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Cocaine detected in the air of 8 Italian cities

Italy has measurable levels of cocaine in the air in eight of its major cities, according to a study.
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Italian carabinieri show 800g of cocaine after Italian Police conduct a raid in the southern Italian city of Naples, 12 december 2006. (MARIO LAPORTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Italy has measurable levels of cocaine in the air in eight of its major cities, according to a study.

Italy's Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research found trace levels of cocaine and cannabanoids from marijuana use in Rome, Palermo, Bologna, Florence, Turin, Milan, Verona and Naples, The Atlantic reported.

The study was a government-sponsored follow-up to a 2006 study in Rome, the Ariadrugs Project, which found trace elements of cocaine in the air.

The researchers, who published their findings in the Environmental Pollution, also monitored nicotine and caffeine.

Marijuana and caffeine levels are higher during winter, with researchers reasoning that people may be self-medicating due to seasonal affective disorder, News.com.au wrote.

Nicotine and cocaine use, however, remained fairly consistent over the course of the year.

Researchers said levels of the drugs present in the air weren't significant enough to get anyone wasted simply from breathing.

Wired noted that while Sicily and Naples might the recognized hubs of illegal Mafioso activity, the majority of addictive substances trafficked to Italy were consumed in Turin.

The highest levels of trace elements detected were there, while the least amount was detected in Palermo.

The findings of the study may be used to shape health policies, the researchers said.

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