For the first time, researchers have identified lung injury to nonsmokers caused by second-hand smoke. This was long suspected but was not previously detectable with medical imaging tools.
The researchers suggest that their findings may strengthen public health efforts to restrict secondhand smoke.
“We used a special type of magnetic resonance imaging to find these structural changes in the lungs,” says study leader Chengbo Wang, a magnetic resonance physicist in the Department of Radiology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The researchers found that almost one-third of nonsmokers with high exposure to secondhand smoke had structural changes in their lungs similar to those found in smokers.