Methylamine. The heritage of “Breaking bad”
This substance was unknowingly confused with ammonia for a long time, due to its smell and properties. Its history is as magnificent as it is deadly for millions of people. From a household substance, thanks to a strong concentration, it turned into a precursor of Ecstasy and Methamphetamine so familiar to us. It is this stinky villain who brings so much trouble to the world’s drug control, as he is difficult to control.
Methylamine was discovered as a close relative of ammonia, but is a separate and independent substance. The chemist Schal Wurtz found this out back in 1849, having studied this gaseous substance and paid with his health. I wonder what rating he would give Breaking Bad on Imdb? Indeed, today, storage of methylamine concentrate is allowed only up to 40%, if a more saturated one is found, then you have covered the chemist.
The difficulty of banning this precursor is that banning it means stalling multi-billion dollar drug companies, household chemicals, adhesives, herbicides and insecticides, and the agricultural sector. Its danger to humans did not stop manufacturers; thousands of people died in production due to negligence and lack of equipment. But the profit, unfortunately, is always greater. In addition, unlike ammonia, methylamine is very flammable.
At the same time, its role in the drug industry is great, thanks to the machinations and brains of drug lords and cooks – methylamine began to be purchased and synthesized in obscenely large quantities around the globe. Millions of Ecstasy pills flowed from Europe to the world, thanks to lax control in its territory. Tons of methamphetamine were brewed by chemists in artisanal conditions and also soaked into the nostrils of local drug addicts and neighboring countries. We can safely call methylamine one of the most controversial discoveries in chemistry. Almost on a par with Oppenheimer’s hydrogen bomb in civilian mortality.