No one wants to live next door to a meth lab, but how do you know if there's one in your neighborhood? There are several things to look for if you suspect illegal drug production is going on. Here are some clues. Often the biggest giveaway to the production of illegal drugs is the smell the process gives off.
While there isn't a single scent that's a definite tip-off for meth production, several chemicals waft distinctive odors often associated with cooking meth. Examples of meth lab odors might include a sweet ether smell, acrid chemical fumes, ammonia or cat urine odor, or a rotten-egg sulfurous stink—not the kind of aromas you'd want your own home to smell like.
There's more than one way to cook meth, but if you see or smell evidence of these chemicals together, it might be a likely indication of the presence of a meth lab:. Since these chemicals give off unpleasant and toxic fumes, you may notice some sort of ventilation system—such as a chimney or fan s —for blowing the vapors out of the building.
However, don't expect to see smoke or any visible sign of "cooking. Meth labs tend to be covert operations. Often, the windows are boarded up or the shades are always drawn. Sometimes, the windows are simply covered up with paper or foil.
Guard dogs, "Beware of Dog! Another major clue that you may be dealing with a meth lab in your neighborhood is the contents of their trash cans. Watch for these types of products in the garbage:. Because trash says a lot about a person's activities, people who cook meth sometimes separate their garbage and put some of it in with a neighbor's trash.
If you think you've come across a meth lab, there's a right way and a wrong way to deal with it. The right way is to play it cool and avoid alerting the cook to your suspicions. The wrong way is to go snooping, accusing, or trying to handle it yourself. In addition to the potential for being exposed to chemical hazards, people who cook meth can be violent.
Here are some steps to take:. Share Flipboard Email. Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph. Chemistry Expert. Helmenstine holds a Ph. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter.
Updated January 31, Since spilling or dumping chemicals can kill the grass, dead patches in the lawn can be a sign there's a meth lab in the house. Because meth production involves the use of flammable chemicalspeople cooking meth tend to smoke outdoors, away from the building. Occupants of a meth lab might appear secretive or antisocial, yet they entertain a lot of visitors who come and go at all hours.
Call the authorities and explain why you think you've come across a meth lab. Follow their instructions. Don't touch anything. Especially don't open any containers, which may contain toxic or reactive chemicals.
Don't turn on or turn off any electric switches.Danny Lipford contributed to this article, which originally appeared on Bottom Line Inc. Or the odor resembles ammonia, rotten eggs or something else entirely. Such household odors can serve as clues that there are hidden dangers in the home — problems that could be pricier to repair and potentially hazardous to your health if not found and fixed fast. Some people refer to this as a urine or burning rubber smell.
The most likely culprit is an appliance, such as a dishwasher, washing machine or an air conditioner. Sniff near each of these while they are running to try to identify the source. When you think you have found the source, either call in a repair professional to investigate… or replace the appliance if it is approaching the end of its useful life. Use your nose to find where the smell is strongest, and search everywhere you can in that area. Consider buying and using a small snaking digital inspection camera to peek into walls, behind cabinets and appliances and into other tight spots.
Of course, you could just wait for the smell to go away, which typically takes a few weeks. Meanwhile, inspect the perimeter of your home for gaps where rodents can enter, and seal these to prevent further invasions. Also, deploy rodent traps—not rodent poison—in the home. If you use poison, additional rodents might die in their hard-to-reach nests inside your home, creating more bad smell.
Can You Recognize a Meth Lab by Its Smell?
Damp, Musty Smell This usually signals mold or mildew, which could become a big problem for both your home and your health if not quickly remedied. Meanwhile, search these rooms for water leaks. Look behind refrigerators and under sinks for wet spots. Visit the room during the next hard rain to look for visible leaks.
Go down to the basement, crawl space or room directly beneath this musty room to look for evidence of water leaks there, too—those could point to leaks that are hard to spot in the room above. Chimney smells can be drawn into the house when these are left open. If the smell persists after the firebox has dried following this cleaning, call in a chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney. Mention that you suspect water might be getting in.
