Some Ohio volunteers are abandoning highway cleanup plans because they fear chemicals dumped by drug dealers, says the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Authorities found more than 100 methamphetamine labs in ditches and woods across the state last year, and they believe many more are out there. The abandoned labs contain chemicals that can burn skin, sear lungs, or leave someone blind.
“We have grave concerns about people picking up trash because this stuff is so dangerous,” said Dennis Cavanaugh, leader of the Lorain County Drug Task Force. “People who make the stuff will toss their labs anywhere to get rid of them. They don’t care.” Some 1,418 volunteer groups are signed up to cover 2,800 miles of roadway in Ohio’s Adopt-a-Highway program. Two teenagers were treated for burns on their arms and legs after picking up a box of chemicals from a meth lab dumped near one roadside. A farm pond southwest of Columbus was contaminated last year when someone dumped meth litter into it.