[Pharmwaste] drugs found in air samples

Tenace, Laurie Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Wed Dec 24 09:04:17 EST 2008


Illicit drugs blanket cities. 
Dec 23, 2008 

Cecinato, A, C Calducci and G Nervegna. 2008. Occurrence of cocaine in the
air of the World's cities: An emerging problem? A new tool to investigate the
social incidence of drugs? Science of the Total Environment

Synopsis by Niladri Basu 

Cocaine, methadone and a slew of other drugs and illicite substances drift
freely in the air of cities around the world. 

Researchers found very low concentrations of the mind-altering drugs in 11
cities tested.

For cocaine, cities with elevated air levels also had elevated rates of
cocaine use and police confiscation. Monitoring air can be used by public
health officials as a novel method to compare drug use in cities.

Researchers collected air samples in cities across Europe, Africa and South
America. The researchers screened for chemicals in several drug families,
including methadone, cocaine, heroin, nicotine and cannabinoids. While
promising in terms of a tool to understand social drug use, this new method
needs to be further developed.

And, say the authors of the high levels of cocaine found: "extensive studies
still remain necessary to assess the drug impact in terms of environmental
safety" and "if the occurrence of this drug is related to market, manufacture
or abuse."

Laurie Tenace
Environmental Specialist
Waste Reduction Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Rd., MS 4555
Tallahassee FL 32399-2400
P: 850.245.8759
F: 850.245.8811

Mercury: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/categories/mercury/default.htm 

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