The problem might be as simple as a dislodged chimney cap, or there might be cracks in the masonry. You can purchase and use an inflatable damper, sometimes called a fireplace draft stopper. Dusty burning smell when you turn on your heat for the first time in months.
Burning smells understandably trigger home owner anxieties, but this one usually is not a problem—the dust that settled on the unit over the summer is simply burning away. This smell should disappear on its own within a few hours of turning on the heat.
Chemical Smell From New Furniture, Carpet or Paint A fresh coat of paint, a new piece of pressed-board furniture or a new carpet can off-gas volatile organic compounds VOCs that are not just unpleasant to smell but also unhealthy to breathe.
When possible, remove new pressed-wood furniture and carpeting from its packaging and let it air out in your garage for at least an hour, and preferably overnight, before bringing it into your home. That method also works when you are painting interior walls.I am living in a condo apartment Building, 2nd Floor.
For the last 5 days my house smells of chemicals like paint or something very close to the paint. In the living room we have small office area with computer and printer where smells very strong.
Sudden house smell like paint, acetone (nail polish) or paint thinner?
Also this smell is in the kitchen, in the bedroom, all over the apartment. I am the only one that can smell it. It is not paint. The refrigerator works ok, the stove is electric and the furnace is turned off.
The Consumers checked for gas, but there was non. Wow im having the same problem at my new home. Just moved in two months ago I live over a mechanic's and there's a smell similar to paint thinner I am now having symptoms of headaches nausea dizziness and my Airways are hurting so now I'm sitting in the emergency room after not being able to go to work for 2 days.
Reply 3 months ago. I had exactly the same problem with you many years ago and after living in that apartment for years I was diagnosed with leukemia. The doctor didn't say it directly related to the apartment but pollution is definitely one of the key causes. Hi there I know this post is years old but did you ever get to the bottom of it as I have the same issue Would love to hear from you.
Reply 1 year ago. I had this problem, the smell was in the bathroom where my bioler is, it turned out to be a gas leak, the boiler was condemned and had to be replaced, Don't ignore this problem. I'm not sure if anyone has ever figured this out, but we just had this happen today. Freaked us out really cuz well We checked the stove, the heat vent, the spray paint can I'd just bought.
But the smell kept assaulting our olfactory senses off n on until I asked about the can of Scotchgard on the table too. He said it hadn't even been opened yet. He picked it up and it was leaking all over!
8 Home Smells That Could Be Signs of Danger
Nail polish remover was a sudden thought too. What a horrible stench.Last night we woke up at AM with a sudden STRONG smell in the house; we thought immediately it could be a gas leak so we called the fire department and the gas utility company. After 2 hours of checking, they couldn't find any gas leakage or poisonous gases. I came back from work and it is clear that the smell is still here, but now I can more relaxed say that it's more like house paint, acetone nail polish or paint thinner.
We have not done absolutely anything our of the ordinary. No paint. No storing anything new. We weren't even in the house yesterday afternoon.
Can someone suggest what could be causing this odor? I'm more interested in the root causes than how to remove the odor. Check your basement carefully for any cans that may have rusted. It would only take a small amount of rust to make hole that something could leak out of.
I had an odor much like what you are describing. I looked all over the kitchen for it because that is where it was coming from. I think this is what the odor is from. I am changing out all of my bulbs tonight and hope this will take care of it.
I removed one last night as I thought that it was only this one that was the culprit but I awoke to the smell now in the living room. I am having the same problem with my basement. I open the windows and the smell goes away. When I close them it is right back and all through the house and smells like ether or finger nail polish.
HVAC tech couldn t find anything and neither could anyone else for that matter. Hoping someone fixes this issue and can help the rest of us figure out what it could be.
Instead of a paint brush why not visit an Art shop which sells artist brushes, paints etc. Freon also can smell like nail polish or chloroform.
Check for leaks in your air conditioner and refrigerator coils. Wont be Freon, it is odorless and cant be seen, that's why dye is added to the system to find the leak!
