Environmental hazards of Methamphetamine

Posted on : March 19, 2013 Updated on : March 20, 2013 in: Drug Education .


Environmental damage is another consequence of clandestine "Meth" labs. Meth lab "cooks" leave approximately six pounds of hazardous toxic waste for each pound of methamphetamine produced.

Lab operators often pour leftover chemicals and by-products down household drains, wells, storm drains, or directly onto the ground. Solvents and other toxic chemicals used in the methamphetamine manufacturing process pose long-term hazards because they remain in the soil and groundwater for years. Clean-up costs are extremely high because contaminated soil, buildings and other materials must be removed and incinerated.

Chemicals used to make Methamphetamine:

  • Solvents:  Acetone, ether/starter fluid, freon, hexane, methanol, toluene, white gas, xylene.
  • Corrosives and Irritants: Anhydrous ammonia, hydrolic acid (iodine), hydrochloric acid, phosphine, sodium, hydroxinde (lye), sulfuric acid (drain cleaner).
  • Metals and Salts:  Iodine, lithium metal, red phosphorus, yellow phosphorus, sodium metal

What are some other costs to society?

  • Injury and illness resulting from "meth" use and the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
  • Property damage from fires and explosions.
  • Contaminated buildings and poisoned soil, water and air from toxic elements and by-products.
  • Increased Federal, State and local spending ( taxpayer dollars) for additional law enforcement and social services.
  • Increased medical costs and emergency room use for "Meth" users.
  • In addition to the crimes committed by making, selling and using Meth, the drug contributes to domestic violence, child abuse, automobile accidents and the spread of infectious diseases (Meth is most commonly injected).

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