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Study Shows Cocaine And Other Drugs In Spanish Air

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the can-you-smell-the-party dept.

Science 164

If you live in Madrid or Barcelona, you might not notice the air pollution due to your contact buzz according to a new study. The Superior Council of Scientific Investigations found the air in those cities to be laced with at least five drugs: amphetamines, opiates, cannabinoids, lysergic acid and most prominently cocaine. Researchers found cocaine in concentrations between 29 and 850 picogram per cubic meter of air. The group stresses that the air samples were taken in high drug areas and don't represent most of the air in the cities.

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BRB (5, Funny)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954299)

BRB, packing my bags....

Re:BRB (2, Insightful)

sofar (317980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954359)

what makes you think this is any different than in a typical town in (insert state/country you live in)?

Primordial soup (5, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954537)

We just learned earlier today that RNA is found in primordial soup. That's a lot more complex than a cocaine molecule. I bet you could find cocaine in primoridal soup too.

Indeed it's cocaine's simmilarity to other molecules in your blood that makes it work. One suspects therefore that because natural selection chose to use those as the currency for nuerotransmission that it's because they were present to begin with.

(to understand that you have to appreciate the standard model of the evolution of metabolic pathways. the model says, initially organims will just recruit some abundant molecule as their feedstock or for a transmitter. As that molecule starts to deplete the oranisms will evolve some synthetic pathway for producing that molecule from some other abundant sources. and so on till you get to a situation where the original molecule is scarce but is still used by the system.

thus the fact that we have receptors for cocaine-like molecules suggests that maybe cocaine like molecules were naturally abundant in pre-evolutionary times.

Re:Primordial soup (1, Funny)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955703)

It might just mean that after millions of years of putting things in our mouths, we happened to find one that hit that receptor, and helped us 'study for the big test tomorrow'.

Re:Primordial soup (2, Informative)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956417)

Uh Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, +4 Informative? Should be +5 Funny! I really wanna see some citations here.

Re:Primordial soup (1, Funny)

doti (966971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956447)

thus the fact that we have receptors for cocaine-like molecules suggests that maybe cocaine like molecules were naturally abundant in pre-evolutionary times.

so you're suggesting that, instead of going to barcelona, it would be better for him to travel back in time to the biogenesis era?

Re:Primordial soup (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27956549)

And where can I buy some of this "Primordial soup"? It sounds tasty...

Re:BRB (1)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954599)

Optimism, mostly.

Re:BRB (4, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954815)

"what makes you think this is any different than in a typical town in (insert state/country you live in)?"

Wasn't there a recent study in the US, that in the water supplies they found mostly pharmceutical drugs...even levels of birth control, etc.

I remember years back, hearing that you 'could' get tested positive for cocaine, just due to you handling currency. The reason being that not only were people using bills rolled up to snort it, but, that often money and the drugs were packed together for storage / transport. I'd heard that almost any bill could be picked at random, and test positive for traces of coke.

Anecdotal, but, sounded plausible to me.

Re:BRB (2, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956077)

Re:BRB (4, Informative)

teebob21 (947095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956531)

Not that it matters, but if you're going to rebut someone with a snopes link, at least state that it's true. Snopes debunks so many urban legends that the folks who can't be bothered to even RTFA will think you just debunked the whole cocaine-laced money thing.

**SNIFF** Man, George Washington smells good.

Re:BRB (0, Troll)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956671)

I wasn't rebutting anything, I was providing a link with more info on the subject. I really don't care what people who can't be bothered to read think.

Re:BRB (1)

sdpuppy (898535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956797)

Besides, this is Slashdot, there needs to be some techie information or link, such as, how did they determine that currency has traces of drugs?

