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Dangers  
Dangers to Children Living at Meth Labs:
Chemical contamination

The chemicals used to cook meth along with the toxic compounds and by-products resulting from its manufacture produce toxic fumes, vapors, and spills. A child living at a meth lab may inhale or swallow toxic substances or inhale the secondhand smoke of adults who are using meth, receive an injection or an accidental skin prick from discarded needles or other drug paraphernalia, absorb methamphetamine and other toxic substances through the skin following contact with contaminated surfaces; clothing, or food, or become ill after directly ingesting chemicals or an intermediate product. Exposure to low levels of some meth ingredients may produce headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Exposure to high levels can produce shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, dizziness, lack of coordination, eye and tissue irritation, chemical burns (to the skin, eyes, mouth, and nose), and death. Corrosive substances may cause injury through inhalation or contact with the skin. Solvents can irritate the skin, mucous membranes, and respiratory tract and affect the central nervous system. Chronic exposure to the chemicals typically used in meth manufacturing may cause cancer, damage the brain, liver, kidney, spleen, immunologic system, and may result in birth defects.

Normal cleaning will not remove methamphetamine and some of the chemicals used to produce it. They may remain on eating and cooking utensils, floors, countertops, and absorbent materials. Toxic by-products of meth manufacturing are often improperly disposed outdoors, endangering children and others who live, eat, play, or walk at or near the site. For every one pound of meth made, 7 pounds of toxic lab waste is produced. Most of this dangerous toxic waste will be dumped secretly in your community.


Chemical contaminated shower shows evidence of drainage problems probably caused by acid damage to the pipes.

Extensive toxic chemical contamination on the carpet where children play. Notice the white plastic buckets containing flammable solvents.

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