WASHINGTON, Jan. 15, 2011 — In research described as "a stark warning" to those tempted to start smoking, scientists are reporting that cigarette smoke begins to cause genetic damage within minutes — not years — after inhalation into the lungs.
Their report, the first human study to detail the way certain substances in tobacco cause DNA damage linked to cancer, appears in Chemical Research in Toxicology, one of 38 peer-reviewed scientific journals published by the American Chemical Society.
When I see friends smoke cigarettes it is frustrating. I see damage being done.
The scientists followed a labeled polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH - think of a bunch of carbon rings not fully saturated with hydrogens) and saw it very quickly convert into a more toxic form. The report doesn't say but I'm guessing epoxidation.
The scientists added a labeled PAH, phenanthrene, to cigarettes and tracked its fate in 12 volunteers who smoked the cigarettes. They found that phenanthrene quickly forms a toxic substance in the blood known to trash DNA, causing mutations that can cause cancer. The smokers developed maximum levels of the substance in a time frame that surprised even the researchers: Just 15-30 minutes after the volunteers finished smoking. Researchers said the effect is so fast that it's equivalent to injecting the substance directly into the bloodstream.
Do not smoke and also strongly object to second hand smoke.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2011 January 16 11:09 PM Pollution Air|