Mass spectrometry, using "Direct Analysis in Real Time" ion source. You wave the thing you want analyzed in the instrument and you get your mass peaks data. No sample prep required (don't have to cut up your money or dissolving it up)

http://www.ionsense.com/drugsoncurrency.php [ionsense.com]

and a here is nice site describing the technique:

http://www.jeolusa.com/DesktopModules/Bring2mind/DMX/Download.aspx?TabId=337&DMXModule=693&Command=Core_Download&EntryId=171&PortalId=2 [jeolusa.com]

A newer mass spectral ionization technique, called DESI or "desorption electrospray ionization" is also used:

http://news.uns.purdue.edu/x/2007a/070227T-CooksDesi.html [purdue.edu]

also:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/ac071114x [acs.org]

Re:BRB (4, Informative)

pz (113803) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954919)

what makes you think this is any different than in a typical town in (insert state/country you live in)?

Maybe because of what one of the researchers on the study said, as quoted from the article: "Mar Viana, another researcher who worked on the project, said the levels [in Madrid and Barcelona] were far higher than those found in similar studies in Europe."

The article then goes on to cite another study in Italy where the highest concentration of cocaine found was 100 pg/m3 -- whereas in the Spanish study, the maximum found was 850 pg/m3. That's almost an order of magnitude difference between Spain and Italy. While there are many, many reasons this might be true, certainly it would appear that Madrid and Barcelona have much higher concentrations of drugs in the air than other cities.

Despite the overwhelming behavior to the contrary, it really is often worth reading the linked articles before expressing an opinion.

Re:BRB (1)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955579)

MThe article then goes on to cite another study in Italy where the highest concentration of cocaine found was 100 pg/m3 -- whereas in the Spanish study, the maximum found was 850 pg/m3. That's almost an order of magnitude difference between Spain and Italy. While there are many, many reasons this might be true, certainly it would appear that Madrid and Barcelona have much higher concentrations of drugs in the air than other cities.

Well, here's one hypothesis. Woody Allen made a recent film in Barcelona, and perhaps he had a repeat of this incident. [youtube.com]

Re:BRB (4, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956635)

Here's another hypotesis: Spain has the highest percentage of cocaine consumers of the world [wikipedia.org] (it even surpassed EEUU in 2005 or so). Drug in europe is introduced in our beachs, so here in spain it's quite cheap.

...Gone (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27956977)

Oh Man this just gets better and better...

Re:BRB (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955321)

between 29 and 850 picogram per cubic meter of air.

FTA: "between 29 and 850 picogram per cubic meter of air. "

We don't even USE metric over here in the States! DUH!

Re:BRB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27955615)

maybe this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/sep/07/spain.drugstrade

Re:BRB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27956379)

For those that are not paying attention to the math, a pico gram is a trillionth of a gram. Taking the worst case of 850 picograms, 0.00000000085 grams. Not sure of the combined street value of the drugs in question are, but I am certain that the overall value of the study on a scale of one to 10 0 +/- 0.00000000000000000001.

Well I don't know about cocaine (1, Informative)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954331)

But I can often smell our neighbours' cannabinoids. (Barcelona btw)

Re:Well I don't know about cocaine (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27955147)

Wait, you're sitting in Barcelona and commenting on slashdot.

You get the supergeek of the year award :)

Re:Well I don't know about cocaine (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955625)

Don't they have laws about cleaning up after their pets in Barcelona? If they won't take care of them, they should probably not have them.

Personal Use Pot is Legal in Spain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954337)

Up to three plants per person.

Kind of like Dune (0, Offtopic)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954361)

Giant airscrubbers on every block, faithfully tended by the loyal.

Re:Kind of like Dune (1)

stoned_hamster (1531291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954737)

Sign me up! besides, all of that cocaine in the air has to pass through the scrubbers, and that's where I'll be standing: Right at the front of one of those things! just imagine the buzzzzzzzzzzz

Re:Kind of like Dune (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954807)

besides, all of that cocaine in the air has to pass through the scrubbers

Awesome! I didn't even think about that when I wrote the original post! Honest!

Actually.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954381)

Your local drug area should be fine.
Maybe your own room, considering your first thought on the matter.
Wont somebody think of the children?

