Huntington Beach, California, February 27, 2023
California was the first state to allow for medicinal cannabis (marijuana) use when voters passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996. In 2016, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act passed in the state, legalizing the use, cultivation and sale of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over.
Unfortunately for nonsmokers, exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke is a concern for many. Secondhand marijuana smoke does contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. The smoke is also a complex mixture of many other substances and particulate matter (PM). Exposure to PM can cause lung irritation, may trigger an asthma attack in some people with the condition, and can be a concern for people who have COPD or other lung diseases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Smoked marijuana has many of the same cancer-causing substances as smoked tobacco, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions around secondhand marijuana smoke exposure and its impact on chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and lung diseases.
“California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) lists marijuana smoke as a carcinogen and reproductive toxin on its Proposition 65 list,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “OEHHA lists some of the substances that can be found in marijuana smoke, including 1,3-butadiene, arsenic, benzene, benzo[a]pyrene, cadmium, carbon monoxide, hexavalent chromium, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, nickel and toluene. It’s not just the smoke exposure for nonsmokers that can be a concern, residues left on surfaces can also contain a host of chemicals, including THC. These residues can be especially concerning for families with young children.”
LA Testing, with laboratories across California, provides air and surface testing services to detect smoke and residues from marijuana and tobacco. For residues, they even carry an easy-to-use test kit to detect marijuana smoke contamination. A few years ago, LA Testing sponsored an educational video about secondhand marijuana smoke exposure risks that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/Yld5gP8Hz2M
To learn more about this or other indoor environmental quality (IEQ), industrial hygiene, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to IEQ test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for industrial hygiene and indoor environmental quality testing of radon, asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.