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Cocaine and other illicit drugs in airborne particulates in urban environments: a reflection of social conduct and population size

AuthorsViana, M.; Postigo, C.; Querol, Xavier ; Alastuey, Andrés ; López de Aldaa, M. J.; Barceló, Damià ; Artíñano, B.; López-Mahia, P.; García Gacio, D.; Cots, N.
illicit drugs
Issue Date22-Oct-2014
AbstractLevels of cocaine and other psychoactive substances in atmospheric particulate matter (PM) were determined in urban environments representing distinct social behaviours with regard to drug abuse: night-life, university and residential areas. Three cities (with population > 1 million and <0.3 million inhabitants) were selected. Mean daily levels of drugs in PM were 11-336 pg/m3 for cocaine, 23-34 pg/m3 for cannabinoids, and 5-90 pg/m3 for heroin. The highest levels were recorded on weekends, with factors with respect to weekdays of 1-3 for cocaine, 1-2 for cannabinoids and 1.1-1.7 for heroin. Higher levels were detected in the night-life areas, pointing towards consumption and trafficking as major emission sources, and possibly ruling out drug manufacture. The similarities in temporal trends at all sites suggested a city-scale transport of psychoactive substances. Correlations were detected between cocaine and amphetamine consumption (r2=0.98), and between heroin and cannabinoids (r2>0.82).
Publisher version (URL)http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749111000546
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