HomevAbout MAPP-SDvResearchvPhoto GalleriesvNew & Special InterestvContact UsvPrivacy/DisclaimervLinksvResources


24-Hours After a Cook,
Contamination Continues


While many people acknowledge the dangers of being in an area where Meth is being manufactured, some might have questions about the lingering dangers after the cooking is done.  The National Jewish Medical and Research Center set up a controlled study to test what chemicals would still pose a hazard up to 24-hours following a cook.  It was designed to determine the primary chemical exposures associated with clandestine Meth labs, how the chemicals spread through an area and how long they last. It also looked at various activities, such as walking and vacuuming in the Meth lab, to measure exposures that may result from re-suspension of chemicals from contaminated surfaces.

The experiment took two days.  The first involved manufacturing two batches of Meth, each about three-grams worth, using the Red P method. Each cook took approximately four hours. 
Firefighter in HazMat suit crawls on floor

On the second day, researchers tested the residual chemical levels and Meth contamination 12-24 hours after the cook. Initial “no activity” samples were taken approximately 13 hours after the 2nd cook to determine the concentrations of chemicals prior to “medium” and “heavy” activities during the day. Medium activities, such as walking through the home, sitting on the couch, and opening/closing cabinet doors were performed 16 hours after the second cook. At 18 hours, heavy activities, such as vacuuming, fluffing pillows, and walking or crawling through the home were performed to evaluate a “worst case” scenario of re-suspension of residual Methamphetamine.

The researchers found:
• Detectable airborne concentrations of hydrochloric acid, iodine, and Meth will remain within a structure for at least 24 hours.
• Normal household activities, such as walking and vacuuming can re-suspend hydrochloric acid, iodine, and Meth from contaminated surfaces.
• Airborne Meth exposures on the day after a cook are similar to those seen in remote areas of a house during a cook.
• The majority of airborne Meth is present as very small particles or as a vapor. This indicates Meth – both during a cook or up to 24 hours after one - penetrates deep into the lungs to the gas exchange region where it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.

You can find details of the study, its sampling methods and design, and detailed results by visiting the Center’s website.


You may also be interested in:
Meth Lab Overview
Cleaning Methods
SD Recommendations

What is Meth?vDrug Endangered ChildrenvParents/TeensvProperty Issues
Personal Safety
vSchools/BusinessesvIndian CountryvMedical/Dental
2000 Prairie View Prevention, Inc.