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Phosphine exposure from a methamphetamine lab investigation.
J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 2001 Mar; 39(2):165-168
Law enforcement personnel may be exposed to a variety of hazardous materials during investigation of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. A 28-year-old forensic specialist investigating a methamphetamine lab was exposed to phosphine without respiratory protection at approximately 2.7 ppm for 20-30 minutes. Shortly following exposure she developed dizziness, cough, headache, and diarrhea, although initial medical evaluation within 1-2 hours was unremarkable. Pulmonary examination at 4 and 7 days postexposure revealed bilateral rhonchi. The cough was worse with exertion, and persisted despite B-agonist and steroid inhaler treatment. This is apparently the first published case of symptomatic occupational phosphine exposure in a law enforcement officer during investigation of a methamphetamine laboratory. If phosphine exposure is suspected, the possibility of delayed pulmonary toxicity should be recognized.
Law-enforcement; Law-enforcement-workers; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Hazardous-materials; Laboratories; Exposure-levels; Exposure-assessment; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Health-hazards; Occupational-health
Issue of Publication
Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division