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FEMA: Hash Oil Extraction Causing Explosions

February 27, 2013  | 

Last week FEMA issued an alert stating that some explosions in residences and hotels have possibly been caused by a process using butane to extract and concentrate compounds from marijuana.

The extraction method is more common on the West Coast and can cause fires, injuries and explosions that blow out windows and walls. The explosions can be misidentified as pipe bombs or meth lab explosions.

"First responders, fire marshals, bomb squads and drug task force personnel should receive training to identify items used in hash oil extraction," FEMA announced in the statement.

Here is the rest of the announcement:

"Butane is necessary for the process and is available over-the-counter in 8-ounce cans. The extraction process uses one whole can and multiple cans will likely be at the scene. Butane is highly explosive, colorless, odorless and heavier than air and therefore can travel along the floor until it encounters an ignition source.

"The process also uses isopropyl or anhydrous alcohol, both flammable; extraction vessels; glass dishes; ether and coffee filters. The resulting substance is a thick yellow-orange oil called hash oil, honey oil, Butane Honey Oil (BHO) or dabs.

"Initial explosions can lead to secondary explosions and fires. In states with legalized use and availability of medical marijuana, these incidents appear to be increasing. In some of these states the legality of the actual production process is still in debate."


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