LabReport1 - Influence of Plant Growth Due to Cigarette...

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Influence of Plant Growth Due to Cigarette Waste Biology Lab 113 Section 001 Kristina Vu Partners: Lexie Horen Tracie Chan Jaclyn Nuesse TA: Richard Stokes May 13, 2008
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Introduction Cigarette smoking has been a notorious habit with its health defects and unappealing perception by the public. The waste of cigarettes (termed “butts”) is also a visible and environmental nuisance. In 1995, it was estimated that 5.535 trillion commercially manufactured cigarettes were consumed, worldwide (Novotny and Zhao 1999). A marine debris department in Australia claims that a cigarette butt takes approximately 1.5 years to biodegrade, and that an estimated 4.5 trillion butts are littered worldwide each year. The contents of cigarette butts include paper, filters, unusable or unused tobacco, solvents, oils, and many chemical substances. Nicotine is a natural alkaloid of tobacco, a main ingredient in cigarettes. The organic or functional group called amines are a component of nicotine, and are also associated with plants in the processes of cell division and differentiation, synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins, membrane stability, and other processes (Bouchereau et. al. 2000). The chemical properties of nicotine involves tobacco-specific nitrosamines, which are abbreviated as TSNA, among other biologically important compounds (Yildiz 2005). Nitrosodiethanolamine (abbreviated as NDELA) and maleic hydrazide-ethanolamine (MH-DELA) are other amines that were extracted in tobacco cigarettes in an investigation by K.D. Brunnemann and D. Hoffmann in 1981 to assess NDELA’s carcinogenic properties. Brunnemann and Hoffmann also state in the introduction of their study that, “In the United States, about 3.2 million pounds of MH-DELA are used annually as a systemic plant growth inhibitor,” (Brunnemann and Hoffman 1981). Although amines are related to plants for certain processes, the MH-DELA is an amine used to reduce growth plant development. The many chemical toxins and compounds in
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tobacco can be traced in cigarette butts, many of which are littered on the ground by plant life every day.
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