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Eeeeeeeewwwwwwww!

Wed Jan 19, 2005 8:40 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - The makers of the handy spray lubricant WD-40 proudly list 2,000 uses for their product, from unsticking rusty screws or squeaky bicycle chains to polishing frying pans.

But British police have found another -- keeping the public from snorting cocaine off toilet lids in bars.

Police in the English city of Bristol said Tuesday they have been advising pub and nightclub owners to spray the colorless lubricant on toilet seats and other flat surfaces in the lavatory that customers often use to snort drugs.

Apparently, cocaine and spray lube don't mix.

"A chemical reaction takes place with the cocaine that causes it to congeal and become a mess so it's unusable," a police spokesman said. "It's one very small, very cheap way in which you can very seriously restrict the amount of drug use in your premises."

Constable Graham Pease, a liquor licensing officer, said he discovered the trick a few years ago while discussing with pub owners how to reduce drug use on their premises.

"We were discussing with licensees how we could keep cocaine from being snorted from surfaces," he told Reuters. "It came about that we wanted to spray something on surfaces that cocaine would stick to. And somebody mentioned WD-40."

The new use seems to have taken its makers by surprise.

"Its not meant to be ingested. It says so clearly on the can so we wouldn't advocate it for that purpose. But people will use it how they will," said a British spokeswoman for the San Diego, Calif-based WD-40 Co.

At Bar Excellence in Bristol, deputy manager Julian Barraud said it was part of the drug fighting arsenal.

"It does work. It's one of the tricks that we've got to try and tackle the problem," he said.

© Reuters 2005. All rights reserved.

www.reuters.com

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