With warm weather expected this week people will be outside walking, jogging and bike riding in rural areas. The potential exists that some people may come across a meth lab or trash left behind by those who have manufactured methamphetamine (meth). Just yesterday, 03/12, a landowner discovered an unattended meth lab on his property in a wooded area just north of Richmond in Wayne County.
The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section wants to remind citizens that these labs and trash may contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, and acidic. Signs to look for Meth manufacturing are a strong ammonia smell, or a solvent smell like an auto body shop. The fumes are toxic and can cause internal damage to organs. Below are more items to watch for that are used in the manufacturing of Methamphetamine:
• Look for air line type rubber tubing, ether or camp fuel cans, plastic or glass bottles, Pseudoephedrine packages and lithium battery casings. The chemicals when mixed together are highly explosive and fumes are toxic to breath.
• Other Items to be aware of include Ziploc style bags, empty blister packs, and plastic or glass containers (pop-bottles, jars, etc.) that contain a granular material. They may or may not have a tube extending out of the top depending on whether it is a hydrochloric gas generator (HCL) or a one pot reaction. Both of these are extremely hazardous.
• Be aware of any type of small tank (like a propane tank), found in an odd place (middle of a field, ditch line, wooded area) that has a modified valve. The valve will typically be modified in some way and will have a bright blue or green color to it. These cylinders are used to store or transport anhydrous ammonia, which is an extremely dangerous gas when direct contact or inhalation has occurred.
Often times Meth Labs are found as a result of an anonymous tip from a neighbor or friend. If you think you’ve found a meth lab or have information about illegal drug use call the Pendleton Post at 1-800-527-4752, or the Indiana State Police Drug Tip Line at 1-800-453-4756. Tips can be made and kept anonymous. The Indiana Meth Investigation System or IMIS, can also take tips on meth labs. Just go to http://www.meth.in.gov and click on the “Report Suspected Meth Activity” Link.