Low levels of cocaine have been found on all the Irish bank notes tested in a recent survey.
As part of a major study into illicit drug use within Ireland, Brett Paull and colleagues at Dublin City University have taken advantage of recent developments in liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to detect contamination on Irish euro notes.
Traces of cocaine were found on every one of the 45 used notes analysed, and traces of heroin were found on three notes. Higher levels of cocaine were found on the higher denomination notes.
According to Paull, the presence of drugs on these bank notes could be an indication of the presence of the narcotics within the local community. Media reports suggest that the use of illegal drugs in Ireland has escalated dramatically recently.