Agents of the Major Crimes Task Force had detained three individuals in relation to the alleged operation of a red phosphorus meth lab at a Beverly residence Sunday night.
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said the officers executed a search warrant at the home of Donna M. Glendening, 51, of 570 Albright Road, Beverly around 7 p.m.
The names of those being detained were not released as agents were continuing their investigation at press time Sunday night.
Mincks said because the red phosphorus method was used, an Environmental Protection Agency-certified crew would be required to clean up the lab.
"The chemicals are corrosive and will burn skin," he said. "Masks have to be worn as breathing the fumes can cause lung deterioration."
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, the principal chemicals in red phosphorus methamphetamine are ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, iodine, and red phosphorus.
The method produces hydriodic acid from a reaction of iodine in water with red phosphorus which yields methamphetamine.
Mincks said the red phosphorus method was common at one time, but it is rarely used now as meth producers prefer the "shake and bake" method of making the psychoactive substance.
He said the task force agents would likely remain at the scene throughout the night.