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 topic contains information for REALTORS® and property managers regarding warning signs, disclosure laws, and hazardous effects of meth and meth labs upon humans and property.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's nar.realtor login.

How to Identify a Methamphetamine (Meth) Lab

  • Unusually strong odors
  • Blacked out windows
  • Excessive trash
  • Traffic at unusual times
  • Evidence of chemical waste or dumping
  • Extensive security measures or attempts to ensure privacy
  • Secretive or unfriendly occupants

Methanphetamine Laboratory Identification and Hazards Fast Facts (Department of Justice)

Methamphetamine Information

Methamphetamine Laboratory Incidents in the US from 2000 to 2019 (Statista, 2021)

Clandestine Drug Labs in the United States (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 2020)

What Is Methamphetamine? (National Institute on Drug Abuse, May 2019)

Meth, the Forgotten Killer, is Back. And It's Everywhere (The New York Times, February 13, 2018)

Voluntary Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup (Environmental Protection Agency, March 21, 2017)

Real Estate Issues

Household Contamination with Methamphetamine: Knowledge and Uncertainties (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Nov. 23, 2019)

Could That Home be Contaminated with Meth? (REALTOR® Magazine, Jan. 28, 2019)

Wait! Are You Buying a House Contaminated with Meth? (realtor.com®, Jan. 25, 2019)

Cleaning up Contamination: What Happens to Meth Houses (U.S. News and World Report, Jul. 13, 2018)

A Nearby Meth Lab Can Mean a Big Price Hit for Homeowners—Even After They've Been Cleaned Up (London School of Economics, United States Politics and Policy, December 14, 2017)

Impact of Clandestine Methamphetamine Labs on Property Values: Discovery, Decontamination And Stigma (Journal of Urban Economics, May 2017) E

Meth Lab Cleanup Standards, Regulations, & Disclosure (Meth Lab Cleanup Company)

eBooks & Other Resources


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

Complete Book of Home Inspection (Kindle, eBook)

Home Buyer's Checklist (Kindle, eBook)

Home Buying for Dummies (Kindle, eBook)

Inspect Before You Buy (Kindle, 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.

Death and Disclosure: Legal Strategies for Dealing with Stigmatized Property (October Research Corporation, 2007)

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The inclusion of links on this page 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 page 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.