Meth is produced in illegal clandestine drug laboratories that are found throughout Kansas; rural areas away from the general public; and residential areas, including houses, apartments, motels, garages and abandoned buildings. Mobile labs have also been found in vehicles and discarded along roadsides or parking lots.
Methamphetamine labs commonly have an unusually sweet or strong odor such as ether, ammonia, or auto parts cleaner. Building windows are often covered, blacked out, or frosted to prevent any one seeing inside the structure containing the lab. Other indicators of meth labs include sporadic traffic throughout the day and night, and unusual trash containing large amounts of ether starting fluid cans, camping fuel cans, battery parts, stained coffee filters, drain cleaners, and glassware.
Meth labs are highly explosive and exposure to the chemicals used to create meth can cause health problems, including respiratory illness, skin and eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. These chemicals can potentially contaminate drinking water supplies, soil, and air, causing great danger to nearby residences. KDHE's Cleaning Up Former Methamphetamine Labs provides guidance that will ensure the safety of the citizens of Kansas and our natural resources.
History & Current Status of the Kansas Clandestine Drug Lab Information
The Chemical Control Act was passed on July 1, 1999, initiating both a meth lab education and notification program, and a chemical cleanup program. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) worked together to educate Kansans about the dangers of methamphetamines. The Kansas Meth Watch Program was created to provide community awareness and to help retailers control the availability of precursor chemicals needed to produce meth. KDHE and KBI also provided specialized training for law enforcement officers to certify them to respond to meth labs.
Until funding concluded in 2009, the chemical cleanup program paid for removing chemicals from seized meth labs and overseeing property cleanup. KDHE currently only provides technical advice and clean-up guidance through the Kansas Spill Response Program and through information posted on this website. If local law enforcement needs chemicals removed from a seized meth lab they should consult with KBI.