Powered by Google

Search form

Field Guide to Meth Labs

(Updated February 2014)

The production of methamphetamine is alarmingly simple, composed of readily available, household items. The resulting chemical cocktail permeates nearly every surface of the home and property, exposure to which can lead to cancer, organ damage and numerous other health problems, particularly to children. The effects on homes and property are long-lasting and cleanup requires a hazardous materials team. This field guide contains information for REALTORS® and property managers regarding warning signs, disclosure laws, and hazardous effects of meth and meth labs upon humans and property. (A. Siudzinski, Senior Library Information Specialist)

How to Identify a Methamphetamine (Meth) Lab

  • Unusually strong odors
  • Blacked out windows
  • Excessive trash
  • Traffic at unusual times
  • Discolored walls
  • Large amount of clear glass containers

Source: How to Identify a Methamphetamine (Meth) Lab, Boulder County, Colorado

Methamphetamine Information

Drug facts: methamphetamine, (National Institute on Drug Abuse, Jan. 2014).

Voluntary guidelines for methamphetamine laboratory cleanup, (Environmental Protection Agency, Sept. 13, 2013).

Methamphetamine lab incidents 2004-2012, (Drug Enforcement Administration, Jan. 27, 2013).

Real Estate Issues

Cleanup of meth-lab homes becomes a growing cottage industry, (AOL Real Estate, Jan. 2, 2014).

Could your new house have a history of “Breaking Bad?”, (PBS Newshour, Sept. 29, 2013).

Are you obligated to disclose previous meth contamination on your property?, (Realty Times, Sept. 23, 2013).

Sellers Required Disclosures [NAR member access only], (National Association of REALTORS®, June 2013).

Behind closed doors: the costly cleanup of meth labs, (Multifamily Executive, May 2, 2013).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Complete Book of Home Inspection (Overdrive Digital Audiobook)

Home Buyer's Checklist (Adobe eReader)

Home Buying for Dummies (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

A drug lab? On my property?, (Texas REALTOR®, Sept./Oct. 2005).

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Dealing with Stigmatized Properties

Field Guide to Effects of Hazardous Waste Sites on Property Values

Field Guide to REALTOR® Safety

InfoCentral Blog

Have an Idea for a New Field Guide?

Click here to send us your suggestions.

The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.