Clandestine drug laboratories

Clandestine drug laboratories, also known as clan labs, are sites where illegal drugs are manufactured in secret, usually with improvised materials and methods.

Approximately 100 clan labs are detected in Western Australia each year.

Chemicals used in these laboratories, together with the products, resulting waste and residues, can be toxic and harmful to human health.

You can direct enquiries from consumers to Clandestine drug laboratories – are you at risk? (HealthyWA).

Guidelines

The Guidelines for notification and risk management after detection of a clandestine drug laboratory (PDF 807KB) were developed by the Department of Health in consultation with partner agencies.

The Guidelines:

  • assist agencies and local governments to manage potential risks to public health caused by chemical residues and other potential hazards
  • inform environmental health officers and other regulators about the location and characteristics of clan labs.

These Guidelines are the most advanced of their type in Australia and are an extension and improvement on the Interim Guidelines from October 2012 till March 2014.

The following series of activities and systems have been developed to support the operation of the Guidelines:

  • lists of qualified remediation service providers
  • training programs
  • resources
  • a database of past clan lab premises.

Agencies responsible for responding to clandestine laboratory drug detections include:

Remediation service providers

The guidelines contain a list of companies qualified for testing and remediating chemical residues (PDF 29.8KB) which is updated regularly.

These are the companies that are deemed suitable to undertake work outlined by the Guidelines.

Workshop training materials

In early 2014, the Department hosted the Environmental Health Officer Workshop - Requirements and Implementation of the Guidelines for Clandestine Laboratory Notification and Management.

The workshop featured the following presentations:

The Department of Environment Regulation in conjunction with the Department also distributed an educational DVD about contamination from clandestine laboratories to all local governments.

Resources

The Department and a number of agencies have developed useful resources to manage clan lab sites including:

Consumer information

More information

Contact details for other government agencies are included in the Guidelines.

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Public Health