Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) toxic up to 18 hours after the last cigarette
The effect of smoking on indoor air quality is greater than you think! Researchers at the universities of Berkeley and Clermont-Ferrand realized the extent of the damage directly in the homes of several smokers. They screened 58 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) present in the air inside the house after smoking a cigarette. 8 hours later, 29 of them were still detected at a high concentration level, or even above the threshold of dangerousness, in particular carbon, furans and nitriles. Some harmful compounds were still polluting the indoor air 18 hours later!
Environmental Smoking, Pollution & Indoor Air Quality
Professor Yves Martinet, head of the pneumology department at Nancy University Hospital, explained the phenomenon in an interview: “the smoke is distributed in the air (…) Then certain toxic products settle on the tissues and are released regularly in the hours that follow. “Clearly, when you smoke in your home, the famous toxic VOCs emanating from cigarettes soak into the objects in your home (furniture, curtains, sofas, floors…). They will cause as much air pollution when they are released from the materials as when they are smoked, several hours before. This is called environmental smoking or the “cold tobacco” effect.
The effect of smoking on air quality affects your health. So what do we do?
How to reduce the effect of smoking and improve air quality
First of all, don’t panic. You can quickly improve air quality in your home as long as you adopt a number of good practices. Here are our tips.
- Air it out twice a day ! This is the frequency recommended by the French Ministry of Ecological and Solidarity Transition
- Do not attempt to purify the air in the house with incense. Its combustion causes the emission of irritating pollutants
- Rinse ashtrays to limit indoor air pollution. (You can put a touch of bicarbonate of soda in it and rub with cold water to remove the object thoroughly.
- Clean linens regularly; shampoo sofas, rugs, carpets…
- Obviously: avoid smoking in your home! As mentioned in the study, toxic VOCs in the house persist for several hours after the last cigarette, regardless of the level of ventilation.
- You can use some deodorizers that destroy tobacco odours and clean fabrics, but they will not clean the air in your home. (Be sure to buy an allergen-free and environmentally friendly product.
- For a concrete action, know that an air purifier such as Blooow captures VOCs to clean your home. It acts directly on improving air quality, whatever the pollutants, including those from cigarettes.
In short, there is no secret to living in a healthy interior every day. You have to change your habits! Note that environmental smoking is classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It could represent up to 60% of passive smoking, that is, the inhalation of cigarette smoke compounds without being a smoker.
Want to know more about our environmentally friendly air purifier?
Our Blooow air purifiers effectively reduce the effects of smoking and quickly improve indoor air quality. If you also want to clean the air at home, our experts are at your disposal.