Clan Labs, fixed or mobile, create dangers for Police.


Clan Labs, fixed or mobile, create dangers for police.


“Has it occurred to you

that the police entering

clandestine drug laboratories

seem to look a bit ‘over the top’ when they enter

premises or search vehicles whilst wearing breathing

apparatus and special protective clothing?”


Article repeated from (siwa ltd) Safety Matters Winter Edition 2011 


According to Dave Lampard, Safety Officer with the W.A. Police Union 2004-2018(Now retired) the introduction of mobile ‘clan labs’ and the preparedness of criminals to use all manner of dangerous chemicals and procedures has created extremely dangerous situations for police officers, and other specialists assigned to dismantle the drug manufacturing apparatus.


Based on national data for ‘clan labs’ this is something officers, particularly general duties officers will increasingly come into contact with.


Record number


There was a record 600 clan labs dismantled around Australia last year (2010) with 141 in W.A. alone. Dave’s  counterpart with the NSW Police Association had told him of

situations confronting police officers that included:


Officers finding Thorium Nitrate and Thorium Oxide – both radioactive materials at premises in Summersby.


Finding Picric Acid at Kuringai, Friction, even picking it up can cause Picric Acid to explode.


In 2005 a lab was found to have hydrofluoric acid, a particularly dangerous acid that if an antidote is not applied immediately after exposure can only be treated by amputation to prevent death.


Sodium metal being found that explodes in water and Diethylether which is highly flammable.


Officers have suffered anhydrous ammonia burns to their lungs immediately after inhalation that can cause lung haemorrhage. Police Officers have been exposed to phosphene gas which is produced in the manufacturer of methylamphetamine ( speed) . This gas can cause death if inhaled even in moderate amounts.


Variety of compounds


They’ve come across a huge variety of other compounds ranging from acetones to benzyl products, chloroform, a range of acids and mercury compounds many of which can be highly toxic.


So it would seem the protective, over the top gear for police personnel who have to dismantle ‘clan labs’ and take evidence from them is likely to remain for a good while longer.


Every summer in Australia brings up the pill testing debate for patrons prior to attending a music festival.  The variety of pills is obviously not available from a legal source. They are all sourced from a drug dealer who may or may not be the manufacturer of the product. Certainly not the manufacturer if the drugs come from overseas.


Readers with teenage children need to be aware of the possible contents of the pills that are purchased by their sons and daughters. None of the range of chemicals shown in bold lettering is good for health.  No chance of a refund either if the pill testing indicates any harmful substance.

Category: OHSWA