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Meth Labs Dangers and Risks

Meth Labs

Meth labs are illegal (clandestine) drug labs that contain toxic dangerous chemicals, materials and paraphernalia that are used for the illicit production of Crystal Meth. Not only are meth labs illegal but they are extremely dangerous due to the toxic chemicals and paraphernalia needed to process (cook) crystal meth.

There are many different ways to make meth, not everyone uses the same chemical recipe. Most of the chemicals are extremely toxic and hazardous when cooking meth, when these toxic chemicals are mixed together they form new hazardous toxins and vapors. Cooking meth is a very serious and dangerous process which poses danger to those producing the meth as well as surrounding neighbors and the neighborhoods.

Where are Meth Labs?

Meth labs can be found just about anywhere; they're easily set up and can be torn down just as easily. Some of the places meth labs have been found include:

  • Motel rooms
  • Apartments
  • Rental homes and properties
  • Storage units
  • RVs and pop-ups
  • Storage sheds
  • Garages
  • Vacant buildings
  • Campgrounds
  • Barns
  • Rest areas

total of all meth lab incidents map

Thousands of clandestine labs have been seized throughout the United States.

This doesn't stop the production of methamphetamines like crystal meth though.

People continually find places to set up shop but the seizures have helped.

Slow down the illegal manufacturing of this illegal drug.


Why are Meth Labs so Dangerous?

There are many reasons illegal clandestine meth labs are dangerous, the toxic chemicals that are used in the production of this illegal stimulant are dangerous to touch and breathe. Fumes and gases are inhaled which cause serious respiratory problems not only to those that illegally manufacture crystal meth but surrounding neighbors. The fumes and toxic vapors get into the carpets and furniture as well as the ventilation system. The powdery dust particles are dangerous when inhaled and ingested, it's impossible to keep this residue from contaminating everything.

Many of the toxic chemicals used to manufacture meth causes serious medical problems associated with skin exposure, eye irritation and infection and respiratory health risks. It is equally dangerous for those living around a meth lab because chemical particles and toxic dust gets into food, anyone living or staying there ingests the toxic chemicals which causes serious internal medical problems.

Chemical reactions during the production of meth can take place and start fires or actually blow up, this has happed many times. This risk is taken each and every time meth is illegally manufactured and anyone in the surrounding area is in danger.

WARNING: This video may contain content that is graphic and not suitable for children.

The fumes and gasses get into the air from fires and explosions which can cause serious health problems to a vast amount of people. Unfortunately those that produce meth don't care about the environment, people, their own families or themselves for that matter. The only thing they care about is not getting caught and lining their own pockets which is extremely sad.

When meth is produced there is an enormous amount of toxic chemical waste, at least 5 to 7 pounds per pound of meth. This dangerous chemical waste is discarded down toilets, sewers, drains and is sometimes buried underground. When the toxic waste makes its way to rivers, lakes, and streams it effects every form of wildlife there is. People, animals, fish, and birds are all in danger due to meth lab production.

Family Environment and Meth Labs

Family members and others who live in the same environment where a meth lab exists don't realize just how dangerous this is. Not only are the vapors and fumes toxic but chemical contamination is also a serious danger for those living in the lab environment. Children, adults and pets inhale second-hand smoke from adults who are using meth and this is very dangerous. Powders and other chemicals that are in the air find their way onto the hair and skin of young children and other adults which gets absorbed through the skin. These same chemicals get into foods lying around and cause the people living in these labs to become sick.

When an adult or child is exposed to small levels of the chemicals used to produce meth it can cause headaches, nausea, light headedness, and fatigue. Higher levels of toxic chemicals used in the production of meth causes coughing, chest pains, breathing problems, light headedness, coordination problems, chemical burns to the skin, eyes and nose and death.

Children living in this environment play with toys that are exposed to these chemicals, putting them in their mouth and taking stuffed animals to bed with them.

