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European Commission proposes tighter controls on drug precursor chemicals by Nick Boley
September 27, 2012, 12:30
Filed under: chemicals, Customs, EU Information | Tags: ,

The European Commission has proposed that tighter controls be brought in to cover drug precursor chemicals. Chemicals used in the manufacture of illicit drugs also have many legitimate uses, such as in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, perfumes and plastics.

The first proposal covers ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which are used to make flu and allergy medicines, but are also illegally exploited to produce methamphetamines (a.k.a. meth, ice, speed or crack).

The second proposal covers trade in acetic anhydride which, although legally traded for use in many industrial processes, is also used in the illicit manufacture of heroin.

These proposals will require authorities to be able to identify umambiguously these chemicals, as well as measuring them in mixtures, for effective enforcement of any subsequent regulation.

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Chemicals are used to make a wide variety of consumer goods, as well as thousands of inputs to agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and service industries. Chemical processes such as chemical reactions are used in chemical plants to form new substances in various types of reaction vessels. In many cases the reactions are conducted in special corrosion resistant equipment at elevated temperatures and pressures with the use of catalysts.

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