According to Newsweek magazine August 8th 2005 “Methamphetamine is America’s most dangerous drug. It creates a potent long-lasting high-until after the user crashes and to often, literally burns…The crystalline white drug quickly seduces those who snort, smoke or inject with a euphoric rush of confidence, hyper alertness and sexiness that lasts for hours on end. And then it starts destroying lives.”
Your Neighborhood Secret: The Meth House
Author: Corey Olson, Inspector
Every neighborhood probably has one, a former Meth House and most people don’t even know it. I am a “Certified Home Inspector” inspecting homes daily for buyers wanting to know what they are buying. “What problems should I be aware of?” is their number one question. In doing a home inspection I look at and test around 500 items.
…it (meth) will usually get into carpets, attach itself to walls, duct work and anything it touches.
What “home inspectors” do not include in the normal inspection can “kill” you. In my opinion a buyer should consider getting a Radon test, Lead Paint test, Asbestos test but the most important is the Meth test. If a home has been a Meth lab or had Meth smoked in the home, it can cause serious illness, birth defects or even death for those living in the home.
It is the State, County or your Cities little secret. Some believe, “Don’t talk about it and maybe it will go away.” It is a fact, many homes in your State, your city and your neighborhood will test positive for Meth.
Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug and one easy to buy, use and even make. If smoked in a home it will usually get into carpets, attach itself to walls, duct work and anything it touches. If you are dealing with just the smoke residue it can be cleaned up fairly inexpensive buy washing, replacing items and extra ordinary care from a professional. If by chance meth has been made in the home or apartment, it is seriously expensive to do the cleanup. Normally a professional will have to clean and many times replace all flooring, sheetrock, insulation, studs, ductwork, sinks, furnace and many other parts of the home.
One mom in the Denver area upon finding her home she had recently moved into had been used as a meth lab stated, “I find it shocking that this would be allowed to happen. Since it is so dangerous to our children’s health, it is maybe the reason my 8 month old grandson has had mysterious medical problems.” “He has had seizures. He’s had 13 seizures since the middle of December.”
In a New York Times article it told the story of the Holt family. After moving into their home in 2005 they began getting “a hotbed of mysterious illnesses. The Holt’s three babies were ghostlike and listless, with breathing problems that called for respirators, repeated trips to the emergency room and, for the middle child, Anna, the heaviest dose of steroids a toddler can take.
Holt, a nurse, developed migraines. She and her husband, a factory worker, had kidney aliments.
It was not until February, more than five years after they moved in, that the couple discovered the root of their troubles: Their house, across the road from a cornfield in this towns 70 miles from Nashville, was contaminated with high levels of methamphetamine left by the previous occupant….”
The alarming thing is very few of the meth labs are located and cleaned up. One officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health sad, “law enforcement estimates only one in 10 of all homes that once contained meth labs have been found.” This does not even take into consideration the number of home and apartments which have been contaminated by meth smoke. It has to be dozens and maybe hundreds of homes in every community which are poisonous and the owners have no idea. They may not have the high levels of meth as a former lab, but even with low levels in my opinion they are “slow killers.”
I did a meth test for a local realtor who wanted to buy a four-plex in a nice community of Utah. Three out of the four units tested positive for meth. The seller would not discount the price of the unit for clean-up and the sale failed, but the buyer was a happy camper for knowing before hand what he was getting into. It should be criminal for the owner not to disclose this meth information to the tenants, let alone to any new buyer. Still many times it is NOT disclosed.
From what I have read the State of Minnesota thinks it is serious enough that they require a meth test to be performed on every home bought and sold in their State.
There seems to be no consensus about what constitutes a safe level of exposure to meth residue. According to on Utah Heath Department, “We don’t have a lot of science, but what can we do?” “This is not something natural in the environment. It’s a medication, an addictive drug. Why should anybody have to put up with any of it?’ But some landlords are balking at the thousands of dollars in cleanup costs when there’s not clear evidence of danger in trace amounts of the drug. What State standards exist vary broadly. The Federal Government has been working on the problem but unless something has changed recently, there are no national standards yet to govern meth contamination.
We can put our heads in the sand and hope this goes away, but it is NOT! It is happening everywhere and we need to protect ourselves from this problem.
When buying a home or renting an apartment, either get a meth test or remember the words, “Let the buyer beware” or you might suffer the consequences.