Illicit drugs manufactured from clandestine laboratories are often impure due to poor laboratory conditions, variations in synthesis and impure starting materials extracted either from common household products or pharmaceutical grade chemicals. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) can be utilised as a multi-element analytical tool to elicit the inorganic impurities which may be present in such samples, however the interpretation of the resultant data can be problematic and complex. This is particularly true when dealing with seized samples of unknown provenance. In this work, we have presented and interpreted inorganic profiles as a means to explore within and between batch variations in known provenance samples produced via two different popular synthetic routes. Samples were prepared from essential chemicals recovered from household materials and pharmaceutical medication available in the UK and extracted using different solvents. The presence or absence of elements in the final synthesised products could be linked to the synthesis route, salting out method and potentially the solvent used in the precursor extraction process.
- elemental profiling
- Hypophosphorous route
- Moscow route
NicDaéid, N., Jayaram, S., & Kerr, W. J. (2013). Elemental profiling using ICPMS of methylamphetamine hydrochloride prepared from proprietary medication using the Moscow and hypophosphorous synthesis. Science & Justice, 53(3), 278-285. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scijus.2012.11.003