If you think you have found a clandestine meth lab, do not touch or sniff anything! The ingredients are often household products that are basically harmless alone, but can have serious toxic and explosive consequences when combined. Follow these recommended guidelines. (Information on how to recognize a meth lab are further down the page.)
It is best to not even approach a suspected meth lab.
Don’t touch anything, or your own clothing and body will be contaminated.
Don’t eat, drink or smoke nearby.
Don’t turn on any power switches, move any containers or touch the garbage.
Contact local authorities.
Call Traumatic Cleanup & Restoration for testing and professional decontamination if the meth lab is on your property. Cleaning up after a meth lab is a dangerous and complicated process which should be handled by trained professionals.
Signs of a Meth Lab in Your Neighborhood
Any single activity is not proof of a clandestine methamphetamine lab in your area, but multiple factors could be a signal to contact your local authorities. DO NOT CONFRONT ANY SUSPICIOUS PEOPLE OR ENTER A SUSPECTED METH LAB. Some common habits of drug makers and dealers are:
Frequent visitors at all times of the day or night
Occupants appear unemployed, yet seem to have plenty of money and pay bills with cash.
Secrecy, paranoia and suspicion of others.
Extensive security or signs, landscaping that blocks the view of the structure.
Windows blackened or curtains always drawn.
Occupants go outside the house to smoke cigarettes.
Occupants set garbage in someone else’s collection area.
Some indicators to watch for, as listed by The Drug Enforcement Administration, are as follows:
Propane tanks that have fittings that have become blue
Strong and unusual chemical smells or the smell of urine
Glass cookware that contains a powdery residue
Jars or bottles to which tubing is attached
Jars that contain a red or white solid at the bottom of a clear liquid
Jars that contain a dark purple or red powder
Jars that contain metallic dark purple crystals that are shiny
Bottles of muriatic, sulphuric, or hydrochloric acid
A large number of cold medication bottles that list pseudoephedrine or ephedrine as an ingredient
Large numbers of lithium batteries, particularly if they have been stripped
Large numbers of cans of acetone, starter fluid, camp fuel, drain cleaner, and/or lye
Coffee filters that contain shiny white crystals, a white pasty residue, or a dark red slurry
Oil or kerosene in which is stored soft gray or silver metallic ribbon
Signs of a Meth Lab on Your Property
Landlords who make unannounced inspections of their property (within the provisions of the law) may recognize equipment and supplies commonly used in meth production. Remember, do not confront the tenant or enter the suspected lab, but contact local law enforcement immediately. Some common ingredients in meth that could be suspicious if found together are: