Illegal drug labs 

The Department of Ecology is responsible for handling and disposing of hazardous substances found at illegal drug lab sites. Nearly all of Washington’s clandestine drug labs manufacture methamphetamine – also called “meth,” “crystal,” “crank,” or “speed.” The drug is produced using a combination of hazardous, toxic materials. Ecology responders are cleaning up a meth lab near Vancouver, Washington in the photo at right.

County-by-county statistics:

County-by-county statistics for 2010 are here.

County-by-county statistics for 2009 are here.

County-by-county statistics for 2008 are here.

Cumulative county-by-county statistics for 1990-2012 are also available.

Ecology works closely with many agencies that play a part in the response to drug labs. These agencies include the Washington State Patrol and local police, health, and fire departments.

Substances found at drug labs can include acids, sodium hydroxide, flammable solvents, anhydrous ammonia, lithium and sodium metals, and red phosphorus. Some of these substances can cause injury or death if inhaled or touched enough. A few can react violently if heated, mixed with water, or exposed to air. Drug labs commonly contain pressurized cylinders and containers, contaminated glassware, hypodermic needles, and other debris.

All these materials must be properly disposed to protect public health and the environment.

Prior to 2008, annual and long-term drug lab statistics were summarized in a separate publication each year.