Want to borrow a book from the library? Uhhmmm perhaps not

Who would have thought that people would be doing lines of coke and spreading herpes in a library?

No weed traces though…what a relief.

Scientists at the Catholic University of Leuven tested ten of the most popular books at the Antwerp library for microbes and bacteria. What did they find?

Herpes and cocaine.

Every title—including erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey by English writer E.L. James—tested positive for cocaine, while other titles had traces of herpes simplex virus 1, which is associated with cold sores. Microbiology professor Johan Van Eldere’s lab tested the books for herpes and toxicology professor Jan Tytgat’s lab tested them for cocaine and THC. In no cases was THC found.

The books included Belgian detective writer Pieter Aspe’s Tango andDimitri Verhulst’s Flemish bestseller The Misfortunates. Even children’s books, like the Jommeke comic strip, tested positive for cocaine.

Why is there so much cocaine in Antwerp? There is a ton of drug trafficking at the seaport, which made news last month when traffickers fused forces with hackers. Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium after Brussels with a population of about 512,000.

While the levels are too low to be harmful to those leafing through the books, they had roughly 25 to 40 percent more bacteria than the less-popular books. Still, if even the smallest trace of cocaine is found—let’s say an athlete gets a urine test by the World Anti-Doping Agency—they will be condemned, Professor Tytgat said.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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