National Jewish Recognized for Methamphetamine Research

The White House today recognized National Jewish Medical and Research Center for its research identifying the toxic brew of chemicals cooked up in illicit methamphetamine laboratories , which threaten both residents and visitors to the labs, including children, social workers and law enforcement agents.

Dr. David Murray, of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), visited National Jewish and delivered the certificate from ONDCP Director John P. Waters, which cited National Jewish for "outstanding contributions and significant accomplishments in advancing research and knowledge of methamphetamine's consequences."

National Jewish researchers, led by John Martyny, PhD, CIH, followed closely on the heels of law enforcement agents raiding meth labs and tested the chemical levels in the air and on surfaces in the labs. They also conducted several controlled "cooks" in laboratories, as well as homes and motels slated for destruction soon afterwards. They found extremely high and potentially deadly levels of hydrogen chloride, anhydrous ammonia, and iodine produced during the cooks. They also discovered very high levels of methamphetamine distributed throughout residences where meth was manufactured.

"We are honored that the White House has recognized our methamphetamine research, which has helped protect law enforcement agents around the country" said Cecile Rose, MD, Acting Head of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Health Sciences at National Jewish. "We hope to conduct additional research to extend that protection to people who move into homes and apartments that were former methamphetamine laboratories, and to children found in homes where methamphetamine is manufactured and/or smoked."

National Jewish researchers worked in close collaboration with several agencies, including the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, North Metro Drug Task Force, U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Colorado Department of Public Safety, the Colorado Alliance for Drug endangered Children, and the Tri-County Health Department.

The presentation of the certificate was part of a nationwide outreach by ONDCP on National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. In addition to ONDCP's Dr. Murray and National Jewish staff, representatives from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, U.S. Senator Wayne Allard, and U.S. Representative Diana DeGette also attended the ceremony.

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