Study finds cocaine has contaminated British drinking water

Drinking Water Inspectorate study finds that the water supply contains benzoylecgonine.
By Evan Bleier   |   May 12, 2014 at 11:33 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, May 12 (UPI) -- A new study of the water supply in the United Kingdom has found that British drinking water contains traces of cocaine.

The study, which was done by the Drinking Water Inspectorate, found that the water contains benzoylecgonine, the form of cocaine created after it has been metabolized by the body.

Substantial amounts of ibuprofen and carbamazepine, a drug used for treating epilepsy, were also found in the water.

"We have the near highest level of cocaine use in western Europe," drug policy expert Steve Rolles told The Sunday Times. "It has also been getting cheaper and cheaper at the same time as its use has been going up."

The study found the drinking water also contained caffeine.

"Intakes of the compounds detected in drinking water are many orders of magnitude lower than levels therapeutic doses," said the report. "Estimated exposures for most of the detected compounds are at least thousands of times below doses seen to produce adverse effects in animals and hundreds of thousands below human therapeutic doses. Thus, the detected pharmaceuticals are unlikely to present a risk to health."

Almost 700,000 people aged 16-59 are estimated to use cocaine annually in Britain.

Follow @itishowitis and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Stripper mom of missing child tells cops: 'I have to get on stage'
Florida mayor demands police remove man who refused to stand for Pledge of Allegiance
Florida woman's search for fido lands her in jail
Cash-strapped Chinese man gets caught in money machine
Gamers 'prank' each other by calling in real life SWAT team, webcam captures fallout
Trending News