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 20 clan labs are currently detected in Western Australia each year by police.

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


The Guidelines for notification and risk management after detection of a clandestine drug laboratory (PDF 919KB) were developed by the Department of Health in consultation with partner agencies.

The Guidelines are the most advanced of their type in Australia and are designed to:

  • 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.

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

  • lists of qualified testing and 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 350KB) which is updated regularly.

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


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