Processing Magazine

Trace amounts of cocaine discovered in UK drinking water

May 13, 2014
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UK drinking water contains traces of cocaine, ever after undergoing all stages of treatment, according to a new report by the Drinking Water Inspectorate. Scientists stated that cocaine use in Britain has increased to such an extent that the drug can now be detected in the national drinking water supply system, The Independent reported.

The report revealed results from a study that examined drinking water for pharmaceutical compounds left in the water supply system after it has been treated. Researchers discovered benzoylecgonine in the water -- a form of the drug that appears once cocaine has passed through the human body. The same compound is tested for in urine-based drug tests, the report explained.

Campaigners and charity organizations have been raising concerns that cocaine is getting cheaper and cheaper in the United Kingdom and the country has among the highest rates of cocaine use in Western Europe. The charity DrugScope said that about 180,000 English adults are dependent on crack cocaine, while almost 700,000 Britons aged between 16 and 59 use cocaine every year.

However, according to Public Health England the quantities of cocaine detected in drinking water are only about 25 percent of what is found before treatment. In addition, the amount remaining in water supplies is much lower than doses that could pose a risk to the public, experts claimed.