Chronic Toxicity: The meth lab toxins that keep on giving

What kind of health problems can be caused by living in a home that’s been used as a meth lab? Living in a former meth lab home that is still contaminated with meth lab chemicals can have long term effects on your health over a period of months or years . Long term exposure to toxic chemicals like those created by meth labs is known as chronic toxicity.

Chronic toxicity, put simply, is the illness that arises after you’ve been exposed to small amounts of toxic chemicals over a long period of time. According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, lengthy exposure to toxins, like meth lab chemicals, results in chronic toxicity.

exposure to the toxic chemicals used to make meth can cause chronic toxicity

Chronic Toxicity: What are the toxic chemicals used to make meth?

Exposure to chemicals used to make meth can include the inhalation or ingestion of brake cleaners, engine starting fluid, drain cleaners,paint thinners, ammonia, rock salt/iodine, road flares, batteries, gas additives, gun cleaners, lye, lantern or camp stove fuel, and meth residue.

People who are risk of chronic toxicity include not only meth cooks and those who are in the house when they’re making it, but also those who live in the home long after the meth lab has been shut down. Children, especially babies and young children, who live in a former meth lab for an extended period faced an increased risk of experiencing the health effects caused by exposure to meth lab chemicals. First responders including police, firefighters, and child protection agents also face an increased risk of chronic toxicity.

A report published by the Wyoming Department of Health, suggests that even though there are no long term studies about chronic exposure to meth lab chemicals, there is evidence that suggests they pose a serious health risk. In the report, the Partnership for a Drug Free America says that there is “scientific evidence from animal and human toxicity studies that shows the chemicals used to manufacture meth can cause a range of health effects include cancer, damage to the brain, liver and kidneys, birth defects, and reproductive problems, such as miscarriages.”

Originally posted:  April 20, 2009

Photo of meth lab chemicals: Courtesy of Apex Bioclean

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