Area residents should beware of meth ‘litter’

The Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation are working together to increase public awareness of the potential hazards of materials used in the production of methamphetamines.

KBI Director Larry Welch said that unfortunately the incidence of illegal meth manufacturing continues to rise all across the state of Kansas.

So far this year, more than 350 such manufacturing or disposal sites have been discovered, which is well on the way to exceed last year’s record 702.

Because of this increase, more chemicals and containers used in the production of meth are being dumped as trash. KDOT, KHP and KBI officials worn this litter is not only ugly, but can also be dangerous.

Secretary of Transportation E. Dean Carlson said the agency recommends that people always wear gloves and eye protection when removing litter from roadways.

He also cautions people not to shake liquids out of bottles because it may not be water.

“KDOT crews and Adopt-A-Highway volunteers do a great job of keeping the highways looking great and our main priority is to keep these people safe while accomplishing this goal,” Carlson said.

Some of the potentially harmful substances used in the manufacture of methamphetamines include anhydrous ammonia, acid, sewer cleaner, lye, antifreeze and ethanol.

After the meth has been made, some of the disposable materials that might be left at road sides as trash may include plastic bottles, red chemically stained coffee liners, camping fuel cans, ketchup bottles and, after the lithium has been used, battery casings.

Officials say smells similar to ammonia, fingernail polish remover or cat urine could be a sign of recent meth production.

The public is warned not to touch any materials or containers found with these odors or any other items that look suspicious.

Contact the local law enforcement department immediately or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-KS CRIME.

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