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DogProof Mylar Bags - Are Mylar Bags Used to Store Drugs

Last Updated: 04 January 2014

 

Why is there a link between Mylar Bags and Drugs?

The link between mylar bags and drugs has existed almost since mylar was invented in the early 1950s by the DuPont Corporation. The main aim of drug smugglers seems to be minimising the chances of detection and since mylar bags offer the best oxygen / gas barrier available they are the perfect choice. There are many products on the market that claim to be smell-proof and even dog-proof but you will find that these products are made of a standard plastic film which whilst less expensive than mylar, does not have anywhere near the oxygen / gas barrier properties of mylar. This is why Mylar is designated as the most useful substance in containing many "hard-to-hold" food or non-food products and why it is such a high flavour / odor barrier. Another reason why mylar bags and drugs have been so closely linked may also be to do with the heat-sealable nature of most mylar bags. This means that the seals can be as thick as the customer would like, and one large bag can be sealed many times using simply a household iron. It is this ease of use that gives mylar bags their appeal to the everyday customer and the drug dealer alike. Drug detection methods are becoming better and more advanced every day but there is one tool that has existed for a great deal of time and will most likely be used in drug detection for a long time to come and that is the dog! This leads us onto the next question...

 

So just how Sensitive is a Dog's nose anyway / How do Dogs Detect Drugs?

Most people have seen a drug dog / sniffer dog at some point in their lives, whether they are walking through an airport or into a public school in the United States and it is common to ask yourself how a drug detecting dog does his job. There are a great many different types of sniffer dogs, with some being trained to sniff out invasive insects and even wildlife and wildlife parts like rhino horns and ivory. In all instances of drug detecting and sniffer dogs they are using their noses which are remarkable tools indeed! A dog's nose is generally 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human's depending on breed and you can be sure that the English Springer Spaniel, which is a very common sniffer dog breed, is on the very high end of the scale! There is no need here to go into the workings of a dog's nose but it should be said that a dog sees the world predominantly in smell rather than as we do, in sight. They also have a brain which, whilst only 1 tenth of the size of the human brain, contains an area dedicated to smell which is 40 times larger than in humans. This makes sniffing a package as a human to see if it is leaking any smell quite an ineffective method of determining that the package is securely sealed.

When a sniffer dog is detecting drugs they are not actually looking for the drugs themselves, as obviously the dog has very little interest in drugs. Instead, it is looking for its favourite toy, commonly a white towel, which it associates with the smell of various drugs. So when a sniffer dog is scratching at your bag it is actually quite sure that your bag contains its favourite toy! This leads us onto our next question...

 

Is it Really Possible to Conceal the Smell of Drugs in Mylar Bags?

There is an anecdote that whilst many smugglers of drugs will make very sure to seal and pack their drugs internally they will not wash the outside of the package which is likely contaminated with small particles of the drug. This means that no matter the oxygen / gas barrier properties of mylar the packages could not be said to be "dog-proof" because the smell is on the outside of the package. There have been surprisingly few scientific tests done on whether a sniffer dog could detect a smell on the inside of a heat-sealed mylar bag and there are a great deal of myths around smell-proofing / dogproofing a package but the reason there is such a large link between mylar bags and drugs and it is the highest gas / flavour / odor barrier available to purchase means that it will remain heavily linked to the storage of drugs. 

 

Helpful links related to Mylar Bags / Dog Proof Bags and Drug Storage

http://www.ak47.net/forums/t_10_17/630476_.html

http://www.smellstoppers.com/smell-stopper-articles/what-are-smell-stopper-bags

http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/17980926

http://www.livescience.com/9215-police-dogs-sniff-drugs.html

 

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