Meth Lab Cleanup >> Methamphetamine Manufacturing

Methamphetamine Manufacturing and Common Manufacturing ChemicalsIn Kentucky, the majority of known meth Methamphetamine Manufacturing labs have used the Anhydrous Ammonia also known as theBirch or Nazi method (See Figure A, Methamphetamine Manufacturing Processes). These labs areable to produce small quantities of meth in a short period of time, earning these operations the name"user labs”. This process involves the extraction of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine from variouspharmaceutical products with organic solvents.
Once extracted, the ephedrine and/or pseudoephedrineis reduced using lithium or sodium metal in anhydrous ammonia Methamphetamine Manufacturing to create methamphetamine base.Subsequent acidification with hydrochloric acid generates the desired methamphetamine-hydrochloride(HCl) product – a process referred to as "salting out".Specific hazards presented by an anhydrous ammonia lab while cooking include flammability, irritation,toxicity, and oxygen deprivation created by the concentrated ammonia atmospheres.
In addition, lithiumand sodium metals are extremely corrosive and react violently with water resulting in a fire or explosion.The other common method is the Red Phosphorous method (commonly called the "Red P" method).This production method also uses Methamphetamine Manufacturing extracted ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as their chemical precursor.However in this method, the reduction of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine occurs through a series ofchemical substitutions using hydriodic acid and red phosphorus. Due to the nature of this chemicalprocess, the "Red P” method often generates more side products and impurities that increase theproduction hazards.
 Like the anhydrous ammonia method, the final methamphetamine-HCl collectionstep involves a "salting out" process with hydrogen chloride gas. Specific hazards presented by a "Red P” lab while Methamphetamine Manufacturing cooking include the production of phosphine gaswhich is flammable, explosive, and a respiratory tract irritant, the risk of red phosphorus converting toyellow (or white) phosphorus which can ignite spontaneously in moist air, and the acutely corrosiveatmospheres due to the use of acids and sodium hydroxide. Red phosphorus: Ingredient that can be used in the manufacture of meth; the strike plate on abook of matches is a frequently used source of red phosphorus.
Related hazardous material or hazardous waste: Any hazardous waste as defined in thischapter or hazardous material as defined in KRS 174.405 that is related to the clandestineproduction of Methamphetamine Manufacturing methamphetamine.Release: The spilling, leaking, or discharging of a hazardous substance into the air, soil orsurface or ground water.Remediation: See decontamination.
Removal: The act of elimination, transfer or withdrawal of a substance from a location.Residues: Contamination that remains Methamphetamine Manufacturing at a site after cleanup has been completed.Contaminants may be left behind at a site if the concentrations are too low to cause harm, or if itis not cost-effective to remove all of the contaminants and the risks are deemed minimal.Respirator: A device designed to protect the wearer from inhalation of harmful atmospheres orair containing harmful chemicals and particulates. Respirators are required upon initial entranceinto a clandestine drug lab.
Risk: The probability that something may cause injury or harm.Route of Exposure: Way people come into contact with a hazardous substance. Threecommon routes of environmental exposure are inhalation, ingestion, or dermal contact.Semi-volatile: Substances that Methamphetamine Manufacturing slowly evaporate at normal temperatures and/or pressures.Septic System: A small scale, typically private waste management system. Most often usedfor homes/facilities in rural areas, the system usually contains a settling tank and a drainfield,which may cause groundwater contamination if not working properly.
Solvent: A liquid capable of dissolving or dispersing another substance (for example, acetone,methanol or mineral spirits). Exposure to solvents can irritate the skin, mucous membranes,respiratory tract, and cause adverse effects on the central nervous system.Source of Contamination: The place where a hazardous substance comes from, such as alandfill, waste pond, incinerator, storage tank, or drum. A source of contamination may be thefirst part of an exposure pathway. - 37 -Sources of Airborne Particulates include dust, combustion products associated with motorvehicle or non-road engine exhausts, emissions Methamphetamine Manufacturing from industrial processes, combustion productsfrom the burning of wood and coal, and reactions of gases in the atmosphere.Structure: A dwelling, building, or other constructed or pre-fabricated enclosure.
Non-occupied (Non-occupancy) Structure: A structure not intended for primary occupancy bypeople. These structures include but are not limited to detached garages, barns, pole barns,sheds, outbuildings, silos and chicken coops.Occupied (Occupancy) Structure: A structure, where occupants inhabit for an indeterminateamount of time, as to where they would be exposed to substances. These structures include Methamphetamine Manufacturing but are not limited to a residential structure, such as a house, apartment, or manufactured home andany structure on the property that has a similar potential for exposure including child playhouses,etc. Any structure that is attached to an occupancy structure such as an attached garage isconsidered part of that structure.
 Any structure that, in the future, might be converted to anoccupancy structure should be cleaned as such.Substance: A material of a particular kind or chemical constitution that is deemed harmful andusually subject to legal restriction.Surface Material: Any porous or Methamphetamine Manufacturing nonporous substance common to the interior of a building orstructure, including but not limited to ceilings and walls, window coverings, floor and floorcoverings, counters, furniture, heating and cooling duct work, and any other surface to whichinhabitants of the building or structure may be exposed.Surface Water: Water on the surface of the earth, such as in lakes, rivers, streams and ponds.Surrogate: A substitute.
Toxic Agent: Chemical or physical (for example, radiation, heat, cold, microwaves) agents,which under certain circumstances of exposure, may cause adverse health effects to livingorganisms.Vapor: The Methamphetamine Manufacturing gaseous phase of a substance that is normally liquid or solid. Some hazardoussubstances can vaporize (become vapor) while in the soil or groundwater, filling air spaces in thesoil or intruding into overlying buildings.Ventilation: To circulate air, typically replacing stale or noxious air with fresh air. This is arequired first step in the decontamination process.
Volatile: Evaporating readily at normal temperatures and pressures. Volatile substances canbe readily vaporized.Volatile Methamphetamine Manufacturing Compounds (VOCs): Compounds that are in most cases organic in composition andevaporate readily into the air. VOCs include substances such as benzene and toluene, whichcan be used in the manufacturing of meth. Ammonia is also considered a volatile compound butis inorganic.

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