ELERTS Intel Flash Report: Chemical Smoke Hazard to Public and Staff Safety

February 23, 2023

Date: February 23, 2023

Location: Transit Agencies 

Event: Widespread increase in reporting of chemical drug smoke on public transportation 

Impacts: Safety and health of passengers, first responders, transit operators, and safe operation of vehicles 

Reporting: Increased reporting of harmful vapors from individuals smoking methamphetamines, fentanyl, and crack cocaine in close proximity to passengers and operators. 

Analysis and Implications: Reporting suggests potential for violence, threat to safe operations, and potential accidental overdose. Effects of ingestion of second-hand smoke and exposure, of even small amounts of illicit substances, can cause respiratory depression and respiratory arrest, leading to death. 

The CDC recommends first responders entering an area with these contaminants use NIOSH-certified Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) gear and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), with Level A protective suit. 

Note: Individuals that use illicit substances develop tolerances that unsuspecting passengers and staff do not have. Trace amounts of these substances present a life-threatening hazard to the public. 

Please see below incident reporting for internal trend analysis and mitigation. 

  • “I’m on *** train there’s a guy putting together packages of fentanyl out in the open”

  • “Person in the train next to me was smoking a crack pipe blowing white smoke at me. I am  pregnant 🙁 they continued to smoke and I got off and switched cars.  So dangerous, especially to my unborn child. “
  • “Smoking crack or meth and shooting dope !!! This should not be allowed !! I do not do drugs so why should I be subjected to it !!!! “

  • “A dude with an axe is smoking meth downstairs at the end of  **** station.”

  • “There is a women on the *** line smoking either meth or crack under her blanket I see the flame from the lighter I am a former crack and meth smoker when you blow the smoke out it doesn’t smell. “

  • “I take **** line to work m-f. There are frequently people smoking weed and hard drugs.  Tonight someone lit up crack/meth that I noticed from INHALING the fumes so I jumped off early at ***** station.

For more information contact info@elerts.com or call 877-256-1971


Awareness is everything.

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