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Active Ingredients in
Cigarette Butts
Ammonia: Household cleaner.
Arsenic: Used in rat poisons.
Benzene: Used in making dyes, synthetic rubber.
Butane: Gas; used in lighter fluid.
Carbon monoxide: Poisonous gas.
Cadmium: Used in batteries.
Cyanide: Lethal poison.
DDT: A banned insecticide.
Ethyl Furoate: Causes liver damage in animals.
Lead: Poisonous in high doses.
Formaldehyde: Used to preserve dead specimens.
Methoprene: Insecticide.
Maltitol: Sweetener for diabetics.
Napthalene: Ingredient in mothballs.
Methyl isocyanate: Its accidental release killed 2000 people in Bhopal, India, in 1984.
Polonium: Cancer-causing radioactive element.
Cigarette butts are the most
common form of litter in the world,
as approximately 5.6 trillion
cigarettes are smoked every year

1. Cigarette waste constitutes an
estimated 30% of the total litter (by
count) on US shorelines,
waterways and on land
(LitterFreePlanet, 2009). In fact,
cigarette butts are the most
common debris item collected
along waterways during the Ocean
Conservancy's yearly International
Coastal Cleanup. In all, 2,189,252
cigarettes were collected during
the 2009 cleanup. (Ocean
Conservancy, 2010)
Conservatively, this quantity of
cigarettes weighs approximately
821 lb and displaces a volume of
1095 litres.

2. Owing to the ubiquitous nature
and magnitude of cigarette butts
discharged into the environment,
studies are needed to determine
whether cigarette butt waste can
exert ecotoxic effects when in
aquatic environments.
Toxicity of Cigarette Butts
Smoking Caused Fires
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Available June, 2019