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Cigarette Butts: A threat to Marine Life

Cigarette butts contain large amount of metal that poses threat to the marine animals, a study says

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jul 11 2016 2:11PM | Updated Date: Jul 11 2016 2:11PM

Cigarette Butts: A threat to Marine Life
Smoking is undoubtedly a threat to life of the smoker and other people present around the smoker. But nobody would have thought that the remains of cigarette are equally dangerous.
A new study has revealed that the butts of cigarettes are very dangerous for the marine life as they contain a large amount of metal which when get dissolved in the water and poses threat to the marine animals. 
The study was undertaken at nine different locations along the northern part of the Persian Gulf in the Bushehr seaport coastal areas where the metals assessed from discarded cigarette butts included cadmium (Cd), iron (Fe), arsenic (As) nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn) and manganese (Mn).
The study got published in the journal Tobacco Control, according to which, the release of metals from littered cigarette butts in the marine environment may increase the potential for acute harm to local species and may enter the food chain.
Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter found in the marine environment with an estimated 5 trillion or so discarded outdoors around the globe every year.
Moreover, the filters of cigarettes may act like other plastics in providing a conduit to transport metals in marine environments.
The study also revealed that metal parts in water and soils can adversely affect some species that may consequently lead to contamination may increase the metal tolerance of other organisms.