That explains Manuel (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954389)

He's from Barcelona.

Re:That explains Manuel (1, Funny)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954723)

C-K-What?

Who still breathes CITY air? (5, Funny)

CountOfJesusChristo (1523057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954405)

So this is how they will finally get people to buy bottled air?

Re:Who still breathes CITY air? (3, Funny)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954559)

Yes, the brand is going to be "PerriAir" [burrowowl.net]

You're being ripped off (1)

tobiah (308208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954589)

Everyone knows Arrowhead Pure Mountain Air is bottled in Atlanta.

Mmm... (1)

BJC (46012) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954417)

Is that why sourdough tastes so nice in San Francisco?

What about.... (2)

Yuan-Lung (582630) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954433)

downtown Vancouver?


I kinda wonder how much of the 'good stuff' is in our air..

Sometimes I get a bit of a buzz just walking down the street after work to the bus stop.

Re:What about.... (1)

spstrong (175063) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954915)

I get an "After work" buzz too, but it doesn't have anything to do with the air (other than it's NOT recycled cubicle air!)

Re:What about.... (1)

smithmc (451373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955485)

downtown Vancouver?

I kinda wonder how much of the 'good stuff' is in our air..

Not enough.

Got to say this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954439)

Spanish air cocaine for anyone?

Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954461)

Think about how small that is, and how large a cubic meter is. I'm not impressed. You can find a few molecules of almost anything almost everywhere, if you have sensitive enough equipment.

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (3, Funny)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954641)

Don't knock it, people have made millions by working with similar concentrations [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955331)

What you can't see; but what really matters in that case, is the gullibility concentration.

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (2)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955749)

Don't knock it, people have made millions by working with similar concentrations [wikipedia.org] .

I have an open enough mind that some people might claim my brain could fall out sometimes, but the last thing on earth I could ever believe in is homeopathy - particularly it's secondary notion that diluting and succussing a substance makes it stronger.
What a racket. You can milk the tiniest amounts of herbal or medicinal supplies over and over and make a fortune.

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (2, Funny)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955843)

Sorry, but the concentrations in the air is far too high to be effective, according to the homeopathic cultists. You'd have to dilute it down by at least another 100,000:1.

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954941)

Under US law, the air would be illegal to knowingly possess.

But then, so is Beef (contains GHB).

http://www.ceri.com/cti.htm [ceri.com]

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (1)

tshetter (854143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954987)

Getting positives for pot smoke in the air I can see being reasonable. Cocaine, opiates, perscriptions or other drug traces in sewage water...maybe...

But LSD in the AIR? No damn way what so ever.

How do you even detect such a minute amount to begin with? What is the actual process? (Serious there)

Unless this is replicated there must be some contamination.

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955227)

They didn't detect LSD, they detected lysergic acid. Lysergic acid is used in the production of LSD so most likely they happened to air near a clandestine lab.

Methinks a weekend in Madrid is in order :)

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955335)

happened to air

Doh, happened to sample air...

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (1, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955167)

Think about how small that is, and how large a cubic meter is. I'm not impressed. You can find a few molecules of almost anything almost everywhere, if you have sensitive enough equipment.

Did she believe you?

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956249)

Think about how small that is, and how large a cubic meter is. I'm impressed. Picograms per cubic meter?

If 1 m^3 of air weighs about 1.2kg, then they're into measuring something like 1 part in 41,000,000,000,000.* Now, I'm not in the air quality business (so I'll appreciate being set straight on my math and my expectations), but that sounds pretty darned sensitive to me.

(*Not accounting for the relative weights of cocaine v various air molecules.)

Re:Less than a billionth of a gram per cubic meter (1)

knightperson (935251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956651)

Aren't most air contaminants measured in parts per million or parts per billion? We are talking about picograms per cubic meter. A cubic meter of air weighs around 1 kilogram, so we are talking about 10 to the minus 12 grams per 1000 grams, or 15 decimal places difference. 29 to 850 parts per thousand trillion. I don't even know what comes after trillion! That's a concentration so low that you could find basically anything at that level. Completely meaningless statistic.

