Daily Doc: PM, Jul 20, 1994: More on Cigarette Contaminants

Daily Doc: More on Cigarette Contaminants

PM, Jul 20, 1994
Bates #: 2057279519/9523

January 16, 2000

Many documents revealing the wide variety of cigarette contaminants can be found by using the search criteria "customer complaints" on the tobacco industry document web sites. It's a search that always reveals interesting results. Recall for example that we discoveredthe #3 complaint in 1983 to the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was that customers were finding worms and bugs in their cigarettes ("up 35% from the previous year." ) [See Daily Document posting from April 13, 2000 "Holey Smokes!" http://www.smokescreen.org/list/det.cfm?listid=66&MessageID=175011&SearchString=worms%20and%20bugs]

Following are some ofthecontaminants in cigarettes that were listed as the sources of customer complaints in just two Philip Morris company documents:
  • Insects ("insect infestation")
  • The tear tape found at a murder scene
  • Varnish
  • "Adhesive-like materials"
  • Ink solvents
  • "Insect damage"
  • Machine lubricating oils (lubricants that are used in cigarette manufacturing facilities--apparently up to 100 types of lubricants are used)
  • Pieces of rubber from assembly belts
  • Blood
  • Metal powder
  • Rubber bands
  • Matchheads
  • Pieces of wire (consistent with paper clip components)
  • Explosive loads
  • Glass fibers
  • Mold
  • (Some of the above information was taken from PM 1993 Annual Accomplishment for the Analytical Facilities Team (AFT)) 2021380915/0938

    Type of Document: Memorandum
    Author: Yang, SS (Philip Morris)
    Recipient: Ferguson, RN (Philip Morris)
    Date: 19940720
    Site: Philip Morris tobacco document site http://www.pmdocs.com/cgi-bin/rsasearch.asp
    Page Count 5
    Bates No. 2057279519/9523
    URL: http://www.pmdocs.com/getallimg.asp?DOCID=2057279519/9523
    Litigation Usage: None yet
    Thanks to: Scott Goold, for the interesting find (which turned out to be a great lead to finding more documents of this type!)

    ...Other possible contamination sources include flavor overdose, tax stamp ink solvents, residual solvents from promotion tags, inappropriate storage (cigarettes stored in boxes previously used for oil products or other goods) airborne contamination (e.g. gas station environment, warehouse with new paint or storage with other goods containing volatiles).

    ...Other chemicals found in the complaints include derivatives of abietic acid...varnish or lacquer used on the pack...Prodox 156 which could be related to UV curing of printed materials...Nofmer MSD...which may be originated from one of the adhesives used in the cigarette construction...DOP...which is...used as a plasticizer...and as a carrier in insect repellant formulations...


    Foreign materials found in complaint samples include color stains, glass fiber, plastic and rubber. [Foreign material] has also caused cigarette flare-up during smoking.

    Color Stain

    Trace color stains, usually aged and faded, were found on different parts of cigarette products, such as aluminum foil, filters, tipping and cigarette paper. Based on analytical results, the chemical composition of these stains was quite often found to be consistent with blood... Occasionally charred sugar or crayon was identified.

    Cigarette Flare-Up During Smoking

    Popping or flare-up during smoking can be caused by several reasons

    * Load (a piece of wood coated with explosive chemicals such as lead nitrate) * Match head...
    * Large pieces of stem which normally do not exist in cigarettes.

    Fiber, Plastic and Rubber

    These materials were usually found in the smoked cigarettes and were often charred and distorted.

    * glass fiber
    * plastic and polymers

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    Anne Landman, Regional Program Coordinator
    American Lung Association of Colorado, West Region Office
    Grand Junction, CO
    (970) 245-2120
    This document's URL is: http://www.tobacco.org/Documents/dd/ddmorecontaminants.html

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