Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cocaine and ecstasy detected in waters of the L'Albufera in Valencia

23.09.2010
The water in the canals and irrigation channels in the L'Albufera Natural Park in Valencia contain cocaine, ecstasy and a further six drugs. This has been confirmed by a study carried out by researchers from the University of Valencia (UV), who have issued a warning about the continued presence of these substances on wildlife and human health.

"The results confirm the presence of drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, codeine, morphine and cannabis in the surface waters of the L'Albufera National Park at levels ranging between 0.06 and 78.78 nanograms/litre", Yolanda Picó, lead author of the study and a senior professor in the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology at the UV, tells SINC.

Scientists from this university and the Desertification Research Centre (CSIC-UV-GV) analysed the presence of 14 kinds of illegal drugs – including heroin, cocaine and ecstasy – in 16 canals and irrigation channels in the natural park. The study looked for the residue these drugs leave behind in human urine after they have been taken, and which end up in the water.

The results, published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, positively showed the presence of eight kinds of drugs, particularly cocaine and ecstasy. "Cocaine and its metabolites (such as benzoylecgonine) were ubiquitous in all the samples taken, while ecstasy (3.4-methylendioximetamphetamine, or MDMA) was also found very frequently", Picó explains.

The greatest drug concentration and frequency was found in the north of the park, above all in the area of the Poyo ravine. Waste water is regularly discharged in this area, and it also has the highest population density (almost 70% of the total population), as well as industry and nightclubs.

The researcher points out that this "indicates, with increasing likelihood, that drugs are reaching the sewer and channel systems, and that in many cases they could be affecting the irrigation channels and waters of the L'Albufera lake".

The team also found very high levels in some particular samples taken in the area of Benifaió and Almusaffes, which can only be explained by the presence of untreated waste water.

A risk for the wetlands

Exhaustive eco-toxocological studies into the risk the presence of these substances in the water could pose to people and the environment have not yet been carried out. However, the scientists have issued a warning about the possible consequences.

"The health problems potentially caused by consuming these, added to the fact that these residues are still strongly pharmacologically active, may have consequences for land organisms and aquatic fauna", said Picó.

The L'Albufera Natural Park is one of the most important wetlands in Europe because of its biodiversity of flora and fauna, and because it is a key area for migratory birds. The area is a SPAB (Special Protection Area for Birds), is on the List of Sites of Community Importance for the Mediterranean Biogeographical Region, and is covered by the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands.

Paradoxically, the park is surrounded by cities, industries, farms, shopping malls and leisure centres. The wetland is bordered by the Mediterranean highway and the V-31 motorway, and crossed by the Saler motorway and other roads. The L'Albufera is also affected by pressure from the 12 urban centres – including the city of Valencia – and the 14 municipal districts that surround it.

Reference:

Pablo Vázquez-Roig, Vicente Andreu, Cristina Blasco y Yolanda Picó. "SPE and LC-MS/MS determination of 14 illicit drugs in surface waters from the Natural Park of L'Albufera (València, Spain)". Analytical and Bioanayitical Chemistry 397 (7): 2851-2864, agosto de 2010. DOI 10.1007/s00216-010-3720-x.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>