Hmm (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954483)

According to the picture, Nicoderm CQ is the new smack.

LSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954519)

But LSD is psychoactive at such low doses, I wonder if it actually does affect people.

Re:LSD (1)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954853)

LSD is psychoactive at low doses that are still five orders of magnitude larger than the concentration per cubic meter they reported for cocaine. I'm guessing that whatever concentration they found for LSD was a lot lower than that.

Re:LSD (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955793)

I usually inhale more than a cubic meter of air in a day.

Re:LSD (1)

genik76 (1193359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956109)

An adult inhales ca. 10.000 liters (10 cubic meters) per day, which is still only one order of magnitude more than 1 cubic meter.

Re:LSD (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956661)

How much of that air do you exhale?

Re:LSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954855)

im sorry. I have to say it:
Don't you mean LDS? [imdb.com]

Re:LSD (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954899)

How would LSD get into the air? People don't snort it, and smoking it would destroy it.

Re:LSD (2, Informative)

QRDeNameland (873957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954973)

But LSD is psychoactive at such low doses, I wonder if it actually does affect people.

If you RTFA carefully (yeah yeah, I know), they didn't actually find LSD but lysergic acid [wikipedia.org] which is a "precursor for a wide range of ergoline alkaloids that are produced by the ergot fungus and some plants".

I'm not a chemist, but the two possibilities I see is that (a) it is naturally occurring; or (b) someone in the area is running an acid lab (probably more likely). Either way, plain lysergic acid will not have any hallucinogenic/entheogenic effects at those minute concentrations.

Prague (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954551)

And, in Prague you would probably smell old beer belches?

Re:Prague (5, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954963)

As a current resident of Prague, I can confirm that the predominant smell in the city is indeed beer in any of its three forms: the hops-scented beverage, vomit, and piss.

Re:Prague (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955925)

And, in Prague you would probably smell old beer belches?

Farts. You'd smell the beer farts much more than the beer belches.

Theory: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954567)

It came from all the currency [snopes.com] floating around.

higher (1)

Smivs (1197859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954583)

So, the higher you go, the higher you get?

Only coked out scientists (2, Funny)

HandleMyBidness (848635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954651)

Would be arrogant enough to name their operation "Superior Council".

Not "Anglo-Saxon" Enough (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954851)

Would be arrogant enough to name their operation "Superior Council".

They should have gone with "Higher Body".

Molecular weight (4, Informative)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954669)

As I recall from my...err, never mind when that was...LSD is a relatively heavy molecule to be floating around. To have even a picogram detectable would imply a lot being manufactured.

Re:Molecular weight (1)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955117)

A

s I recall from my...err, never mind when that was...LSD is a relatively heavy molecule to be floating around. To have even a picogram detectable would imply a lot being manufactured.

Especially since one trip is only around 100 micrograms or so ...

But the article said "lysergic acid -- a relative of LSD ..." so it might just as like have been something not related to drug use. Lots of ergot-infected grass around?

Re:Molecular weight (1)

tshetter (854143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955143)

But even with a large scale operation you arent creating that much LSD. If you are staying somewhere around 1g = 10,000 doses at 100ug, and even a huge operation doing millions of dosages...I highly doubt very much is evaporating or spilling.

Add to the fact it is then highly dilute in liquid and very stable on blotter...I dont buy this a bit.

Re:Molecular weight (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955757)

As I recall from my...err, never mind when that was...LSD is a relatively heavy molecule to be floating around. To have even a picogram detectable would imply a lot being manufactured.

It should be easy to check for. LSD causes concentration problems and hallucinations in most... Oooh look, ponies!

