Archive for Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meth fears prompt CVS to ID for nail polish remover

August 14, 2013

— Anyone trying to buy nail polish remover at a CVS Pharmacy will now need to show ID, just in case they have something more sinister in mind than their nails.

Many nail polish removers contain chemicals that can be used to cook methamphetamine. To prevent that kind of misuse, the nationwide chain of CVS stores has imposed a new rule: Anyone buying products containing acetone or iodine will need to show ID. And there will be no sale to anyone younger than 18.

CVS store employees in Lawrence confirmed that the rule is in effect, as has been reported elsewhere across the country. The rule is just the latest in a series of regulations in recent years meant to block the supply of chemicals to methamphetamine producers. The federal "Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005" bans over-the-counter sales of cold medicines that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine, another common ingredient in meth.

The rules governing nail polish remover still vary among retailers in Lawrence, however. At Walmart, customers must be at least 18 to buy the product and ID is required to verify age. Employees at Dillons said they weren't aware of any such rules at their stores.

According to the website "How Stuff Works," the chemicals used in producing methamphetamine include pseudoephedrine, red phosphorus, hydriodic acid and hydrogen chloride, among others. Some, but not all, are tightly regulated. But Lawrence police have said concerns about meth cooking in Kansas have taken a back seat to worry that the drug is being supplied here through an international drug smuggling network based in Mexico.

About 25 pounds of the drug, worth nearly $1 million when sold on the street, was recently seized during a police operation in Douglas County. Police said they believed it came from a clandestine laboratory somewhere in Mexico that produces the drug in extremely pure form and in great quantities.

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