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In the 2006 International Coastal Cleanup, the number of individual cigarettes and cigarette butts collected amounted to 24.7% of the total number of garbage items collected, over twice as many items as any other category.
Most cigarette filters are made from cellulose acetate. Cigarette filters contain twelve thousand plastic-based fibers, and just like other forms of plastic, 'they do not biodegrade' The leftover filter is the most common form of litter; International Coastal Cleanup volunteers collect an estimated 53 million cigarette butts each year. The filters' non-biodegradability increases landfill demands, adds costs to municipalities' waste-disposal programs, and creates environmental blight in public spaces.
What may be surprising is the level of toxicity found in a single cigarette butt. Using standard tests adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Novotny and other researchers discovered that a cigarette butt soaked in a liter of water for four days will kill both the topsmelt and the freshwater fathead minnow fish species.The pollution caused by cigarette butts turns out to be a double-barreled problem: the 4,800 chemical compounds in cigarettes, at least 69 of which are carcinogenic, plus plastic filters that contain dangerous compounds and are not biodegradable.
This resistance to biodegrading is a factor in littering. environmental damage and suggested lung damage.
According to Novotny's recent article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, an estimated 1.69 billion pounds (845,000 tons) of butts wind up as litter worldwide per year. In addition, the annual Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup reports that "cigarette butts have been the single most recovered item since collections began."
Citing the immense damage to wildlife and public health caused by discarded cigarette filters, a California legislator is seeking to ban sales of filter-tipped cigarettes in the state. Assembly Bill 1504, introduced this week by Monterey-area Assemblymember Mark Stone, would make it illegal to sell or give away filtered cigarettes in California, with a relatively stiff fine attached for each violation.
"Cigarette filters leach dangerous chemicals into the environment, kill animals that eat them, and cause communities to spend millions of taxpayer dollars for clean-up," Stone said in a press release.
The bill would make it illegal to sell, give away, or order any cigarettes with "single-use" filters in the state, with fines of $500 for each violation. (A single violation is defined as up to 20 cigarettes, so that selling a pack or giving a stranger a single cigarette would both merit $500 fines.) If passed, though unlikely, the law would force smokers to use non-filtered cigarettes or carry around and use a reusable filter.
Most commonly available cigarette filters are mainly made of fibers of the plastic cellulose acetate, which can take more than a decade to fall apart on exposure to the elements. Though cellulose acetate is a relatively benign material, smokers coat the filters' fibers with toxic tar and nicotine compounds by the act of smoking. Nicotine in discarded filters is known to pose a serious risk to small children. More than 13,000 calls to poison control centers from 2006 through 2008 involved kids eating cigarette butts, and other studies show that it's kids a year old or less that are at the most risk.
The company encourages users to collect their green butts in a planter instead of an ashtray and watch them grow into green grass shoots or flowers... we're not quite sure exactly what sort of flowers.
Cigarette butts are the most common type of litter on earth. Collected, they weigh in the millions of pounds. The toxic chemicals absorbed by cigarettes' cellulose acetate filters and found in butts' remnant tobacco, are quickly leached from the butts by water.
The evidence indicates that the toxic chemicals leached from discarded cigarette butts present a biohazard to the water flea at concentrations of more than 0.125 butts per liter, or about one butt per two gallons of water. The leachate from the remnant tobacco portion of a cigarette butt is deadlier at smaller concentrations than are the chemicals that leach out of the filter portion of a butt.
In the 2006 International Coastal Cleanup, the number of individual cigarettes and cigarette butts collected amounted to 24.7% of the total number of garbage items collected, over twice as many items as any other category
originally posted by: Expat888
Yaaaaaawwwwnnnn .... yet another attack on smoking ..
How about do away with factories .. automobiles .. aircraft .. electrical power plant.. plastic packaging .. styrofoam and pretty much everything people take for granted that makes modern life possible . All do far more damage than smoking ..
*fires up cigar and wanders off*