Environmental Hazards

Each pound of meth produced leaves behind five to six pounds of toxic waste. Meth cooks often pour left over chemicals and sludge down household drains, household plumbing, storm drains, or directly onto the ground. Solvents and other toxic byproducts used to produce meth pose long-term hazards because they can persist in the soil and groundwater for years. Clean-up costs are exorbitant because solvent-contaminated soil usually must be incinerated.

Clean-up of labs is extremely resource-intensive and beyond the capability of most law enforcement offices. The average cost of a cleanup is about $5,000 but some cost $150,000.

Automobile accidents; Explosions and fires triggered by the illegal manufacture of meth; Increased criminal activity, including domestic violence; Emergency room and other medical costs; Spread of infectious disease, including HIV, AIDS and hepatitis; Lost worker productivity.

Economic costs fall on local, state, and federal governments, which must allocate additional resources for social services, treatment, prevention, research, and law enforcement.

The reckless practice of the untrained people who manufacture meth in clandestine labs, results in explosions and fires that injure and kill not only the people and families involved, but also law enforcement officers or firefighters who respond.

Exposure to the potent chemicals used in the making of meth can enter the central nervous system by touching or breathing and cause neural damage, effect kidneys, and burn or irritate the skin, eyes and nose.

The mandatory minimum sentences under federal law are: 10 grams (pure) = 5years in prison 100 grams (pure) = 10 years in prison