The affects of tobacco on caves

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The affects of tobacco on caves

Postby Dawn Ryan » Apr 17, 2007 12:38 pm

Hi Cavers,

I am looking for papers or reports on the affects of tobacco smoke or its by-products on caves. I had heard that tobacco, when made as a 'tea" is used as an insecticide. If it was used in a water shed, has it affected a cave below.

Thanks,
Dawn Ryan
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Postby JoeyS » Apr 17, 2007 4:14 pm

Hi dawn
you are correct, tobacco, when soaked in water for a day or two makes an excellent foliar spray to kill spidermites aphids and other plant eating bugs. I've used it myself. I guess you would have to know an organic farmer (and one that uses tobacco sprays, specifically) that farms over karst.
Another possibility is rain run off from a tobacco field. Plenty of that here in Tennessee. I'm sure it's made its way into at least one cave. Being that tobacco is organic itself, probably nothing to worry about though.
I thought, by the title, you would be asking about tobacco smoke in caves.
Good luck with that project.
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Postby Dawn Ryan » Apr 18, 2007 2:32 pm

I could use information on all aspects of tobacco/smoke and caves. There's a presentation I'm working on for a school and because the program is paid for by "Big Tobacco" and their obligation to no-smoking toward youth, I need to work in the evils of smoking/tobacco.

I wonder if any studies have been done on how smoke affects speleothems or perhaps critters. I can come up with information on how it affects humans.
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Postby Phil Winkler » Apr 18, 2007 3:24 pm

Dawn,

Ask a restauranteur and/or motel/hotel owner what the effects of smoke cost them in cleaning and damaged property. The same ill effects could be applied to speleothems and anything else in caves.

I know of no commercial cave that permits smoking, but certainly wild caves have endured tobacco smoke as long as man has explored them.

Smoke is also detrimental to the health of any living animal who might breathe it in.
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Postby YuccaPatrol » Apr 18, 2007 3:50 pm

What an odd world we live in where a company is required to convince people not to use its products.

The only thing I can add is that it is always important to minimize our impact on wild places, especially ones as sensitive as caves.
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Re: The affects of tobacco on caves

Postby NZcaver » Apr 18, 2007 11:43 pm

Dawn Ryan wrote:I am looking for papers or reports on the affects of tobacco smoke or its by-products on caves.

I'm not sure if you've already seen this, but here is a whole 6 page thread discussing smokers in caves...
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Postby Dawn Ryan » Apr 19, 2007 5:58 pm

I did find this interesting article on the affects on cavers and miners that smoke versus radon, if interested. http://www.ijs.speleo.it/pdf/64.541.35_Craven.Smit.pdf
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Postby Eve » Apr 19, 2007 8:25 pm

Dumb question, maybe, but if tobacco can repel aphids, does that mean that tobacco plants are aphid-proof?
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Postby JoeyS » Apr 20, 2007 8:36 am

Eve wrote:Dumb question, maybe, but if tobacco can repel aphids, does that mean that tobacco plants are aphid-proof?


I'm sure certain parts are, or are at a certain age of maturation, like when the nicotine becomes present. Young tobacco plants are probably no match for pests.
Is your tobacco garden overrun with aphids? :tonguecheek: I was going to plant some 'maters and peppers this weekend. Guess Eve will be sowing some Marlboros over in E.N... :laughing:
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