Writing in the journal Environmental Pollution, Angelo Cecinato of the Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research in Rome, says that Turin had the highest amounts of residual cocaine, while Bologna and Florence had the greatest amounts of atmospheric cannabis residue.
Palermo residents appear to use the least amount of drugs. The ambient levels are far too low to have any effect on the human population, but Cecinato says that the findings can help determine how much of the drugs are being used, and at what time of year.
The findings indicate that while the use of cocaine and nicotine was steady year-round, caffeine and cannabinoid levels were far higher in the winter months than the summer.
The researchers believe seasonal depression during the darkest and coldest months of the year could be responsible for that trend.
Past studies revealed that higher levels of cocaine in the air correlated with addicts' requests for treatment in those areas, while there was little or no correlation between the high levels and police seizures of the drug.
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