The equipment and processes used to produce meth can reveal the existence of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory. Here are some indicators of a meth lab:
- Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue.
- Occupants of the residence constantly going outside to smoke.
- Strong smell of urine or unusual chemical smells such as ether, ammonia or acetone.
- An unusual amount of cold tablet containers that list ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as ingredients.
- Jars containing clear liquid with a white or red colored solid on the bottom.
- Jars containing iodine or dark shiny metallic purple crystals inside of jars.
- Jars containing red phosphorus or a fine dark red or purple powder.
- Coffee filters containing a white pasty substance, a dark red sludge, or small amounts of shiny white crystals.
- Bottles containing sulfuric, muriatic or hydrochloric acid.
- Bottles or jars with rubber tubing attached.
- Glass cookware or frying pans containing a powdery residue.
- A large number of cans of camp fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starter fluid, lye, and drain cleaners containing sulfuric acid or bottles containing muriatic acid.
- Large amounts of lithium batteries, especially ones that have been stripped.
- Soft silver or gray metallic ribbon (in chunk form) stored in oil or kerosene.
Many of the above items are found in normal household products, but if they are gathered together in higher than usual amounts, it could indicate meth production activity.
If You Find a Lab
- Do not touch anything in the lab area and do not sniff any containers. Do not turn any electrical power switches or light switches on or off. Do not open or move any of the containers with chemicals in them.
- Whatever you do, do not smoke, eat or drink anywhere near a methamphetamine laboratory.
- If you come in contact with a meth lab, you should decontaminate yourself and your clothing as quickly as possible, wash your hands and face thoroughly, and call your local law enforcement officers.
- Cleaning up a clandestine meth lab is a dangerous and complicated process which should be handled by trained professionals. Do not attempt to clean up or dispose of a suspected meth lab yourself.