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How to Spot a Meth Lab

How to Spot a Meth Lab

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Meth Laboratory Indicators

The equipment and processes used to produce meth can also reveal the existence of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 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 usual 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.


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