Officers in the West Kootenay city sent a seized powder to Health Canada for testing and results confirm it was cocaine that had been cut with phenacetin. (wuestenigel/Flickr)

Cancer-causing substance used to cut cocaine turns up in Nelson, B.C., drugs

Police warn the once-popular painkiller was banned in Canada in 1973

Police in Nelson, B.C., have issued a public safety warning after learning suspected cocaine had been cut with a potentially cancer-causing substance.

Officers in the West Kootenay city sent a seized powder to Health Canada for testing and results confirm it was cocaine that had been cut with phenacetin.

READ MORE: Alert issued after 12 overdoses in one B.C. city in one day

The police warning says the once-popular painkiller was banned in Canada in 1973 after being linked to cancerous tumours and kidney damage and can also contribute to death by reducing the amount of oxygen that blood can absorb.

An information sheet posted by Health Canada says phenacetin is no longer considered a drug but is listed as an industrial lab chemical, and is also found in a small number of hair dyes as a hydrogen peroxide stabilizer.

The release from Nelson says the phenacetin is listed as a cutting agent for cocaine on several internet sites but is new in the southeastern B.C. city.

Hundreds of kilograms of the substance have been uncovered by police across the Vancouver area, including 227 kilograms seized last November during a raid in Surrey.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Firefighters respond to gas leak on 2nd Street SE

Portion of Okanagan closed, residents of neighbouring home being asked to evacuate

UPDATE: Residents asked to manage attractants after bear sighting at school

Conservation Officer says people need to change behaviours to avoid destruction of bears

Chase RCMP see summertime spike in property crime

Thieves targeting fuel, vehicles and more in Chase, South Shuswap

Update: Unsafe U-turn to blame for collision near Chase

The crash took place on May 20 near Planter Road intersection

Clearcutting for subdivision a concern for councillor

City to prepare bylaw supporting secondary suites in proposed 40-plus lot residential subdivision

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Okanagan housing builds hope for 52 homeless individuals

The 52 unit supported housing apartment officially opens in Vernon

Gardens plant hope for Okanagan residents who were once homeless

Turning Points, in collaberation with Briteland, bring square foot gardening to Blair Apartments

Bear spray culprit released from Penticton RCMP custody

The individual who sprayed the bear spray at Compass House on May 22 has been released

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana growing ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

Popular Peachland park reopens

Hardy Falls Regional Park has been closed from flood damage since 2017

Summerland students to raise voices in public speech competition

Public speaking component is included in high school English program

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Okanagan mill taking two weeks downtime

Vernon-based Tolko Industries tells Armstrong employees mill will take downtime May 27 and June 3

Most Read