Methamphetamine Contamination

Methamphetamine is an illegal drug, which is an amphetamine (found in common cold medicines).  Meth, like cocaine and other amphetamines, has affects on the central nervous system (CNS) like those of adrenaline. Common street names for methamphetamine include: speed, crank, ice, glass and crystal. Meth can be swallowed, inhaled (snorted), smoked or injected in its various forms.

Methamphetamine Lab Incidents in the U.S. by State:
So, what can it do to my health?


  • False sense of well-being
  • Convulsions, twitching and jerking
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Aggressiveness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased muscle tension
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Stimulation of the adrenal gland
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Impaired speech
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia


  • Malnutrition
  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage
  • Severe weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Immune deficiency
  • Psychological problems
  • Lung disorder
  • Kidney disorder
  • Stroke
  • Coma
  • Death
What is in a meth lab?

Commercial Products, Chemicals, Hazards

  • Anhydrous Ammonia
  • Ammonia
  • Aluminum Foil, Aluminum, Non-Hazardous
  • Camera Batteries, Lithium, Water Reactive
  • Charcoal Lighter Fluid, Petroleum Distillates, Flammable
  • Denatured Alcohol, Mixture of Alcohols, Flammable
  • Epsom Salts, Magnesium Sulfate, Non-Hazardous
  • Gasoline, Petroleum Distillates, Flammable
  • Heet, Methyl Alcohol, Flammable
  • Iodine Crystals, Iodine, Irritant
  • Kerosene, Petroleum Distillates, Flammable
  • Lacquer Thinner, Petroleum Distillates, Flammable
  • Mineral Spirits, Petroleum Distillates, Flammable
  • Muriatic Acid, Hydrochloric Acid, Corrosive
  • Red Devil Lye, Sodium Hydroxide, Corrosive
  • Base, Adjusts pH
  • Roto Rooter/Drainer, Sulfuric Acid, Corrosive
  • Acid, Reacts with Table Salt
  • Liquid Free/Battery Acid
  • Starting Fluid, Ethyl Ethe, Flammable, Oil Extraction
  • Striker Plate, Phosphorus, Flammable
  • Source of Red Phosphorus
  • Table Salt, Sodium Chloride, Non-Hazardous
  • Ephedrine/ Cold Medicine, Ephedrine/Psuedoephedrine, Non-Hazardous
What would materials would indicate an existing meth lab?
  • A large amount of cold tablet containers
  • Jars containing clear liquid with white colored solid on the bottom
  • Jars labeled as containing Iodine or dark shiny metallic purple crystals inside
  • Jars labeled as containing Red Phosphorus or 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 or jars with rubber tubing attached
  • Glass cookware or frying pans containing a powdery residue
  • An unusually large number of cans of Coleman Fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starting fluid, Red Devil 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
    Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue
  • Occupants of residence going outside to smoke
  • Strong smell of urine, or unusual chemical smells like ether, ammonia or acetone
Who should I contact concerning a meth lab?

If you discover a meth lab, the first person you should contact is your local police department.  Remember you should not enter the existing lab for any reason.  Once you have contacted the local police, they have access to special forces that will come and investigate and perform a gross clean-up of the site.

Additional information and resources regarding methamphetamine production, contamination, and cleanup can be found at the United States Drug Enforcement website at Meth Fact Sheet and the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection Meth Lab Cleanup website at Meth Lab Cleanup.