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Scientists from Italy's National Research Council (CNR) have discovered an even greater threat to Rome's population than getting run down by a Lambretta: particles of cocaine and marijuana in the atmosphere, centred around the city's Sapienza university.

According to Reuters, the boffins sampled the air in Rome, the southern city of Taranto, and Algiers. In all three locations they found traces of caffeine and nicotine, which shows "how widespread consumption of these substances is and how they remain in the atmosphere", a CNR statment explained.

Mercifully, the quantities of Bolivian marching powder discovered floating around the aforementioned Roman uni are unlikely to have Lindsay Lohan rushing for the next plane to the city. Even at their height during the winter months the concentration measured a modest 0.1 nanogrammes per cubic metre.

Nonetheless, the CNR's Dr Ivo Allegrini warned: "It is well documented that even small concentrations in the air of these pollutants can seriously damage health."

Regarding the highly-suspicious charlie epicentre at Sapienza university, the CNR's Dr Angelo Cecinato tactfully "warned against drawing conclusions about students' recreational habits". ®

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