Illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals in the environment - Forensic applications of environmental data. Part 1: Estimation of the usage of drugs in local communities

Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, R M Dinsdale, A J Guwy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pharmaceuticals and recently also illicit drugs have been recognised as emerging environmental contaminants due to their potential environmental impact: frequent occurrence, persistence and risk to aquatic life and humans. This manuscript is part one of the two-part study aiming to provide a better understanding and application of environmental data not only for environmental aims but also to meet forensic objectives. An attempt to use wastewater data is made in order to verify patterns of the usage of drugs (in particular illicit) in local communities. The average usage of cocaine in South Wales was estimated at 0.9 g day(-1) 1000 people(-1), which equals I tonne of this drug used or disposed of to sewage annually in Wales. The calculated usage of amphetamine denoted 2.5 g day(-1) 1000 people(-1) and is suspected to be an overestimate. Because no analysis of enantiomers of amphetamine was undertaken, no distinction between amphetamine's legal and illicit usage could be made
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1773-1777
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Volume157
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • metabolites
  • tandem mass-spectrometry
  • Environmental forensics
  • rivers
  • liquid-chromatography
  • solid-phase extraction
  • surface-water
  • Pharmaceuticals usage
  • Illicit drugs consumption
  • waste-water
  • personal care products
  • contaminants
  • Wastewater
  • psychoactive-drugs

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