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Clandestine Meth Labs in 'Your' Neighbourhood

Clandestine Meth Labs

Why meth labs are dangerous:

Clandestine meth labs put residents in neighbouring houses and apartments at great risk, as well as firefighters, police and paramedics responding to a meth lab fire.

The chemicals used to manufacture crystal meth are toxic and explosive when combined and heated, making meth labs extremely dangerous. Crystal meth is made with simple household products, known as precursors, such as: drain cleaners containing sulfuric acid or muriatic acid (cement cleaner), acetone, rubbing alcohol, lithium batteries, iodine, starter fluid (ether), gas additives (methanol), paint thinner, kerosene, lye, red phosphorous (or matches).


Signs of a potential meth lab:

Clandestine labs can be found in apartments, houses, warehouses, vehicles, wooded areas, hotels, storage lockers and other secluded places. Being watchful for clandestine crystal meth labs is an important step in keeping our families and communities safe.

Signs of a potential meth lab include:

  1. large quantities of discarded packaging from the precursors, such as lantern fuel cans, red chemically stained coffee filters, blister packs from cold remedy packages, etc.
  2. unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the area of the lab.
  3. unusual strong odors (similar to cat urine, ether, ammonia, acetone or other chemicals).
  4. odors that cause headaches or eye irritation.
  5. in residences housing labs, the windows may be blacked out with plastic or tinfoil.
  6. renters using a property for a lab will only pay their landlords in cash.
  7. increased traffic, pedestrian and vehicular.
  8. increased security around the building - surveillance cameras, guard dogs, etc.
  9. people who come outside only to smoke and/or eat and drink.

What to do if you suspect a meth lab:

What to do if you suspect a meth lab in your neighbourhood:

  1. Do not confront the individuals you suspect may be operating the meth lab.
  2. Do not look for the lab yourself.
  3. Monitor and log activities around the suspected meth lab.
  4. Do not touch anything that may have been used in the meth lab - toxic residue could put your health and well-being at risk.
  5. Phone your local police department.
  6. You may not see police officers investigating the property; this work is often done through undercover surveillance.
  7. If you find anything that resembles a meth lab, leave the area immediately and call the police.

More information about crystal meth labs is available on the Internet at: and

Crystal Meth Tip Line:

Anyone wishing to provide information about a dealer or meth lab can phone their local police dept. All information is held in the strictest confidence.

Callers should provide as much information as possible, such as:

  1. The name of the suspect.
  2. Their vehicle type or colour or license plate number.
  3. The location where the suspect frequently trafficks.
  4. The location of the suspected meth lab.
  5. Any other details that would be useful.
All information will be held in strictest confidence and callers will not be required to testify in court.

Meth Watch:

The Meth Watch program is being implemented in communities around North America to combat the manufacture of crystal meth. The Meth Watch program was developed in the United States and aims to interrupt access to key ingredients - or precursors - all of which are basic household items. Through this program, retailers place these items in visible locations and limit the amounts that can be purchased. Store owners and their staff receive training so they can manage sales of these items effectively and safely.

The Meth Watch program in Canada is delivered through the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores and the NDMAC (Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association of Canada). More information about the Meth Watch program is available at

In Canada, many national retail companies have or are in the process of setting up Meth Watch in their stores. These include companies such as Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, and others. If you're concerned about crystal meth in your community and would like to have the Meth Watch program set up, contact your local police department, pharmacist and retailers to encourage them to be proactive.

Together we can help our youth and community

Be Crystal Clear