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Police: Watch For Meth Lab Waste During Cleanups

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Examples of a items used in the production of methamphetamine sit on a table inside a County Sheriff's Office. (Credit: Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

Examples of a items used in the production of methamphetamine sit on a table inside a County Sheriff’s Office. (Credit: Larry W. Smith/Getty Images)

CBS Detroit (con't)

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HART (WWJ/AP) - State police are warning community groups to watch for discarded items from meth labs as they clean up roadsides and other locations this spring.

According to police, as production of the illegal drug rises, officers are finding increasing amounts of byproducts dumped in public areas. Police say it’s common for criminals to use roadside ditches and road ends to dump dangerous chemicals, cooking equipment, and other components used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Production of methamphetamine creates waste that can be hazardous, such as containers of volatile liquids, and police say volunteers can find themselves at great risk if they come into contact with a dump site.

Research shows that accidental exposure to discarded methamphetamine chemicals and equipment can cause serious health injuries including burns, collapsed lungs and nerve damage. As a result, police say volunteers need to take extreme caution while performing spring cleaning in their communities.

Lt. Kevin Leavitt, post commander in the western Michigan community of Hart, said people should be on the lookout for propane tanks, gallon-sized metal cans, bottles or jugs with tubing extending from the top, batteries and containers with dried residue.

Leavitt said if you find something that looks suspicious, don’t touch it and call 911.

The statewide meth tip line is 1-866-638-4847. For more information on methamphetamine visit www.michigan.gov/meth.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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