Lead Contamination of Opium, Opium Tincture, and Methadone Oral Solution, in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


Toxicology Research Center AND Excellence Center of Clinical Toxicology AND Department of Clinical Toxicology, School of Medicine, Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: The present study is conducted with the aim to assess the lead contamination in opium tincture,
methadone oral solution, and opium.
Methods: 10 samples from each of the matters of opium tinctures, methadone oral solutions, and opium
(provided by the Law Enforcement Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran) were collected. Then, an atomic
absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) was used to measure lead concentration in each of the samples. Data
were analyzed using the SPSS software. A P value of 0.05 or less was considered to be statistically significant
Findings: In this study, the amount of lead measured in all samples was equal or less than 5 parts per million
(ppm) and the only exception was the lead level of 5.6 ppm in one of the opium tincture samples, which was
slightly higher than the standard lead level.
Conclusion: The results of the current study showed that lead was present in opium tincture, methadone oral
solution, and opium, but it was not in toxic levels. It is reasonable for opium derived medicinal products, but
the low levels of lead in opium may need to be addressed at different times in different regions of the country