Drug Endangered Children Topics
Drug Endangered Children
Public Safety Hazard
Meth labs are increasingly becoming a public safety hazard.
Even months after a lab has been closed, chemical residue that has seeped into the carpet or wood can be dangerous. Police and Firefighters must be specially trained to handle methamphetamine laboratory situations because of the likelihood of explosions, invisible poison gases and other dangers. People who come into contact with the highly toxic chemicals used to make the drug can become sick and prolonged exposure can lead to cancer and death.
- One key ingredient, hydriodic acid, can dissolve flesh in seconds and has fumes so toxic small amounts can collapse the lungs.
- The heating of red phosphorus creates phosphene gas, which is so deadly that one sniff kills.
- Meth makers also use solvents like ether, chloroform and freon. A gallon of ether has the same explosive properties as five sticks of dynamite.
- Lab mistakes can be catastrophic. Two men died in a California lab after they dropped a cask of cooking meth, releasing phosphene gas. One victim had stuffed dirt in his mouth in a futile effort to ease the burning.
The majority of methamphetamine labs located in New Mexico are of the smaller type where the “cooks” are using mason jars or sometimes pyrex dishes. These labs are extremely dangerous for several reasons:
- The operators are dealing with explosive chemicals and are not trained in chemistry.
- These lab operators are not using the proper type of glassware that would prevent explosion or exposure to deadly gases released from the “cook.” These operators are commonly users of “crank” and are under the influence while operating the lab.