Thursday, 14 May, 2009 Offbeat

Scientists Discovered Cocaine and Heroin in the Air of Spain


Scientists from Spain found cocaine in the air of the country's most populated cities of Madrid and Barcelona. They managed to spot the cocaine with the help of a technique that was used for the first time.

Researchers searched for 17 components in 5 types of illegal drugs, including cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, cannabinoids and lysergic acid. According to the CSIC institute the outcome of the study showed that cocaine predominates in the air of the two major cities of Spain.

Scientists say that the drug was found in concentrations of 29 to 850 picogrammes (one trillionth of a gramme) per cubic meter of air.

It is worth mentioning that this is the first time that scientists used a new method of identifying drugs in the air. The new method was developed exclusively for the current study, the results of which will be available in the review "Analytical Chemistry".

The CSIC also mentioned that researchers spotted detectable levels of heroin in the air. However, the drug was found only in the samples taken in Madrid. The existence of heroin in the air of Madrid could be explained by the fact that the region, where scientists took samples, is close to the area where drug dealers presumably operate, reports AFP.

Scientists noted that there is no need to be concerned, since the concentration of drugs in the air is very small.

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

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