Health Effects if exposed to Methamphetamine Residue
- Short term health effects include migraines, dizziness, confusion, chest pain, respiratory problems, lack of coordination, nausea, fatigue, skin irritation
- Long term health effects of exposure to meth residue include cancer, birth defects, reproductive problems, and damage to the brain, liver and kidneys and teeth
- Residue left by smoking meth can be just as dangerous as residue from meth labs.
- A home can be contaminated with meth residue at dangerous levels after smoking meth only twice.
- Contamination from meth residue can linger and can be detected years after original exposure until properly remediated.
- 1 in 10 vacant homes have some level of meth residue according to the state police. Many times these homes used to be rentals and are now for sale.
- State police also tell us that only 10% of meth labs are uncovered.
- Indiana ranks #1 in meth lab busts by law enforcement officials, Michigan is now #2.
- Meth is made up of numerous toxic substances including household chemicals such as brake fluid, battery acid, ammonia, pseudoephederine, rubbing alcohol and fertilizer among other things. Because of it's complicated chemical make up, once mixed, meth compounds are difficult to break down and clean.
- Some visual signs of meth are staining on walls, ceilings, appliances, sinks, exhaust fans, and ductwork. Furthermore, some properties can have a foul smell, but not always.
- Properties that have been deemed a meth lab by law enforcement are listed on the following websites...however thousands of homes are said to be contaminated with meth residue by users that smoke it.
- Testing of properties that have been deemed a meth lab by law enforcement can only be done by state certified testers. Government enforced testing is exhaustive and can run in the $1,000-$2,000 range. If a property HAS NOT been deemed a meth lab by law enforcement then there are no regulations for testing in place and anyone can test.
- YES offers 3 kinds of non-regulated testing services...
- Instant on-site testing - $224 and up (yes or no answer on site, 2 samples)
- Laboratory surface testing - $400 and up (gives you exact levels of methanphetamine)
- VOC air testing - $300-$750 (full analysis of chemical compounds in the air, 1 area)
- Instant on-site testing is the most popular choice in real estate transactions to determine whether or not meth residue is present in a home one is considering for purchase.
- Laboratory testing is often chosen when instant on-site testing detects meth residue as being present to help determine which areas of the property have been contaminated and at what levels.
- VOC air testing can be used for the following...
- To detect chemical compounds in the air that make up meth when there are no visual signs of meth residue present
- To confirm that meth cleanup has been successful in removing harmful chemical compounds circulating through the air
- It is not safe to enter a property contaminated with meth residue without a full mask respirator and proper personal protection equipment.
- Meth cleanup of properties that have been deemed a meth lab by law enforcement can only be done by state certified remediators. Government enforced meth cleanup is exhaustive and can run in the $10,000-$20,000 range. If a property HAS NOT been deemed a meth lab by law enforcement then there are no regulations for cleanup in place and anyone can remediate.
- YES offers non-regulated remediation for meth cleanup involving meth residue only (not meth labs) which costs less than clean up of meth labs or we can help you through DIY cleanup.
- Depending on contamination levels, some properties have to be demolished down to the original framing in order to be decontaminated properly.
- There are many steps to meth cleanup including these listed below. Some steps make even need to be repeated.
- Testing to assess contamination
- Removal and disposal of all porous items (carpet, furnishings, clothing)
- Removal and disposal of appliances
- Air cleaning (air out, ozone, and air scrubbing)
- Ductwork and HVAC cleaning
- (3) Surface washes
- Clearance testing