Aromatic amines leachate from cigarette butts into aquatic environments: Is there risk for water organisms?

Sina Dobaradaran, Torsten C. Schmidt, Xenia A.M. Mutke, Gabriel E. De-la-Torre, Ursula Telgheder, Klaus Kerpen, Marcel Plonowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are many toxics, such as aromatic amines (AAs), in cigarette butts (CBs). As CBs are the most abundant litter worldwide, these chemicals may leach into water bodies. In the present work, for the first time, the levels of AAs leachates from CBs in distilled water (DW) and river water (RW) samples were evaluated at different exposure times ranging from 15 min to 30 days. The mean leachate levels of AAs in DW and RW samples were in the range of 0.2–566 and 0.2–596 ng L−1, respectively, with overall mean values of 569 and 556 ng L−1. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the total AAs levels as well as the level of each examined AA in DW and RW samples. Aniline (ANL) had the highest leaching rate from CBs into water. The mean leachates of AAs from CBs into water were ranked as: ANL> 1-naphthylamine (1-NA)> 2-naphthylamine (2-NA) > 2,6-dimethylaniline (2, 6-DMA)> ∑toluidine (∑TOL)> o-anisidine (o-ASD)> ∑aminobiphenyl (∑ABP). Ecological risk assessment showed that ∑7AAs, ANL, p-TOL, o-TOL, 2-NA, and ∑ABP had medium risks to sensitive crustaceans and fish. As AAs are not the only hazardous chemicals which may leach from CBs into aquatic environments, restrictions on littering CBs into the environment are required due to the release of different toxics ultimately causing adverse effects on aquatic organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114717
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical Water Pollutants
  • Cigarette butts
  • Ecological Parameter monitoring
  • Ecosystem
  • Tobacco Product


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