Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant. It’s known as meth, crystal, chalk and ice. It’s manufactured into a powder that dissolves in water or alcohol. Meth labs are usually a home where household products like acetone, brake cleaner and iodine are used to cook cold medicine into meth.
The number of meth labs has exploded in the United States in recent years. The Drug Enforcement Agency made nearly 3,000 methamphetamine seizures in 2014 compared to about 1,500 ten years earlier.
Often landlords don’t know their property is used as a meth lab. People will rent homes specifically to set up a meth lab. Telltale signs of a meth lab in a home are unusual odors such as urine, ammonia or rotten eggs. Homemade fans or furnace blowers are used for ventilation. There’s often a lot of people coming and going from the house.
It’s estimated a pound of cooked meth leaves behind up to seven pounds of chemical waste. Residues from a meth lab can cause a myriad of health problems including skin irritation, headaches, nausea, dizziness and breathing issues.
If a home containing a meth lab isn’t cleaned properly, molecules from a meth lab can be re-emitted for months or years. Exposure to these molecules over a long period of time can lead to liver and kidney damage, neurological problems and an increased risk of cancer.
Meth residue coats the surfaces in a home such as walls, floors and ceilings. Carpets, drapes and blankets are exposed. Counter tops, cabinets and sinks are coated as well. It also invades spaces behind walls, duct work, attics and can even invade sheetrock.
Meth lab cleanup requires a licensed and certified professional to clean and dispose of hazardous material. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration as well as the US Environmental Protection Agency have strict guidelines about the disposal of hazardous materials.
Meth decontamination requires a Trauma Scene Cleanup company to provide cleaning Services. Bio Management Northwest has trained technicians to handle all biohazard situations and limit the exposure and risk in the situation of a meth lab cleanup.
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