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Occupational health hazards to first responders from clandestine methamphetamine labs.
McFadden-D; Kub-J; Fitzgerald-S
J Addict Nurs 2006 Jan; 17(3):169-173
Methamphetamine is synthesized in clandestine drug labs from common household products and over-the-counter medications. Production methods involve numerous chemical reactions that can cause fire, explosion, and release of toxic gases and waste, thereby making these labs potential hazardous waste sites. First responders (fire fighters, police officers, and Emergency Medical Services personnel) are at risk for numerous health problems when they come in contact with clandestine methamphetamine labs during the course of their jobs, including eye and respiratory irritation, lung damage, burns, and violence perpetrated by methamphetamine producers and users. The objectives of this article are to review current literature on clandestine methamphetamine labs, describe methamphetamine production processes, describe the risks to first responders from the occupational health hazards generated by these labs, and, finally, discuss prevention strategies.
Drug-abuse; Drugs; Chemical-reactions; Toxic-effects; Toxic-vapors; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Fire-fighters; Police-officers; Emergency-responders; Author Keywords: Methamphetamine; Meth; Methamphetamine Production; Clandestine Drug Lab; Clan Lab; Illicit Drug Lab; Occupational Health Hazard; Methamphetamine Exposure
Diane McFadden, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Room W7503A, Baltimore, MD, 21205
Issue of Publication
Journal of Addictions Nursing
Johns Hopkins University
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division