Canadian Wisdom. We left all the doors open and that took care of the smell for a while.Keep small children away from box fans, as they can be extremely dangerous. It is best to keep children out of the house while using them to avoid any potential for an accident. Paint and paint thinner contain chemicals that off-gas volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs that pollute your home's air quality and that have been linked to health issues, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
You can prevent any damage to your home's air environment by using paint thinner in a separate garage, shed or even outside. Remove these paint thinner fumes from your home as soon as possible. Launder any objects that may have been covered in paint thinner. This might necessitate dry cleaning rugs, curtains or tablecloths. Position box fans near each open door in your home and turn them on the highest setting possible.
Let them run for several hours or several days to suck the odor out of the house and to replenish your home's air. Keep it there for several days until the smell is gone.
Fill shallow bowls with activated charcoal, which absorbs odors in the air. Place the bowls in each room that smells like paint thinner. Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award.
She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Warning Keep small children away from box fans, as they can be extremely dangerous.Understanding solvents & thinners - Informational
Avoid paint thinner fumes by using latex water-based paint. Step 1 Launder any objects that may have been covered in paint thinner. Step 2 Position box fans near each open door in your home and turn them on the highest setting possible. Step 3 Fill shallow bowls with activated charcoal, which absorbs odors in the air.By nature, houses are full of smells.
From what pets you have to what laundry detergent you use, every house and family has a signature smell. Of course, when something smells unusual, we are bound to notice it. For instance, the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven will always grab your attention.
As you probably know, not all house smells are good ones. Unpleasant wafts of stinky garbage and stubborn cat urine come to mind.
However, the smells you should really be worried about are the ones that suggest something is seriously wrong around the house. The thought of a musty smell probably makes you think about mothballs. Quick and Dirty Tips suggests turning off your water supply while you take care of the problem and letting your under sink storage dry.
Sudden strong odor of paint thinner like in house.?
Kolb Electric recommends checking your outlets to see if any are sparking. You may notice this when plugging something in, or you may notice burn marks around the outlet. According to How Stuff Worksthe smell can be a sign of sewage backup in your plumbing system. Other than smelling bad, it can also be dangerous due to the buildup of highly flammable methane. In the event that you begin to notice the dog smell getting especially bad, and your dog is well-bathed, then it could be something else.
A stinky dog or slight rotting meat smell is probably coming from rodents or other small animals dying in your walls. According to the Mayo Clinicit may be third-hand smoke, or the cigarette smell that can linger for years after a smoker has left the premises.
Tobacco residue gets stuck on surfaces and in carpets. It can become activated at random times. You might want to deep-clean your carpet to get rid of this smell, and to prevent any impact on your health.
According to How Stuff Worksvolatile organic compounds VOCs in paint are released as it dries and create hazardous chemicals to breathe.
According to Hunkerthis smell could mean a number of things. First, it could mean that your garbage disposal or sewage pipes are backed up and releasing a rotten odor. People who have sump pumps on site should be particularly alert to this, because the last thing you want is seepage or leaking into your own water supply.
Call your gas company and emergency services right away. Thank you! Get the best LittleThings.Had furnace and air conditioner checkedno problems there. Fireman says it it not electrical smell, more like polyurethane. We have no paint or solvents stored in house. Cannot localized the smell and the heat blows it throughout the house. Even with heat off cannot localize smell, it seems to change. No recent construction projects.
It is getting a little less but it has been five days now. This the rotting carcass of a dead rodent. They sometimes smell like paint, paint thinner, and those types of aromatic chemical compounds, and it kinda depends on the smeller's smeller You just gotta wait until it dries out the rest of the way or the ants speed up the decomposition process.
I had an odor much like what you are describing. I looked all over the kitchen for it because that is where it was coming from. I think this is what the odor is from. I am changing out all of my bulbs tonight and hope this will take care of it. I removed one last night as I thought that it was only this one that was the culprit but I awoke to the smell now in the living room.
If there's any sink or drain that's not being used, pour a half-gallon of water in it to ensure that the trap hasn't gone dry. Ditto the broiler and oven in a range, in case there's been a plastic container or bit of packaging left in there. Check your basement carefully for any cans that may have rusted. It would only take a small amount of rust to make hole that something could leak out of. Update: Not a melted plastic smell.
Answer Save. Polar Bear Lv 7. Paint Thinner Smell In House. Nikki Lv 4.