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Researchers Say Cigarette Butts Are Toxic Waste

Researchers say there's new scientific evidence that cigarette butts are toxic hazardous waste. A San Diego State University professor led the research team.

SDSU Professor Tom Novotny says research indicates the California Environmental Protection Agency may be able to label cigarette butts as toxic hazardous waste. He says it's possible the federal EPA will take action too.

"The U.S. EPA has been at some of our meetings and there are some things that could be done fairly readily, by for instance, banning smoking in all national parks and beaches as one way of reducing the butt litter that's there," Novotny says.

He says SDSU research shows cigarette butts allowed to soak in either fresh or salt water kill half the exposed fish at a concentration of about one butt per liter.

Novotny says further research is planned to identify the chemicals in the cigarette butt that are lethal to fish.

He says those chemicals are likely as common in our drinking water as are traces of prescription drugs.

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Avatar for user 'earthday78'

earthday78 | November 4, 2009 at 7:11 p.m. ― 7 years, 4 months ago

This is awesome news!

RSA have been working for 16 years to start its nonprofit to educate and irradiate cigarette pollution for just this such reason. Responsible Smokers Act hopes to make ashtrays that educate from cigarette butts(Cellulose Acetate), so the solution is within the problem.

A self-sustaining "upcycling" nonprofit with one goal, clean up and prevent cigarette litter. Use the litter to make collection facilities, makes the litter a valuable resource in anti litter receptacles.

Its been proven with the spread of smoking bans have increased the amounts of litter collecting outside public establishments.

Please check out RSA and help us communicate with the people actually doing something about the disgusting and environmentally devastating problem.

This is like the Erin Brockovich Movie Scenario times a million. Bio-accumulation of smokers byproducts is worse than smoking itself!

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