Unlike Walter White from Breaking Bad, most methamphetamine manufacturers don’t make meth in a camper out in the desert. Unbeknownst to many of us, meth dealers are “cooking” right in our towns and neighborhoods. Fortunately, the police and the DEA have become quite good at shutting down these meth operations and sending the manufacturers off to where they belong: jail.
But what happens after the perps are busted? Who’s responsible for cleaning up the lab and what goes into the process?
Why do vacant meth labs require special cleaning?
Making meth requires a tremendous amount of hazardous chemicals. Recipes for the drug vary, but most require metals (such as mercury), acids, bases, and other harmful chemicals that don’t just vanish once the property has been shut down. Even a vacant meth lab can be dangerous to those not equipped with special biohazard suits and proper training in cleaning hazardous areas. Since these chemicals are so dangerous to our health, biohazard cleanup in Illinois is essential to ensuring a property is safe to return to after a meth lab raid.
If a former meth lab isn’t cleaned properly, people in the area can actually experience symptoms of meth addicts. These can include irritated noses and throats, dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, and trouble breathing. If acids and/or bases were used in the production, contact with skin will cause a burning sensation. Meth recipes made with extremely harmful chemicals, like mercury, can cause long term health problems and even lead to birth defects further down the road.
How are meth labs cleaned?
Once the meth lab has been successfully shut down by law enforcement officials, biohazard cleanup in Illinois can commence. A team of trained professionals will first air out the property. Overtime the strong odor from cooking meth will dissipate if proper ventilation techniques are used. It’s important to note that biohazard professionals are the only people that should be in the former lab when the cleaning is going on.
It’s highly probable that all of the carpeting and drapery will have to be removed and properly destroyed. Vapors from the production ruin these materials and will continue to present problems for years to come if they are not taken care of immediately. Walls and floors can be scrubbed with soap and water to remove remaining stains, but if the problem is really bad, stronger cleaning chemicals may be used (if the area is properly ventilated).
The residence’s ventilation system will need to be removed and cleaned as well, in order to remove any potential molecules of hazardous chemicals. If strong odors are coming from drains or toilets, the plumbing will need to be flushed out as well.
What should I do if I suspect a meth lab is near my home?
Meth lab operations won’t always look shady to the casual observer. However, police officers have noticed trends amongst many former labs. The first thing you may notice is a strong scent of cleaning chemicals or other solvents. Many times, these chemicals are used in the production. Windows in the house may be covered in tin foil or plastic to keep sunlight at a minimum. The lawn, or even the actual structure may be ruined from harmful chemicals involved in production. Then again, the house may look perfectly normal from the outside! If you happen to notice increased activities late at night, this could be the sign of some ne’er-do-wells in your neighborhood.
The important thing to keep in mind is to never try to do any police work by yourself. Always keep your distance from suspected meth labs and let the police do their jobs. And, if you’re making an investment in or already own a property that has been shut down for meth production, make sure no one but a highly trained professional is cleaning it up.
Categorised in: Meth Lab Cleanup
This post was written by Writer