Meth Lab Challenge Quiz – You wanted answers…

HMN – Here at, home of the ‘HazMat Quiz‘, we strive to produce content that enlightens, challenges, and well – just makes us all a little bit better.  The Meth Lab Challenge quiz was quite popular and we have had several inquiries as to the answers.  Each quiz is produced with the help of HazMatNation members and the answers are found in a related article. We won’t teach anyone how to make the stuff, although the video below shows a creative California Police Department who has offered to test your Meth for Gluten.

Before we give out the results I thought it would be nice to show how everyone (almost 1000) answered the quiz.  The results below are NOT necessarily the answer – but how we as a nation answered the quiz.

Did you take the quiz?  If you are this far and you haven’t, time to take it….

Meth Lab Challenge

Seems like an honest guy….

The Answers

How the Nation Answered.

The following is the Popular Vote, how everyone in the Nation answered.  Now, we understand there are likely some fat fingers out there so there could have been a few accidental answers… but overall, the leader in each category stands out for the most part.

Was the Nation correct?  Overall… well, not really.  No good thing goes without controversy and there were 4 that the popular vote missed.

Now before anyone gets upset… the goal of this quiz was to challenge as well as get you in the books… we never said you couldn’t cheat!

The Popular Vote –

Always room for improvement:

HCL Gas can cause throat and skin irritation at what ppm?

The majority of the Nation (72%) picked 25ppm as the amount of Hydrogen Chloride can cause throat and skin irritation.  We won’t argue that it could happen at 25ppm, especially if there is moisture in the air… but according to NIOSH the answer is 35ppm.  If this made you look it up, mission accomplished.

25 ppm72%
35 ppm21% Correct Answer

According to NIOSH the best answer, or correct answer is 35ppm.  Quite a bit of difference from the Nation so I’d say there is likely some good reason for that… and well, the Nation err’d on the side of safety.  So give yourself an orange slice if you got it wrong. 

Now on to NH3 also known as Ammonia…. The question was:

NH3 has an IDLH of?

100 ppm39%
200 ppm32%
300 ppm23% Correct answer
400 ppm5%

There was a pretty close split, but NIOSH is clear that the IDLH is 300ppm and therefore the correct answer.  Per NIOSH table, click here, you can see.  Controversy?  Sure… we have heard that this number may change.  Personally I was exposed to 4 times the IDLH at a training and only experienced discomfort.  The photo (gotta find the video) below shows when I sat in the direct NH3 blast at 4000 ppm – but wearing SCBA.  Smart?  Probably not, but I also made $50 back in the day eating radioactive tacos (it was for science).

Getting in to the job.

The next one missed by the Nation was:

What is the most dangerous at a Meth Lab Scene?

Flammable liquids43%
Suspects39% correct answer

True, a flash would be really bad over any sort of acid… but let’s face it… bullets win over flames in theRo-Sham-Bo (that is Rock, Paper, Scissors) game of first responder safety.  What is important in this question is we need to always look at the big picture.  Yeah the chemicals are bad, but don’t forget about the bad guys who are intentionally trying to hurt us.  The Nation nailed a prior question on who gets hurt most often at the Meth Labs… the cops.

Per NIOSH: Revised IDLH: 2 ppm

Basis for revised IDLH: The revised IDLH for iodine is 2 ppm based on acute inhalation toxicity data in humans [ACGIH 1980]. This may be a conservative value due to the lack of relevant acute toxicity data for workers exposed to concentrations above 2 ppm. However, since it has been reported that iodine-containing materials are more toxic than bromine-containing materials, a revised IDLH of 2 ppm for iodine is appropriate since the revised IDLH for bromine is 3 ppm.

And for the last question missed by the Nation:

Methamphetamine was first discovered in:

Biker gangs44%
Mexican Mafia15%
Japanese29% Correct

The Japanese had the meth rocking before the Harley was invented (1903).   Here is a great article on the history including its use in World War II.    

Even before outlaw gangs… Japan with the Meth win.

We look forward to providing more quizzes that challenge, inspire, frustrate, and make us all better.  Dave Millstein recently sent a quiz to go with his outstanding two part article on Nerve Agents Part II: Response Considerations which we will post soon.   If you have something you want to share let us know so we can all get a little smarter.

About The Author

Phil Ambrose

Phil Ambrose first worked as a HazMat technician pouring radioactive monkey urine into drums for decay. Phil is currently a Fire Captain/Hazardous Materials Specialist/Paramedic for a busy metropolitan fire department in Southern California and founder of and Phil holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Loyola Marymount University and trains first responders across the country using his patented Hazardous Materials Simulation Meter the HazSim Pro.

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