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

Kasprzyk-Hordern, Barbara, Dinsdale, Richard M. and Guwy, Alan J. (2009) Illicit drugs and pharmaceuticals in the environment – Forensic applications of environmental data. Part 1: Estimation of the usage of drugs in local communities. Environmental Pollution, 157 (6). pp. 1773-1777. ISSN 02697491

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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 1 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.

Wastewater as an indicative source of information can be used in forensic applications.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Schools: School of Applied Sciences
School of Applied Sciences > Materials and Catalysis Research Centre
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Depositing User: Graham Stone
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2009 16:28
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2009 16:28
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/4112

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