Air in Spanish cities contains cocaine: study

14th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

However, the presence of cocaine in the air of Madrid and Barcelona is no reason for the public to be concerned, say scientists.

Madrid – Spanish scientists have detected the presence of cocaine in the air of Madrid and Barcelona by using a new technique for the first time, a research institute said Wednesday.

The scientists looked for 17 components in five different types of illegal drugs – cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, cannabinoids and lysergic acid.

The results revealed cocaine is the predominant drug in the air of the two cities, the CSIC institute said.

It was found in concentrations of 29 to 850 picogrammes per cubic metre of air. A picogramme is one trillionth of a gramme.

The study is the result of the first use of a new method for the detection of drugs in the air, adapted specifically for the researchers, who are to publish their results in the review Analytical Chemistry.

"Heroin was also found in detectable levels in the samples taken in Madrid, but not in those from Barcelona," the CSIC said.

This is explained by the fact that the area of Madrid where the sample was taken is close to a district where drug dealers are suspected of operating.

The scientists also reported a higher concentration of the components during the weekend, "suggesting higher consumption this time".

But it said there was no reason for the public to be concerned.

"Even if we lived 1,000 years we would not consume the equivalent of a dose of cocaine through the air," said one of the scientists, Miren Lopez de Alda.

AFP / Expatica

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