and surfaces were tested for tobacco-related chemicals.

San Diego State professor Georg Matt led the study. He says there were higher levels of contamination in former smokers' homes.

"It's actually toxins that end up on people's hands and in their bodies. And one of the important next questions will be to find out what are the disease processes these compounds set in motion, even at relatively low levels," Matt said.

Matt said nicotine and other carcinogens were found even after smokers' homes were cleaned, repainted and re-carpeted.

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