Zephrex-D

(Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Not many of us are chemists.

Yet by removing one oxygen atom average people here in Missouri regularly are turning common decongestants like Sudafed and Claritin-D into the illicit drug methamphetamine.

Nationwide those explosive mom and pop meth labs were estimated by a Rand study to cost taxpayers more than $23 billion a year in health care costs, child endangerment and clean-up.