Each year, thousands of meth labs are discovered by police in apartments and rental properties. If you’re a landlord, having an illegal meth lab pop-up in your rental property is not only dangerous, it can leave you financially liable.
How A Meth Lab Harms A Property
In more rural settings, meth labs are set up in storage barns, vacant buildings, or detached garages. With the increase of meth production in urban areas, these types of spaces are not available. This leaves the occupants to prepare their drugs inside the home. The process of cooking meth leaves a toxic residue that will contaminate all of the house surfaces to include even the soil around the home. The chemicals are highly toxic and combustible. Meth labs have been known to blow up increasing the circle of damage and endangering innocent lives.
How A Meth Lab Harms People
If a home has been used as a meth lab, it can not be lived in until decontaminated. People who unknowingly live in a home that formerly was a meth lab suffer from a number of health issues from the contamination. The toxicity can enter the body by being inhaled or the skin absorbing the materials. Common health complaints by people living near an operating meth lab are headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Chest pain and lack of coordination also have been reported. In the worst cases respiratory issues, kidney damage, cancer and even death are a risk. Then finally the risk of people being hurt in an explosion is very high.
Clues To Identify A Meth Lab
When inspecting a property, take note of the types of trash found. Pay close attention to trash such as empty containers of anti-freeze, white gas, ether, or starting fluids. Sheets or filters that are stained red or have a white, powdery residue. Large amounts of cold, diet, or allergy pill boxes (over-the-counter ephedrine or pseudoephedrine) likely signal a potential issue. If a large amount of over the counter medications like decongestants, stimulants or asthma medication are found you should look closer. Drain openers, freon, lye, paint thinner, acetone, or alcohol. Stains on soil or concrete and large areas of dead grass are also signs.
Meth lab equipment might include rubber hosing, duct tape, bottles and other glass containers, pressurized cylinders, camp stove fuel canisters, propane tanks and respiratory masks. Ammonia or propane tanks, anhydrous ammonia (in coolers). Jars or bottles with rubber tubing attached.
If any of these clues are present, talk to the neighbors about strong chemical odors they may have detected or if they have had any skin irritations, headaches or respiratory problems. As the clues stack up, it is time to bring in the professional law enforcement and no more time should be spent inside the property. To make one pound of methamphetamine, six pounds of hazardous, toxic waste is produced.
Meth Lab Clean Ups
A rental property owner will likely be informed by local law enforcement if the lab is busted. Once this occurs local government agencies will monitor the clean up and will not allow a home to be occupied until it receives a clean bill of health.
Remember, only a properly equipped and trained bio hazardous remediation company, like Trauma Services, will be able to safely and throughly conduct a meth lab cleanup. Once given permission by law enforcement, they’ll remove and properly dispose of the chemicals, equipment and contaminated materials.
About Trauma Services:
Trauma Services is the industry leader in dedicated biohazard cleaning & remediation, committed to helping families, businesses and property owners through difficult situations.