Second-hand marijuana smoke concerns

| December 8, 2016

Children exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke show measurable amounts of the drug in their bodies, according to a EurekAlert story quoting a study carried out at the Icahn School of Medicine (ICM) at Mount Sinai, New York City.

The study was published in the journal Pediatric Research.

The study found that when young children are exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke, measurable amounts of a primary metabolite of the active component in psychoactive chemical Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) appears in samples of their urine.

Because earlier analytical methods were developed to measure biomarkers of marijuana in primary users of the drug, a new, more sensitive analytic method was developed and used by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to quantify the trace biomarkers resulting from second-hand marijuana smoke exposure.

“This shows that, like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is inhaled by children in the presence of adults who are using it,” said Karen Wilson, MD, the Debra and Leon Black Division chief of general pediatrics, and the vice-chair for clinical and translational research for the Department of Pediatrics at the ICM.

“In areas where marijuana use is legal, or common, education is needed to counsel parents on the dangers posed to their children by second-hand smoke…”

“Parent reported screening questions in areas where marijuana is legal is a helpful first step,” said Wilson.

“While we do not know yet whether this exposure poses a health risk to children; this study highlights the urgency of further investigation.”

Category: Breaking News

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