The Dalits, the “untouchables”, worked in what were seen as unhealthy, unpleasant or polluting jobs. In the past, the Dalits suffered from social segregation and restrictions, in addition to extreme poverty. They were not allowed temple worship with others, nor water from the same sources. Persons of higher castes would not interact with them. If somehow a member of a higher caste came into physical or social contact with an untouchable, the member of the higher caste was defiled, and had to bathe thoroughly to purge him or herself of the impurity.
Thus reads the Wikipedia entry on the Indian caste of untouchables.
We have a new breed of Dalit in the UK. The ‘Faglits’. Those who have been found in possession of material which could be used to smoke cigarettes.
Banishing a ‘Faglit’ from your home is no longer sufficient, forcing them to stand in a howling gale outside of public buildings is insufficient. Avoiding their second hand smoke by not walking in the same street as them is insufficient.
Scientists in American have discovered that toxic smoke from cigarettes which may cling to your clothes after you have been within fifty yards of a ‘Faglit’ can attach themselves to upholstery where they turn into a dangerous chemical called ‘tobacco-specific nitrosamine’ or TSNA. If nitrous acid is in the air ( don’t worry about nitrous acid, whatever it is, it can’t be as harmful as speaking to a smoker via telephone) anyway, if nitrous acid is in the air, it can combine with this ‘ere TSNA, and if your child is ‘licking or sucking’ whoever it is who walked past the person who walked past the smoker, paedophilia is the least of your worries – dermal uptake of cancer causing agents from the nicotine could be the result.
You don’t need to be a smoker to harm the little chidlren, you don’t even need to be in contact with a smoker – you can be in contact with someone who once knew someone who walked past a smoker in the street.
Hang on, I’ve just discovered where nitrous acid comes from. ‘Emitted by unvented gas appliances and car exhaust fumes’.
So, let’s paraphrase. If your child survives life in a house with an unvented gas appliances or you are in the habit of running your car engine in your front room before setting off to work, and your child is also in the habit of licking or sucking the skin or clothing of visitors to your home, your child is at risk. Not from Uncle Harry, Uncle Fred, and his little secrets, not from the unvented Gas boiler, nor from your hatchback merrily blasting out exhaust fumes in front of the plasma TV, but from the ‘Faglit’ who was having a crafty smoke on his way home and whose name you don’t even know.
Co-author James Pankow points out that the results of this study should raise concerns about the purported safety of electronic cigarettes. A battery-powered vaporizer inside the tube of a plastic cigarette turns a solution of nicotine into a smoky mist that can be inhaled and exhaled like tobacco smoke.
In the PNAS paper, Destaillats and his co-authors suggest various ways to limit the impact of the third hand smoke health hazard, starting with the implementation of 100 percent smoke-free environments in public places and self-restrictions in residences and automobiles. In buildings where substantial smoking has occurred, replacing nicotine-laden furnishings, carpets and wallboard can significantly reduce exposures.
I foresee a profitable class action on the part of ‘social housing tennants’ forced to live in ‘sub-standard’ properties where the council had negligently failed to rip up the floorboards and re-plaster the walls after a previous tenant had been rumoured to be a ‘Faglit’.
I’m off for a quick camel break. I daren’t have one in my office. M. Le Computer Engineer is calling in five minutes. He’s about to get married. God knows what residual camel vapour could do to his future wife’s unborn child. Yes, I know she’s not pregnant yet, I’m not insinuating that, but you can’t be too careful can you?