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Indiana State Police warn about dangers of meth lab trash


With favorable spring weather here, people are taking advantage by walking, jogging and bike riding on local roadways. The potential exists that some people may come across trash left behind by those who have manufactured methamphetamine (meth). The Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section wants to remind citizens that this trash may contain chemicals that are toxic, flammable, corrosive, and acidic. The combination of these chemicals could cause an explosion, fire or burns if they come into direct contact with the skin.

Sergeant Mike Toles and Master Trooper Andy Smith from the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Section have identified some points for the public to keep in mind.

·        Meth cooks use a variety of containers to manufacture their product. A popular container is the 1½-gallon gas can. These cans appear to be new and have been found along the roadside by unknowing people who believe that they have found a new gas can and end up with a working meth lab.

·        Other items to be aware of include battery casings, Ziploc-style bags, empty blister packs, and 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 cylinder 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 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.

If someone comes across this type of trash, they should not handle it. Instead, contact the Indiana State Police Post in Ft. Wayne at 260-432-8661 or 1-800-552-0976 (Indiana only). Any questions or concerns about meth can be directed to the Meth Suppression Section at 1-877- 855-METH or online at www.