Illegal drug laboratories
Clandestine drug laboratories (clan labs) are places where illegal drugs have been manufactured. These are often found in domestic rental properties, commercial or industrial properties and in hotel and motel accommodation.
During the manufacture of these drugs toxic gases and aerosols are produced. These chemicals can be absorbed by items such as flooring, walls, furnishings, fittings and personal effects (for example clothing and books). Poor chemical waste disposal may also result in soil contamination in the yard at a clan lab site.
Even after removal of all dangerous chemicals and equipment, chemical contamination can remain at the property.
On this page you will find information on health risks associated with clan labs and who to contact if you suspect current or previous activity.
Exposure (particularly long term) to residual chemical contamination from illegal drug manufacturing, may be harmful to health, in particular, children and pregnant women. Symptoms of exposure can include:
- throat irritation
- skin conditions
- breathing difficulties
- mental health problems.
If you believe you have been exposed to chemical contamination you should seek medical advice.
Complaints about clan labs
Who to contact
If you suspect a current operation of illegal drug manufacturing – contact Queensland Police Service.
If you suspect a previous illegal drug manufacturing in:
- your own property (recently purchased) – contact Queensland Police Service who may be able to confirm previous illegal drug manufacturing
- a rented property – contact the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA)
- a public housing property – contact the Department of Housing and Public Works
- a non-residential property (e.g. hotel, warehouse, storage facility) – contact Workplace Health and Safety
- other areas (e.g. vehicle, boat, caretaker’s residence) – contact Queensland Health Public Health Unit.
You can contact Council for advice on:
- how to find a qualified person to test for potential drug contamination
- steps you can take to get the site cleaned up
- how to comply with a public health order issued by Council.