Diversion Control Division, US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

RESOURCES > Chemical Control Program > Advisories to the Public > NOTICE - Red Phosphorus, White Phosphorus (also known as Yellow Phosphorus), and Hypophosphorous Acid are used to Manufacture Methamphetamine

Advisories to the Public

NOTICE - Red Phosphorus, White Phosphorus (also known as Yellow Phosphorus), and Hypophosphorous Acid are used to Manufacture Methamphetamine

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is issuing this notice to inform individuals and businesses handling red phosphorus, white phosphorus, and hypophosphorous acid that these chemicals are used in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine.

Methamphetamine abuse is a major drug problem in the United States.

Criminals are always searching for sources of red phosphorus, white phosphorus, and hypophosphorous acid.

Red phosphorus, white phosphorus, and hypophosphorous acid are List I chemicals under federal law.

Handlers of red phosphorus, white phosphorus, and hypophosphorous acid need to know their customers so as not to become an unwitting supplier to a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.

Per federal regulations, each handler (regulated person) shall report to the DEA Special Agent in Charge of the local DEA office the following information:

  1. Any regulated transaction involving:
  • an extraordinary quantity of these list I chemicals,
  • an uncommon method of payment or delivery,
  • or any other circumstance that the regulated person believes may indicate that these list I chemicals will be used in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
  1. Any proposed regulated transaction with a person whose description or other identifying
    characteristic the DEA has previously furnished to the regulated person.
  2. Any unusual or excessive loss or disappearance of red phosphorus, white phosphorus, and
    hypophosphorous acid under the control of the regulated person. The regulated person
    responsible for reporting a loss in-transit is the supplier.

It is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to possess or distribute red phosphorus, white phosphorus, or hypophosphorous acid, knowing, or having reasonable cause to believe, these substances will be used to illegally manufacture methamphetamine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration thanks you for your cooperation in this matter.

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