Association of metals (Cd, Fe, As, Ni, Cu, Zn and Mn) with cigarette butts in northern part of the Persian Gulf

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Abstract

Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter in the marine environment and represent potential point sources for environmental contamination. The metals leached from cigarette butts have not been studied well in the marine environment. In this study, the levels of metals (Cd, Fe, As, Ni, Cu, Zn and Mn) in cigarette butts were monitored at nine stations along the northern part of the Persian Gulf in Bushehr coastal areas in summer 2015 with a sampling time interval of 10 days. The Cd, Fe, As, Ni, Cu, Zn and Mn contents of cigarette butts were found to vary widely between 0.16 and 0.67 μg/g, 79.01 and 244.97 μg/g, 0.12 and 0.48 μg/g, 1.13 and 3.27 μg/g, 4.29 and 12.29 μg/g, 6.39 and 21.17 μg/g, and 38.29 and 123.1 μg/g, respectively. A Wilcoxon signed rank test showed that there were no significant differences between the Cd, Fe, As, Ni, Cu, Zn and Mn contents of cigarette butts at different sampling times. Considering the estimated number of cigarette butts littered annually, the results of this study indicated that considerable metals including Cd, Fe, As, Ni, Cu, Zn and Mn may enter the marine environment each year from cigarette litter alone.

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