Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Date:
September 22, 2010
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
The water in the canals and irrigation channels in the L'Albufera Natural Park in Valencia contain cocaine, ecstasy and a further six drugs. Researchers have issued a warning about the continued presence of these substances on wildlife and human health.

Cocaine and ecstasy have been detected in the waters of the L'Albufera in Valencia.
Credit: Yolanda Picó et al.

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 said.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pablo Vazquez-Roig, Vicente Andreu, Cristina Blasco, Yolanda Pic. SPE and LC-MS/MS determination of 14 illicit drugs in surface waters from the Natural Park of L’Albufera (València, Spain). Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2010; 397 (7): 2851 DOI: 10.1007/s00216-010-3720-x

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Cocaine and ecstasy detected in waters of the L'Albufera in Valencia, Spain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922111434.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2010, September 22). Cocaine and ecstasy detected in waters of the L'Albufera in Valencia, Spain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922111434.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Cocaine and ecstasy detected in waters of the L'Albufera in Valencia, Spain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100922111434.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins