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Field Guide to Meth Labs

(Updated July 2015)

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)


Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.


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

Buy a meth house unawares and pay the health consequences, (NPR, July 1, 2015).

Beware of ‘meth houses’, (U Express, Feb.  27, 2015).

How to sell a former meth house, (Realty Times, Oct. 7, 2014).

What’s lurking behind those walls?, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 2014).

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

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


eBooks & Other Resources

eBooks.realtor.org

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

Complete Book of Home Inspection (Adobe PDF eBook)

Home Buyer's Checklist (Adobe PDF eBook)

Home Buying for Dummies (Kindle, Adobe PDF eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. 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 Services 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

Information Services Blog


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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.