Meth Lab Trash A Public Hazard

Tuesday, March 31st 2009, 4:56 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Meth labs are not only causing fires, they're creating new hidden dangers.  Many meth makers are dumping the chemicals and products they use to make the drug.  That's dangerous for anyone who comes across them, including children.

When Tulsa firefighters responded to a fire caused by a meth lab at the Comanche Park apartments, they found something just as disturbing.  Someone had illegally dumped meth making materials.

"They just threw their debris over the fence and up in the trees, up by this grove of cedars right here," said Tulsa Fire Captain Michael Baker.

Tulsa Fire Captain Michael Baker says it's frustrating, especially considering kids often play in the wooded area.

"We don't want them to have a burn to their hand.  Injury which is very, very delicate.  We don't want them exposed to any chemicals," said Tulsa Fire Captain Michael Baker.

It isn't an isolated problem.  Tulsa County Sheriff's deputies say just a few days ago, a member of a litter crew was burned on his face when a pop bottle used to make meth exploded.  The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says they get calls each month about possible meth trash.         

Bob Darby is with the Metro Tulsa Drug Task Force.

"Someone picks it up, doesn't realize what is in it and just by picking it up and throwing it into the bed of a truck or throwing it in a trash can can cause it to start reacting again and cause it to explode," said Tulsa County Sheriff's Sgt. Bob Darby.

Sometimes the meth trash is tossed on a road, in a wooded area or even down storm drains.  It ties up a lot of emergency resources, and worst of all can be dangerous.

"I advise people if they see it just leave it where it's at, and give us a call.  Don't pick it up," said Tulsa County Sheriff's Sgt. Bob Darby.

Firefighters and police say it's important to get help from the public to find meth labs.  Anyone who suspects there is a lab near their home or apartment should call authorities.