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24hr Emergency Response

Methamphetamine Lab Clean Up

    Meth (methamphetamine) labs, used to make the illegal drug methamphetamine, turn up in houses, apartments, motel rooms, sheds, trailers and even motor vehicles

    Properties used to produce meth will usually have containers of chemicals such as solvents, ether, paint thinners, phosphorus, acids and bases, or anhydrous ammonia. Other lab equipment, cooking or storage containers, or heat sources may also be present.

    Small amounts of chemicals may have contaminated surfaces, drains, sinks, ventilation systems and absorbent materials (couches, carpets, beds etc.). The meth lab contaminants may pose serious health threats to persons exposed to them.

    People can be exposed by breathing the air that may contain suspended contaminant particles as dust, by touching surfaces that are contaminated, by eating or drinking from glasses or dishes that have layers of contaminated grime, or by eating or smoking after their hands are in contact with contaminated areas. Furnace air filters and drains may also have contamination in them. Children should never be allowed into these areas until cleaning is finished.

    Many of the contaminants used in meth labs can be harmful if people are exposed. Health problems may include breathing problems or respiratory irritation, skin and eye irritation, headaches, nausea and dizziness. High exposures even for a short time can cause death or severe lung damage and skin or throat burns.

    Health effects from long-term exposure after meth labs have been removed have not been studied extensively. The safest thing to do is make sure the area is cleaned up properly and any remaining contamination removed. The safest possible cleaning practice is to avoid exposure by using an environmental contractor who has the proper safety equipment and can verify by monitoring that all the contamination has been removed.