Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that activates the pleasures centers in the brain. Meth may be sold as a powder or rock like substance. The most common names for meth are: Crystal, Crank, Ice, Glass. It is very dangerous and it can create many health problems. Second hand use also can create many health problems by breathing, touching or being around meth contaminants.
Yellow discoloration on walls, showers, sinks and drains.
Blue discoloration on valves of propane tanks and fire extinguishers.
Smoke or fire detectors are removed or have been taped over.
Symptoms while inside the house:, burning eyes or throat, itching, a metallic taste in your mouth and breathing problems.
Unusual strong odors that smell like materials from a garage.
The use of security cameras and surveillance equipment.
It is very important to request a meth test. For a few hundred dollars it could give a person much comfort knowing if the home is safe or could be a death trap or a health hazard.
From what we have heard and read to this date there is currently no research that determines specific health effects at various levels of surface meth contamination exposure. Methamphetamine works on the centers of the brain that increase the risk of dopamine, which is a chemical that normally helps regulate and elevate the mood. It is important to check with your state to see what their minimum recommended levels might be. Every state seems to have different minimum standards before they require clean-up action to take place. Because of the way meth interacts with the body, even small amounts of meth can cause any variety of the following:
Irregular heart beat
Decrease in the appetite
Increased body temperature
Rapid heart rate
First it is recommend contacting the local police department to see if any reports have been filed. The next step would be to do one of the following: 1. Have your property tested by a qualified, licensed inspector. They could cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on how many locations they test and the type of company you are using. 2. For less than a hundred dollars you can test the property yourself by using a company such as HomeMethTest.com. If your samples are tested by a qualified lab this type of test can give you a good idea if you need further testing by a qualified inspector or can feel fairly safe. Without using a professional lab, you will not know if the person testing followed the correct testing procedures.
The property owner is always responsible for the remediation costs but clean-up it can be negotiated into the purchase price. Most times lender will not lend money on a piece of property if it has high levels of meth. Recommend contacting your local health department to see what the local ordinances and standards are to see what additional steps need to be taken.
Certified decontamination specialists have passed a test and been certified by the Department of Environmental Quality to remediate properties contaminated with meth. Please check with your local government for a list of certified specialists. Sometimes the meth inspection company can also do the clean-up but be aware there could be a conflict of interest in some cases. It might be wise to get a few bids for clean-up of a property.
As long as protocols are followed and the final sampling falls below the decontamination standard, the owner of record can remediate their own property. If you are the owner of record and choose to remediate your property, you must comply with all federal, state, municipal, and local laws, rules, ordinances, and regulations in the decontamination process. You will be required after clean-up to get the property retested and have test results come in at safe standards.
Remediation costs vary depending on the size of the home, the extent of the contamination, and the company decontaminating your home. It is recommended you call at least 3 decontamination specialists and obtaining bids to begin the process. Make sure you know what each company is going to do so you can compare apples to apples. It is important that these companies are licensed qualified businesses.
The timing and length of the decontamination process varies from several weeks to several months. The time needed is dependent on the size of the property, extent of the contamination, and the company performing the decontamination. Be sure to ask the specialists about their estimated time of completion.
If the property has high levels of meth, you should not want to live in the home for a second until it has been cleaned up. The decontamination process requires securing the contaminated areas against unauthorized access until the decontamination is complete.
We recommend contacting your local government agency for current standards. Each local health department is authorized to create ordinances specific to their jurisdiction. Contacting your local health department before beginning the remediation process (clean up) is recommended.
If meth has been produced in the home, then generally meth sample test results are very high. Additionally, meth labs introduce many hazardous chemicals into the home and the environment. Homes with only meth use often test at lower, but still significant levels of meth might be present. Often it is difficult to distinguish between a lab and a use situation because meth is now being produced in ways where typical visual signs do not occur.
Meth labs leave harmful, hazardous chemical residues on building structures. Even just using meth can leave high levels of meth residue. It is recorded every pound of meth produced in a lab leaves 5-6 pounds of toxic waste. Meth can be made from household items which are toxic, flammable, and otherwise hazardous in combination.
Some signs that a property warrants further testing include: Jars containing clear liquid with white or red colored solid on the bottom. Large amounts of lithium batteries, especially ones that have been stripped. Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue. Occupants of residence going outside to smoke. Large amount of cold tablet containers that list Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine as ingredients. Coffee filters containing Sulfuric, Muriatic or Hydrochloric Acid. Bottles or jars with rubber tubing attached.
In order for a health department to accept test results, the test must be performed by a Certified Decontamination Specialist. Many drug testing companies, home inspectors, and other entities offer meth test kits. These kits may be useful as a screening tool for evaluating a property. Be sure to check with your health department that is over your state or county for additional information.