Meth Lab Decontamination Laws
“ It's illegal in 12 states (Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington) for anyone to live in a former meth lab house before it has been through the decontamination process, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws , a congressionally funded nonprofit that helps states set drug laws. ”
Information on Meth Labs
Methamphetamine use is a largely invisible problem gripping the United States, from rural areas to the high-rises of the city. The drug is manufactured in personal homes, rented apartments, hotel rooms and even automobiles. The rampant rise of meth production and use is only now being widely documented by the media. What has not garnered as much attention is the toxicity of the remaining furniture and building materials in clandestine meth labs.
Meth poses serious health threats, not only to those ho abuse the drug and those subjected to secondary exposure, but for new renters and new homeowners alike. The chemicals and the toxic by-products produced during the manufacturing process can have damaging, long term effects even after the lab is gone. For many people, moving into a new house or apartment is an exciting time full of anticipation and a sense of renewal. What they do not expect is breathing in residual toxic waste. For people who unknowingly move into these former illicit labs, exposure can be dangerous. The IAQM total structure decontamination process can successfully remediate former clandestine methamphetamine laboratories, uses a chemical decontaminant that is safe and non-toxic.
According to the DEA, 17,170 illegal meth labs were seized in 2004. Usually, after law enforcement finds a clandestine meth lab, hazardous material teams remove lab related materials such as chemicals and containers. However, they are not responsible for making a building habitable, meaning the structure is still contaminated because chemicals released throughout meth production easily absorb into porous building materials, decorations and contents. Sinks, drains and HVAC systems also become contaminated when meth is "cooked" and disposed of inside a building. For every one pound of meth produced, up to 6 pounds of toxic byproducts are created. These can coat a home, apartment or rented property. The myriad of chemicals left behind include chloroform, phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid and many numerous poisonous chemical compounds.
Structures that have housed clandestine meth labs can be compromised through gross and secondary contamination. Gross contamination in these areas may be caused by explosions and spills or by chemical fumes and gases created during the heating and distilling portions of the "cooking" process. Affected indoor materials may include hardwood and carpeted floors, drywall, plastic and glass containers, working surfaces, furniture and other textile products, plumbing fixtures and drains, and heating and air-conditioning vents. Secondary areas of contamination may include high-traffic locations where contamination has migrated. Shared air space or materials and fixtures in multiple dwelling structures and adjacent apartments or rooms may also be contaminated.
The chemicals left behind after meth production are toxic and can have acute and long term effects. Some of the problems associated with contaminant exposure include:
- Breathing problems
- Respiratory irritation
- Skin and eye irritation
- Nausea and dizziness
Meth Lab Cleanup and Decontamination
IAQM Structural Decon has been specially formulated for buildings that have been compromised by biological and chemical contamination. It is a non-toxic, non-corrosive formulation for the deactivation of biological contaminants and neutralization of toxic chemical compounds within structures. Our decontamination process can successfully rid your structure of the poisonous chemicals associated with the production of methamphetamines.
Concerned about contents cross contamination of items within a toxic environment such as furniture, clothes and priceless heirlooms that could be contaminated? With IAQM's DOD - Decontamination on Demand, there is no need to worry. IAQM has developed an innovative, safe, fast, and efficient process for contents decontamination. IAQM has the technology, equipment and dedicated brand of service to completely satisfy all your contents restoration needs. By using our efficient and effective processes you will save valuable time and money during contents restoration. Being proactive about contents restoration services can save many of your valuable items. Addressing the problem quickly and having the job done right the first time is a crucial step to retaining items once thought to be unsalvageable.
To find out how our expert decontamination services can help you rehabilitate your home, office or property, contact us today.