A study by some researchers of the University of Perugia shows “clearly” that even a brief exposure to secondhand smoke is able to initiate, within 30 minutes, a series of inflammatory mechanisms that contribute to the formation of tissue damage produced as a result of the repeated and long-term one. It was recently published in the International journal of environmental research and public health. Authors are the group of prof. Mario Rende, full professor of human, clinical and forensic anatomy, in collaboration with that of prof. Marco dell’Omo, associate of Occupational Medicine. Already involved in the University project “Smoke-Free Unipg”.
Researchers from the Department of Medicine and Surgery experimentally recreated a home environment in which groups of strictly non-smoking volunteers stayed for an hour, exposed to the smoke of some commercial cigarettes burned in a normal ashtray. It was thus revealed – explains the University in a press release – that even a “very short exposure” to secondhand smoke is capable of causing a rapid quantitative change of a protein present in the blood and linked to inflammatory mechanisms, the binding p75NTR receptor a series of neurotrophins.
All this – it is emphasized again – has greater relevance, especially if the exposed subjects are infants and children. The results of the study have also shown – again the University reports – a further implication of a medico-legal nature. In fact, currently exposure to secondhand smoke is most commonly identified by collecting 24-hour urine and measuring the concentration of nicotine metabolism products in it. On the basis of the results of the study, however, it is now possible to detect exposure to secondhand smoke in times considered much earlier, through blood sampling and with the dosage of the p75NTR receptor.
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