Terrance McKenna (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954683)

WHAT???? No Cough Syrup was detected?!!!!
  I call TOTAL bullshit on the detection of lysergic acid*.
No way in hell even a GratefulDead concert would emit a detectable amount! Just more preposterous lies about all drugs are all bad, um-kay!?
*unless its not from microgram qtys of the drug LSD, but from an industrial source of another chemical that fools the detector - most likely just lying, so why not throw in PCP and BZ while they are at it?

Re:Terrance McKenna (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956101)

I call TOTAL bullshit on the detection of lysergic acid*.

Agreed. However, there are many natural sources of lysergine derivatives, and it's just possible there may have been contamination of the survey from a local gardening store. Examples include the Morning Glory and Hawaiian Baby Rosewood seeds (the latter may also be coated in strychnine - watch out). Then again, contamination is more likely to be at detectable levels if one of the technicians setting up the equipment had handled a few blotters recently...

Makes me wonder... (2, Funny)

ecotax (303198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954719)

Is it still legal to breathe there?

Re:Makes me wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27955083)

Breathing is still legal for now, but they've been taking serious steps toward curbing it in the general populace.

breathdeep? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954733)

Seriously? breathdeep? Do the people who tag these stories not know the difference in "breath" and "breathe"?

Maybe I shouldn't expect so much from the group who automatically tag stories withcorrelationisnotcausation, even if there's no claim of causation (or even correlation sometimes) in the story; haha anytime someone makes a blunder; whatcouldpossiblygowrong any time something risky is done; etc.

The tagging system is broken.

From someone in Barcelona. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27954799)

And I allways thought that the mist in my university Bar was Lost's "Thing" little brother...

Yay more useless studies. (1)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954835)

I could probably set up an air monitoring station in a public bathroom or just outside the door. And then be like "Oh no I have detected large amounts of feces in the air. Someone must have farted nearby whatever will we do? Curse you burrito, curse you!"

types www.cheapflights.com (0, Redundant)

hh4m (1549861) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954911)

/me is off to Spain, adios amigos...

Homeopathy (1)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 5 years ago | (#27954943)

So, it's basically 15X [wikipedia.org] cocaine, except diluted in air instead of water. Must be a great buzz. The downside: it's so addictive you die within minutes as soon as you stop breathing.

Almost all low cost downtown apartment buildings.. (3, Interesting)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955049)

Reek like crack cocaine. See the hallway in an apartment is designed as a giant cold air duct. Air comes out of the room into the hallway under the door. Then through the stairways. Thats why there is always the breeze when you open the fire door it is air getting sucked out of the building. If you live in an apartment check out the gap under your door it is required to be there by building and fire codes. Feel the draft?

Diabolical laughter (5, Funny)

laederkeps (976361) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955087)

Nobody expects the spanish intoxication!

Unreported marijuana pollen levels (5, Interesting)

flanksteak (69032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955125)

I grew up suffering from allergies in Phoenix and I remember reading the various pollen levels in the paper every morning during spring. I could see the different types of pollen levels and decide on whether or not to take my sleep-inducing antihistamines (this was waaay before Claritin and Zyrtec were readily available).

I later read that the local pollen reporting organization was prohibited from reporting the levels of marijuana pollen in the air, even though it often jumped into the top 5. I don't think I'm allergic to bud pollen, but I felt bad for those who were.

Re:Unreported marijuana pollen levels (1)

mr_stinky_britches (926212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956565)

whereabouts do you reside?

Re:Unreported marijuana pollen levels (1)

Meekuu (980433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956591)

...I don't think I'm allergic to bud pollen...

I don't think I ever saw someone allergic to bud pollen. Not even when the bud was smoked. Maybe if it was baked in a cookie with some milk. Lactose intolerance it's a bitch...

Re:Unreported marijuana pollen levels (1)

hairykrishna (740240) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956899)

None of the commercial growers would be producing any pollen. Female plants are grown exclusively; either from female only seeds or by killing off the male plants long before they produce pollen.

Homeopathy (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955239)

LMAO!

