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

Chemical Handler's Manual

APPENDIX N – Notice: Red Phosphorus, White (Yellow) Phosphorus, and Hypophosphorous Acid can be used in the illicit Manufacture of Methamphetamine

NOTICE

Red Phosphorus, White (Yellow) Phosphorus, and Hypophosphorous Acid
can be used in the illicit Manufacture of Methamphetamine

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

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

Criminals search for sources of red phosphorus, white (yellow) phosphorus, and hypophosphorous acid. These substances are List I chemicals under federal law.

Regulated persons need to know their customers so as not to become unwitting suppliers to a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.

Regulated persons 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.
  2. Any proposed regulated transaction with a person whose description or other identifying
    characteristic the DEA has previously furnished to the regulated person.
  3. Any unusual or excessive loss or disappearance of red phosphorus, white (yellow) phosphorus,
    or hypophosphorous acid under the control of the regulated person. The regulated person
    responsible for reporting a loss in-transit is the supplier.

Please refer to 21 C.F.R. § 1310.05(b) for details on method and timing of reports and 21 C.F.R. §§ 1310.03 and 1310.04 for details regarding recordkeeping requirements.

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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