Occupational health hazards to first responders from clandestine methamphetamine labs

Diane McFadden, Joan Kub, Sheila Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of addictions nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Clan Lab
  • Clandestine Drug Lab
  • Illicit Drug Lab
  • Meth
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methamphetamine Exposure
  • Methamphetamine Production
  • Occupational Health Hazard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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