End Meth Now campaign warns citizens to watch for discolored propane tanks during barbecue season.
Discoloration may be indication of propane tank use in meth manufacturing

With summer in full swing and the Fourth of July holiday right around the corner, the End Meth Now campaign is warning consumers to be aware of propane cylinder safety issues that may impact them when purchasing propane tanks for summer outdoor cooking.

According to the National Propane Gas Association, propane cylinders are being used by meth labs in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Meth labs use propane tanks to store anhydrous ammonia, an ingredient used in the production of meth. Anhydrous ammonia is a very corrosive agent and weakens the structure of the tanks used to store it. When tanks are returned and retailers refill tanks unknowingly used for the anhydrous ammonia, the mixture with propane gas, hooked up to a grill or recreation vehicle can lead to cracking of the valve body, which can result in a violent, unexpected expulsion of the valve from the cylinder, causing injury or death.

“This impacts consumers who use propane tanks intended to be returned to retailers in exchange for a newly filled tank,” said Brent Kelsey, Assistant Director for the Department of Human Services. “Those citizens who own their own propane tank and take it to be re-filled themselves are not in any danger.”

Consumers should check for blue-green residue around valve areas, as this may be an indication of anhydrous ammonia storage. The pungent odor of ammonia on or near the cylinder is also an indication of storage.

More information can be found at http://www.npga.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=529