The sad thing is that normal cleaning methods can't get rid of many of the toxic chemicals. These dangerous chemicals get into your clothes, utensils used for cooking and into your bedding. There is no way to be completely safe in a meth lab environment. If a person is exposed to these chemicals on a continuous basis it can cause cancer, damage to the liver, kidneys, spleen, and brain. It's devastating to know that young children are being exposed to these dangerous toxins and their parents just don't care.

Children and Meth Labs

It's not uncommon for children to be living in the homes or dwelling of a meth lab. This is extremely dangerous because they are exposed to not only the dangerous toxic chemicals, gasses and vapors, but firearms, the risk of fire and explosion, and the risk of them ingesting dangerous chemicals unintentionally. Children are also many times neglected, sometimes abused and living in extremely poor and dangerous conditions.

Besides the obvious dangers to children living in a dwelling that has a meth lab, is the dangerous paraphernalia lying around. Razor blades, syringes, drug pipes and chemical containers are usually found on tables, furniture and on the floor which is a serious danger to any child. Children of all ages have been found in homes where the production of meth takes place under deplorable conditions.

Meth and The Mental and Emotional Effect on Family

Meth doesn't just affect the person abusing this dangerous drug, family and friends who love and care about them are equally affected by their addiction. Watching someone you love and care about destroy themselves right in front of your eyes is devastating. When your child is caught up in this dangerous addiction a part of you dies inside when you see what they're doing to themselves. Addiction destroys you mind, body and spirit and it's heartbreaking for a parent to see this happen to their child.

Children of meth addicts lose their parents emotionally and physically to meth. The mother or father they so desperately need in their life is unable to be there for them. Children look to their parents for love, affection, comfort and safety and they're unable to be there for their children. There is a hole and a void in the child's life that can affect them forever. Meth destroys more than the addict, it also destroys the heart and the soul of those who love and need them.

What is a Superlab (super lab)?

A meth Superlab is an illegal clandestine lab that has the capabilities of producing 10 pounds of meth in 1 single production of the illegal substance. Smaller meth labs are unable to produce that amount at one time.

meth lab super meth lab clan clab

Signs Of A Meth Lab

Remember meth labs are very dangerous, besides the toxic and dangerous chemicals contained in these labs, they have been known to catch on fire and/or blow up. There are a few signs to look for if you suspect a meth lab and drug activity, some of these signs are:

  1. Chemical smells and odors coming from a house, garage, or a detached building.
  2. Windows may be blacked out or the curtains will always be closed.
  3. The people living there and individuals coming and going show strange or unfriendly behavior.
  4. More than the average amount of trash, especially solvent and chemical containers.
  5. Extensive or unusual security measures are taken to ensure their privacy like no trespassing signs, high fences, and guard dogs.
  6. A lot of activity going on, especially at night

Equipment and Supplies Needed For Crystal Meth Production

Below are some of the materials needed that will help you identify a possible clandestine meth lab in your area.

  1. Medications that contain pseudoephedrine or ephedrine (decongestant) for example Sudafed, Contac, Dimetapp, Triaminic A.M. and Zyrtec-D
  2. Funnels and plastic tubing
  3. Coffee filters
  4. Fuel for camping stoves
  5. Alcohol, starter fluid, toluene, or acetone
  6. Iodine
  7. Lithium batteries
  8. Hydrochloric acid and lye
  9. Matchbooks or flares
  10. Propane tanks
  11. Hydrogen peroxide
  12. Ammonia
  13. Glass containers and jars

Hand Held Meth Lab

Methamphetamine users and dealers have come up with a quicker but just as dangerous way of producing meth. Using many of the same chemicals and cold pills they came up with a way of processing meth in a 2 liter soda bottle they call 'shake and bake'. This process may be less complicated but is just as dangerous and deadly as meth labs are, maybe more so. These portable meth labs in a bottle are capable of blowing up during the process and causing serious burns, harm or death to those involved.

Never investigate a possible meth lab on your own because this is highly dangerous. It's very common for those running the meth lab operation to be armed and dangerous. Never touch any of the equipment or paraphernalia associated with meth production. Serious medical complications are associated with skin contact, eye contact and respiratory contact where meth labs are concerned.

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