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

Salmon Arm skater captains national champion Junior A hockey squad

Nathan Plessis was wearing the C for the Brooks Bandits as they beat the Prince George Spruce Kings

VIDEO: Fire damaged Salmon Arm 7-Eleven demolished

7-Eleven representative says company interested opening elsewhere in Salmon Arm

Blind Bay residents want reduced speed limit

Residents along Golf Course Drive concerned with speeding drivers and risk to pedestrians

Support sought for family of mother who died at Shuswap campground

Chase Fire and Rescue Association hosting May 25 fundraiser

New Shuswap licensed child-care spaces receive funding

B.C. government announces $70,000 to support facilities in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Multiple black bear sightings in residential area near Okanagan elementary

Pictures of the bear have been posted on the Armstrong Community Forum frequently

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read