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Monday, March 05, 2007

Methamphetamine and Meth Labs how outdoor enthusiast can Help

Hunters, Hikers and Nature Lovers are helping local officials in the battle against Meth.

In the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the abuse of the drug methamphetamine (meth) in Minnesota. The production of meth in illegal “meth labs” has also been a serious problem for agencies and communities throughout the state.

Minnesota observed its highest numbers of (reported) meth labs and other meth-related events (meth chemical dumps, anhydrous ammonia thefts) in 2003 with more than 500 events reported. That number decreased to 320 events in 2004.

How can you Help?

While out hunting, hiking, nature viewing or doing other outdoor activities, if you see what appears to be a methamphetamine lab, contact your local law enforcement agency or conservation officer immediately.

Items to watch for

Signs of a methamphetamine lab include large quantities of common household products. Used as designed, these household products are generally safe. Mixed together, they can become explosive and/or give off toxic fumes.

  • Chemicals
  • Acetone
  • Cold pill packets containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine
  • Drain cleaner
  • Engine starter
  • Iodine Heet
  • Lithium batteries
  • Matches (red phosphorous)
  • Muriatic acid
  • Anhydrous ammonia
  • Red Devil lye
  • Salt (table or rock)
  • Sodium metal
  • Trichloroethane (gun cleaning solvent)
  • Toluene

Meth Lab Equipment

  • Aluminum foil
  • Blender Bottles
  • Cheesecloth
  • Coffee filters
  • Funnels
  • Gas can
  • Hot plate
  • Jugs
  • Paper towels
  • Propane tank/thermos
  • Pyrex dishes
  • Rubber gloves/tubing
  • Strainer
  • Tape/clamps
  • Thermometer

Meth can be easily be made from these common household chemicals and products. These ingredients are mixed and "cooked" to make this dangerous drug. The cooking process can also create potentially harmful chemical residues that can remain on household surfaces for months or years after "cooking" is over. There may be adverse health effects in people exposed to lab chemicals before, during and after the production process.

Each meth lab, spill or dump is a potential hazardous waste site, requiring assessment and remediation by experienced and qualified personnel.

The Methamphetamine Program at the Minnesota Department of Health, in conjunction with many public and private organizations, has been working to share resources, raise awareness, protect endangered children, provide technical advice for the remediation (cleaning) of meth labs, and to help Minnesota communities work together to create a strong, local response to this problem through education, training, and civil action

CLICK HERE for more information

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