METHAMPHETAMINE PRODUCTION HEALTH CONCERNS
After the meth cooking process has stopped, most of the hazards decrease. However, some residual contamination created from repeated "cooks" can persist long after all production has ceased. These residual chemicals can be volatilized or aerosolized during the cooking process and deposit on surfaces and in materials. Airborne contaminants are absorbed into soft materials including rugs, furniture, drapes, walls and other surfaces and may also contaminate the hating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system of the structure. Spills are common in meth labs and may impact floors, walls, appliances and other surfaces. Chemicals used in the cooking, which may be hazardous, may be dumped down the sinks, toilets or drains in the kitchen or bathrooms and leave contamination in the waste water system.
Chemicals may enter the body be being breathed, eaten, injected (by a contaminated needle or accidental skin puncture), or absorbed through the skin. Both acute (short term) and chronic (long term) health hazards may results from exposure to residual contaminants. Acute exposure hazards come from direct contact with product or waste and inhalation of product or wastes. Burns, tissue irritation and rashes may result from chemical spills and ski contact. Headaches, dizziness, nausea and other health effects may result from inhalation of vapors. Chronic exposure is contact with a substance over a long period of time (over 1 year). Some chemicals used in methamphetamine production present a danger of injury from fire or explosion. In addition, at the lab site there are possible risks of exposure to infectious diseases (e.g. HIV, hepatitis B) in the event of ski puncture by drug paraphernalia.