How to Get Rid of Tobacco Smoke in your Home

What to do when the tobacco smell is irritating you

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Did You Know?
Because of the chemical nature of smoke molecules, products like air and fabric fresheners are INEFFECTIVE at eliminating smoke odors.

Along with the obvious health problems associated with tobacco smoking, substantial scientific evidence has shown that even second-hand exposure to smoke leads to both short-term and long-term adverse effects. Second-hand smoke, or passive smoking, can lead to immediate asthma attacks in asthmatics. As well, because tobacco smoke acts as an irritant, exposure can result in the following allergy-like symptoms: Runny noses, coughing, wheezing and breathing difficulties.

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Worsening of asthma, allergies, and other similar conditions is therefore not uncommon, and the long-term effects of smoke exposure can lead to cancer and lung problems.

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However, health reasons aside, tobacco smoke is also detrimental to indoor environment, as it has the ability to be absorbed into furniture, draperies, and into clothing. A smoke molecule has a fine particle structure that allows it be easily attached to virtually anything. Consequently, the noxious odor of tobacco smoke often permeates and lingers in the air. In addition, smoke can even cause discoloration and damage to the surfaces of walls and home furnishings.

For hard surfaces such as walls and fixtures, cleaners that include an alkaline builder such as ammonia and a glycol solvent are excellent at removing smoke odors. For walls and ceilings, washing should be followed by a fresh coat of paint and a stain-blocking sealer/primer. The undercoat prevents nicotine particles from bleeding through.

For porous surfaces such as carpets, steam cleaning or shampooing may be able to work, although this may not be sufficient for heavy, set-in smoke odors. Upholstered furniture should be professionally cleaned and deodorized, as the wrong cleaner could cause damage and even result in color bleeding.

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For indoor smoke problems, the use of an air purifier with activated carbon can also help eliminate offensive odors. Essentially, an air purifier with activated carbon has charcoal that is treated with oxygen and acts like a sponge. This material has an extremely high surface area with a large amount of micro porosity. These pores are excellent at trapping gasses and odors that normally pass through traditional particle filters. Activated carbon has also been hailed as a miracle filter media by researchers because of its ability to remove offensive tastes, odors, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and some carcinogens.

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In order to clean the air, activated carbon in a purifier binds materials and contaminants by Van der Waal forces, as it is believed that contaminants have an affinity for carbon. The use of activated carbon is the preferred method of air purification recommended by the EPA to safely remove hazardous and carcinogenic chemicals in the air, and the use of an air purifier with activated carbon is an effective way to eliminate noxious smoke odors from your home or workplace.

 

Source by Jeanie Wong

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