How to deal with a Meth Residue: Step-By-Step
Step 1 – Meth Contamination is suspected
If it is suspected that the occupants of a property have been smoking, dealing or cooking meth, the landlord or property manager must take steps to ensure the property is free of contamination prior to re-leasing a property. An operational meth lab is not always required in order to contaminate a property of the level limit of 0.5ug as heavy smoking can also cause contamination. If there is any suspicion that meth/ice has been consumed with a property, meth testing should always take place.
Detailed laboratory testing involves taking samples from the property which are than sent to the laboratory for testing and further analysis. The results to this testing as critical as they will be used determine the level of contamination and areas contaminated so that an appropriate Remediation Action Plan (RAP) can be developed.
Step 3 – The Cleaning Process for a Meth Lab
In order to clean a meth lab back to a non toxic state, all carpet, curtains, beds, toys, linen, couches and other highly absorbent material must be removed from the affected property and either clean (for high value items) or disposed of. Food preparation surfaces such as kitchen benches may need to be removed and disposes of depending of the levels of meth residue found.
- Where there is visible staining or discolouration of wall, ceilings, tiles or other surfaces, they will need to be removed and disposed of in the correct manor.
- Walls or surfaces that have been painted over (to try to conceal the contamination) must also be removed as the meth residue becomes stuck in the paint and will continue to off gas for many years. It is strongly recommended that home owners do not paint over wall that have been contaminated due to an operating meth lab.
- The property is then thoroughly cleaned from floor to ceiling to remove any dust and other materials that may have built up. This is required so that the meth decontamination formula can be most effective.
- Meth Decontamination Formula – Crystal Clean was developed by the US Government to neutralise highly contaminated materials. Crystal Clean is used by the military and was the first decontaminate to effectively kill anthrax. It is extremely effective in the removal of residue from dangerous chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine as well as meth itself. The product crystal clean is a three part system that must be mixed before applied through an industrial grade foaming machine.
- A final Chemical Fogging treatment is applied to the areas in the property where contamination is present. The fogging allows every surface of the property to be covered, ensuring no area is missed.
Step 4 – Post Meth Residue Testing
Once the property has been thoroughly decontaminated, further lab testing is performed to ensure contamination levels are below Australian guidelines. If meth clearance levels are not meet, further remediation will need to take place until the clearance level is met. All meth remediation work carried out by Australian Forensic Cleaning is fully guaranteed to receive clearance. For more information on the visit methlabs.com.au
Performing Meth Residue Testing is essential before any cleanup can take place. Depending on the levels of contamination and location within the property, will determine which areas can be successfully cleaned and what is required to be disposed of.
Dangers of Meth Labs (Clandestine Drug Labs)
When the cooking process takes place, methamphetamine becomes airborne both as a particular and a vapor. It is able to absorb into furniture, floors, walls, clothing, furnishings and children’s toys. Exposure to these harmful chemicals used in the production of meth can cause a multitude of health issues, children and the elderly are will often be the most affected by these dangerous chemicals. Exposure to high levels of the chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine has been linked to serious illness, cancer and even death.
In Australia the safe level of exposure is set at 0.5 ug though it is important to note that these levels are not based on health effects as currently there is not the research available to determine what the safe level of exposure is. In saying this, practically anyone that has been associated with a meth cook area will return a positive urine reading for methamphetamine.
Often after a meth lab is seized there are other drug paraphernalia such as syringes or needles that have not been found and disposed of by the police or forensic drug unit. If is important that the highest level of care and protective equipment is used when removing contaminates from a former meth lab. Hazards such as hidden needles, bobby traps or chemicals must removed in a safe manor.
An operating meth lab is extremely dangerous as they are highly volatile as they are often set up crudely. One wrong move can ignite fumes and other chemicals setting off a huge chemical explosion. This also puts occupants within the and neighboring properties at risk. If you come in contact or see the signs that a clandestine drug lab has been in operation, remove yourself from the area and contact police immediately to discuss what you have encountered.