Spanish Fly... (1)

gmac63 (12603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955419)

So can we _now_ agree there _is_ such a thing as Spanish Fly? Huh?

ho8o (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27955649)

for succeesful Start a holy war states that there

Take It To The Limit (5, Funny)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955743)

Which absurdum shall we reducto it to?

It's Spanish air, which is to say the air in Spain. Except it's not, it's a couple cities. But it's just the part of those cities that have more of the stuff we're measuring. What's next, a particular apartment building? But really it's Carlos's flat. Mostly in the bedroom. Under the bed. Down by the foot of it. In that box there. No not that one, the other one, the one with the drugs in it. Yeah that's it, that's the air in Spain.

It's that air in those areas of those cities which is the Spanish air, and it has drugs in it. So the air in Europe is laced with drugs. Of course that means earth's atmosphere contains cocaine. In other words it's the solar system, meaning our galaxy, so it's the universe that has drugs in it. It's all the same, right?

So nice of them to be so honest about overgeneralizing. Right there in the headline and summary it says one thing except no, it says something else. Thankfully this takes all the pressure off the author when it comes to pesky details like accuracy and precision and stuff, and lets us get right to the business of it being important and all. That important thingy is what makes it important. Just as long as it's it's important, such as being Spanish air rather than some air samples from the drug areas of a couple large cities, that makes it newsworthy here on dot. And by that I mean slash. Or maybe some of each, it doesn't really matter. Oh, wait, there's more to it than that. It needs to have something more than important stuff to get posted. It should have some words. Doesn't matter which ones, because what it means can change from one sentence to the next in order to make it worth reading.

In other news... (2, Funny)

zig43 (1422373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955787)

Junkie hospitalized after attempting to smoke air filter.

Time has come to end the insanity (3, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27955849)

We've got to end this insane war on drugs. Legalize them, regulate them and tax them at a level that won't promote a black market.

Know what they call a cubic meter of air in Spain? (4, Funny)

serutan (259622) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956069)

A Royale.

Re:Know what they call a cubic meter of air in Spa (1)

BigBlueOx (1201587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956741)

+1 ROTFL o de week

Harbinger (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956133)

It's probably not long before cops with tricorder-like gizmos stop people on the street for being high.

Anesthetic gases are found in the air too (1)

olddoc (152678) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956155)

There is a natural concentration of ~300pp billion of Nitrous Oxide in the atmosphere according to this reference at Encyclopedia of Earth: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Nitrous_oxide [eoearth.org]

28 million molecules per breath (1)

cowtamer (311087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956383)

Seriously, you can probably find "29 and 850 picogram per cubic meter of air" of anything in air...

Molecular mass of cocaine = 303.353 g/ mol

29 picograms in 1000 L = .029 picograms in 1 L = 17 464 210 350 amu in 1 L / 303.353 amu = 57,570,587 molecules per liter / 2 = 28,785,293.5 molecules per breath

Grab your breathing masks!!!
[I'm sure my dimensions are off...but I don't think I'm that far off the estimate]

i think it was carl sagan's cosmos (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956663)

where he did some back of the envelope calculations... lung capacity, lifetime, time since death, amount of atoms in the air, relative rate of organic material exchange with the atmosphere, dispersal rates, etc...

and he came to the remarkable (or, rather, unremarkable) conclusion that every time you inhale, you inhale something like 200 atoms of socrates. i mean, 200 atoms that made up the living, breathing philosopher from ancient greece. go ahead, inhale: 200 atoms of the man known as socrates just went inside you

i guess you really need to "inhale" to find transcendant trippiness over that fact i suppose ;-)

anyway, look: they are talking picogram quantities here. whatever. you can find picogram quantities of all sorts of outlandish stuff in the air of any city. anthrax, estrogen, plutonium... its all rather sensationalistic and pointless

it's not just Spanish Air (1)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 5 years ago | (#27956711)

Drug smugglers use other airlines too you know!

Ahem... High Drug Areas? (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27957041)

Can't wait for the color coded map. "There is no stopping in the red zone"

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