Labs brew drugs and toxic waste

While the number of small methamphetamine labs busted by law enforcement has dropped by two-thirds in the past five years, they have left an indellable environmental scar on the land.

When one pound of meth is created in a lab, from five to seven pounds of toxic waste is left behind. Local jurisdictions have spend millions of dollars cleaning up the leavings. Rental houses and apartments used as meth labs often must be razed or shuttered.

In addition to the waste left behind, people in and around the labs are exposed to toxic fumes and volitile chemicals. Explosions and fire are common in meth labs.

How to spot a meth lab

Danger to children in meth labs

Ingredients used in meth "cooking"

Graphic: Labs busted nationwide since 2002
NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE TRAINING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER
Nationwide epidemic
Nationwide epidemic
About the center
NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE TRAINING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER
Nationwide epidemic
Nationwide epidemic
Thurston Co., Wash., photo
Beginning the clean-up process
INSIDE THE EPIDEMIC