Perhaps rampant watching of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” has driven everyone a bit insane.
In a crackdown to curb methamphetamine production, CVS stores nationwide will soon ask for identification for customers looking to purchase nail polish remover and will not sell the acetone-based solution to anyone under the age of 18. Soon, stores will card customers who want to buy nail polish remover as well as limit the number of bottles available to purchase and keep records.
The crackdown comes because nail polish remover contains acetone, which is also used to make methamphetamine and sold on the streets as “crystal meth.”
In a statement to the New York Post, CVS confirmed the new policy is indeed to control rampant meth production:
“Because acetone is an ingredient used in the illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, we recently implemented a policy that a valid ID must be presented to purchase acetone-containing products such as nail polish remover,” CVS said. “Our policy also limits the sale of these products in conjunction with other methamphetamine precursors and is based on various regulations requiring retailers to record sales of acetone.”
The Post reported that the new policy to show ID for nail polish remover has already rolled out across southern New England and is slated to hit the entire country in the coming weeks. Local Boston station WBUR first discovered the new store policy, when a reporter was refused the sale of remover without identification. According to WBUR, the reporter was told about the “new state laws” and received an error message during her purchase as well as a receipt saying: “Products containing acetone/iodine cannot be purchased at the self checkout. Please see associate for assistance.”
Similarly, a CVS store in Washington, D.C., enacted a policy limiting nail polish remover sales earlier in August. According to NBC Washington, a rep for CVS said: "Our policy limits the sale of these products in conjunction with other methamphetamine precursors and is based on various regulations requiring retailers to record sales of acetone.”
The policy is similar to laws issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006, which “bans over-the-counter sales of cold medicines that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine” used to make methamphetamine. The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, signed by former President George W. Bush and enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration, states individuals can purchase pseudoephedrine in limited amounts each month and must show photo ID. Part of the act also requires that stores keep personal information of purchasers for two years.
According to How Stuff Works, the U.S. government has taken many steps to limit the abuse of methamphetamine, starting with production. Acetone, along with the controlled pseudoephedrine , is one of the required ingredients to manufacture, or “cook,” meth along with ammonia, sulfuric acid, toluene (commonly found in brake cleaner), sodium hydroxide (drain cleaner), Freon, iodine crystals, paint thinner, reactive metals like sodium or lithium, ether and red phosphorus.