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Cocaine on every bank note - study
[Posted: Wed 10/01/2007 www.irishhealth.com]
By Deborah Condon
A study of bank notes currently in circulation in the greater Dublin area found that every single one was contaminated with cocaine.
A sample of 45 bank notes, in denominations of €5, €10, €20 and €50, were analysed as part of an ongoing research project into the detection of illicit drug use. Every single one was contaminated with cocaine, with the highest amounts of cocaine residue being detected on the €20 and €50 notes.
Three of the notes were also found to be contaminated with heroin.
The study was carried out by PhD student, Jonathan Bones, working under the supervision of Prof Brett Paull, at DCU's National Centre for Sensor Research. Using a special technique, the bank notes were analysed to show the level of contamination by cocaine.
The cotton structure of euro bank notes absorbs chemical residues - this makes them relatively easy to analyse. Contamination can occur whenever direct contact between a note and the drug takes place. This can happen following the practise of 'snorting' the drug through a rolled up bank note, as a result of transfer during drug dealing or trough the cross-contamination of notes during the counting process in financial institutions.
Altogether, 62% of the notes analysed were contaminated with cocaine levels at concentrations greater than two nanograms per note, indicating suspected direct use of the note in either drug dealing or drug inhalation.
Around one-third of the notes showed only ultra-trace quantities and were probably contaminated as a result of contact with other contaminated notes, such as via bank counting machines or from other contaminated surfaces.
"This is the largest sample of notes ever used in an experiment of this kind in Ireland. A larger number of notes would give a more representative view of cocaine use in our society, but the number used is sufficient from which to draw conclusions", Mr Bones said.
Describing the 100% results as 'surprising', he pointed out that the most recent survey carried out in the US showed that 65% of dollar notes there were contaminated with cocaine.
"The greatest advantage to using money as the test matrix is that it is readily available, non-invasive, anonymous and relatively safe to work with. Further research would need to be carried out to provide a more accurate picture of the scope of cocaine and heroin use in Ireland today", Prof Paull added.
|Anonymous Posted: 11/01/2007 13:55|
|Not surprised at all with that fact.|
|Anonymous Posted: 11/01/2007 15:41|
|I am not suprised with the findings. It is an ironic symbol, money is used to take the stuff as well as to purchase it.|
|Lemmy Posted: 11/01/2007 16:06|
|what's not mentioned there is all the bank notes came from one branch, it is possible that somebody working in the bank is a cocaine user. not saying that coke use isn't as common as it's made out to be, seen enough traces of it in pub/nightclub toilets to know it's widely used in Dublin anyways, can't comment on the rest of the country|
|Cassie Posted: 11/01/2007 16:30|
|I must be naieve, I'm very surprised|
|JohnDozer Posted: 14/01/2007 09:51|
|I agree with Lemmy. 45 banknotes taken from one branch, a Dublin one at that, isn't a very representative study. A hundred notes, twenty notes taken from five geographically distanced banks would give us a much better idea of where we are at!|
|Anon Posted: 16/01/2007 19:47|
|What difference does it make what amount of notes were taken from what bank? The fact is that they ALL (100%) showed traces of cocaine. Reality check... Cocaine is widely used and obviously more so in the Greater Dublin area as that is where the highest population is. Of course, nothing will come of it because we are all too busy blaming the smokers for all our ills in society and now we are trying to do the same with the drinkers (even if they only drink 2 pints 3 times a week!). Of course, we can see the smokers and the drinkers, we can't see the cocaine users as they are in the toilet cubicles so we pretend that it doesn't happen.|
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