Meth: Chemical Gasses & Vapors

Meth: Chemical Gasses & Vapors

Chemical gasses and vapors can have significant, detrimental health impacts. Even short-term exposure to a Methamphetamine (Meth) Lab can lead to serious respiratory problems.

Phosphine, iodine, and hydrogen chloride are all noxious gasses that are by-products in the production of meth.

Chemical Vapors in an Active Lab

Chemical% OSHA
Hydrogen Chloride (HCL)487%


  • Causes lung damage and suffocation.
  • Is a gas, product of overheating.
  • Present in “Death Bags.”
  • Extremely flammable.

Phosphine Exposure

  • Phosphine is always a gas at room temperature.
  • Complete ventilation of a house over a period of several days will eliminate most residue.
  • Primarily a hazard for first responders.
  • Not considered to be a long-term hazard for occupants.

Hydrogen Chloride and Iodine

  • Both are upper respiratory irritants.
  • Hydrogen chloride comes off of the cooking process.
  • Iodine generally leaves an irritating residue.

* National Jewish Hospital 2003 Study

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