Meth Heads Using 88-Year-Old's Invention - NBC Bay Area

Meth Heads Using 88-Year-Old's Invention

Device to Purify Water is Cooking Meth, Feds Say



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    All Bob Wallace wanted to do was purify water. And now this, according to the DEA.

    Thirty years ago, hiker and Stanford-trained chemist Bob Wallace invented a way to avoid giardia and other water-born diseases.

    Now, the 88-year old inventor is on the Drug Enforcement Administration's short list.

    Saratoga resident Wallace's brainchild is called Polar Pure, and it's a plastic bottle with crystalline iodine in the bottom, perfect for disinfecting water while out on the trail. Problem is, it's also perfect for meth labs, according to the DEA, which is shutting down Wallace's garage-built trade, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    At his business's height, Wallace sold enough $6.50 bottles of Polar Pure to clear $100,000 a year, according to the newspaper. But his Oklahoma-based distributor of iodine says he can no longer sell to Wallace, after warnings from the DEA.

    Polar Pure has been found at meth lamps in Tennessee, according to a San Jose-based narcotics agent, who said that "Beavis and Butthead types" were going into camping stores and buying out all of the Polar Pure.

    Wallace can continue his business as long as he pays a $1,200 fee, secures state and federal permits, and surrenders a list of his customers to the federal government. But since his iodine distributor's been warned not to sell to him, it appears it's game over for the octogenarian inventor.