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Clandestine drug labs are found throughout Indiana. They are found in homes, apartments, hotel and motel rooms, and mobile homes.
When they seize a drug lab, law enforcement agencies remove bulk chemicals and drug making equipment from the site. However, residual contamination often remains because the hazardous chemicals that are used when manufacturing these drugs can contaminate the property.
Without proper cleaning, the risk of exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals is likely. New occupants moving into former drug labs may be unaware of the contamination problem.
Illegal drug labs have become a growing problem in Indiana. In 1999, Indiana law enforcement agencies investigated 177 illegal drug labs. By 2012, that number rose to 1,663.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has a list of addresses where law enforcement agencies have reported illegal drug labs in Indiana.
Illegal drug labs are extremely hazardous to occupants and neighbors. Persons who manufacture illegal drugs use a wide variety of hazardous materials. These chemicals can be spilled or deposited on floors, walls ceilings and furniture. While it is being manufactured, methamphetamine vapor condenses inside the property and on household goods. This can cause a variety of health problems, especially for children.
If you own, or represent the owner of, property that has been used as an illegal drug lab, do not enter the property until the local health department or a qualified inspector have determined it is safe to enter.
After the chemicals and equipment used in the lab have been removed, talk to your local health department to determine if the property is safe to inspect and what safety precautions you need to take.
You and the qualified inspector can work together to find the most cost-effective way to clean up your property.
Use the Qualified Inspector List to find an inspector. Each inspector on the list has met all to be a qualified inspector.
In most cases, these wastes can be disposed of in a permitted municipal solid waste landfill [PDF]. Contact IDEM by phone at (800) 451-6027 or via email at "info at idem.in.gov" if you have questions about disposing of wastes from illegal drug labs.
The Indiana Department of Child Services and other Indiana agencies have developed procedures [PDF] to deal with children who are affected by an illegal drug lab. If children have been affected by an illegal drug lab, contact the Department of Child Services office in your county or city.
Links to external resources are provided as a public service and do not imply endorsement by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Contact IDEM for more information about this section by phone at (800) 451-6027, or by email at "info at idem.IN.gov".