Graphite furnace atomic absorption elemental analysis of ecstasy tablets
Review articleOpen access

AbstractSix metals (copper, magnesium, barium, nickel, chromium and lead) were determined in two separate batches of seized ecstasy tablets by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GFAAS) following digestion with nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. Large intra-batch variations were found as expected for tablets produced in clandestine laboratories. For example, nickel in batch 1 was present in the range 0.47–13.1 parts per million (ppm) and in batch 2 in the range 0.35–9.06 ppm. Although batch 1 had significantly higher 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine (MDMA) content than batch 2, barium was the only element which discriminated between the two ecstasy seizures (batch 1: 0.19–0.66 ppm, batch 2: 3.77–5.47 ppm).

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