Why meth testing is important. Methamphetamine (also known as “crystal meth” or “meth”) is a highly addictive and illegal stimulant. A meth lab is an illegal drug-manufacturing site, often a house or apartment, containing equipment and potentially toxic chemicals required to produce meth.
Facts and Statistics About Meth Labs:
In 2003, more than 17,000 meth labs were seized by police in the United States. Seizures in recent years have been significantly fewer, but authorities estimate that tens of thousands of homes may be contaminated by toxic chemicals from meth labs.
Far fewer meth labs per capita have been seized in Canada than in the United States.
Meth labs can be found in any neighborhood, regardless of social, socio-economic, and ethnic composition.
Carpeting, wallboard, ceiling tile and fabric may absorb spilled or vaporized chemicals. These chemicals may remain for many years after the meth lab has been disassembled, potentially poisoning future tenants. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to make contaminated homes habitable.
It is estimated that 5 to 7 pounds of chemical waste is produced for each pound of meth manufactured.
One tablespoon of methanol, an ingredient required in meth production, can cause permanent blindness if ingested. Death can result from the ingestion of less than half of a cup of the chemical. Other common chemicals used to produce meth include bleach, household drain cleaner, benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethane, battery acid, lye, ammonia and muriatic acid. More chemicals can be formed during the “cooking” process.
Chemicals required or created by the meth production process can cause health problems, such as cancer, brain and nervous system injury, injury to the liver and kidneys, birth defects, and reproductive disorders. Meth labs can be very small. They have been found in bathtubs and inside vehicles.