Phosphine exposure from a methamphetamine laboratory investigation

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44 Scopus citations


Background: Law enforcement personnel may be exposed to a variety of hazardous materials during investigation of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories. Case Report: A 28-year-old forensic specialist investigating a methamphetamine lab was exposed to phosphine without respiratory protection at approximately 2.7 ppm for 20-30 minutes. Shortly following exposure she developed dizziness, cough, headache, and diarrhea, although initial medical evaluation within 1-2 hours was unremarkable. Pulmonary examination at 4 and 7 days postexposure revealed bilateral rhonchi. The cough was worse with exertion, and persisted despite β-agonist and steroid inhaler treatment. Conclusions: This is apparently the first published case of symptomatic occupational phosphine exposure in a law enforcement officer during investigation of a methamphetamine laboratory. If phosphine exposure is suspected, the possibility of delayed pulmonary toxicity should be recognized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-168
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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