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Determination of illicit drugs and their metabolites contamination on banknotes


In this study, the illicit drug contamination (24 selected psychoactive compounds) of banknotes collected in the Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Austria, and during music festivals, was studied using methanol extraction followed by LC–MS/MS technique. Our results show that banknotes commonly used in the Czech Republic and Slovakia are contaminated mainly by methamphetamine (940 and 760 ng/note, respectively), and also by cocaine in the case of Slovak euro banknotes (max 1940 ng/note). The increase in the contamination by methamphetamine was observed during music festivals in Slovakia (max 4660 ng/note) and the Czech Republic (max 6400 ng/note). In case of cocaine, the highest average value was detected during Austrian music festival (2700 ng/note).

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This work was supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency under the contract No. APVV-0122-12, by Slovak National Monitoring Centre for drugs under the contract No. 122/2013 and the CENAKVA CZ.1.05/2.1.00/01.0024 project, the project LO1205 with a financial support from the MEYS of the CR under the NPU I program.

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Correspondence to Tomáš Mackuľak.

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Mackuľak, T., Staňová, A.V., Gál, M. et al. Determination of illicit drugs and their metabolites contamination on banknotes. Monatsh Chem 147, 39–43 (2016).

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  • Illicit drugs
  • Banknotes
  • Mass spectroscopy
  • Drug research
  • Ecology
  • Methamphetamine