What is methamphetamine or meth?
These days, unfortunately, any housing authority manager or landlord knows what methamphetamine or meth is. The insidiously addictive nervous system stimulant is cheap, easy to make and, therefore, ubiquitous. It’s also a deadly epidemic, destroying lives and property wherever it shows up.
Meth users systematically trade everything that matters to them away for the next meth rush, eventually becoming zombie-like human husks who care about nothing and no one except obtaining and using meth. For property managers and owners, discovering a meth lab means serious risk for their property and other residents of the property.
When a meth lab is discovered in a building, the building must be thoroughly inspected and tested for the presence of hazardous substances related to meth production. Such sites are often classified by law or regulation as hazardous or contaminated because potentially hazardous and even fatal chemicals and fumes left over from meth production can enter humans and animals through inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption.
Property owners and managers can offset meth lab cleanup costs with government grants designed to promote compliance with regulations.
Health and Safety Risks From Meth Labs
Methamphetamine is not only deadly to its users; the chemicals used to “cook” meth are toxic and produce still more toxic waste. In addition, cooking meth produces fumes that are both deadly toxins and volatile explosives. This is why state and federal regulations require strict compliance with rules to avoid exposing people and the environment to these hazards.
Symptoms that can indicate exposure to toxic chemicals used in or created by meth production include:
- Shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness or pain
- Burning or itching skin or eyes
- Hallucinations and paranoia
- Twitching or convulsions
- Memory loss
- Aggressive behavior
Potential serious health issues resulting from exposure to chemicals related to meth production include:
- Brain damage
- Permanent psychological disorders
- Liver damage
- Fatal kidney and lung and other organ disorders
Laws and Regulations
Colorado is among many states that have adopted strict regulations governing the cleanup and mitigation of illegal clandestine drug production sites, in particular, meth labs. These regulations are in addition to federal regulations aimed at protecting people and the environment from hazards such as toxic waste contamination, fire and explosions.
The Environmental Protection Agency and other federal and state organizations fund programs aimed at supporting meth lab cleanup regulations with incentives like grants to help pay for mitigation. All such opportunities for cleanup and restoration cost recovery are contingent on strict compliance with all regulations.
Abbotts knows and complies with all state and local laws and regulations related to methamphetamine laboratory cleanup and mitigation. Our knowledge of the strict rules designed to protect people and property from toxic meth lab contamination enables housing authorities and property owners to recover cleanup costs through grants from programs like the EPA’s Brownfields or “MethFields” initiative (links below).
Mitigating Meth Labs
Meth producers are continually innovating their techniques, streamlining and shrinking the space needed for meth production. This has resulted in meth labs popping up in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages and all other manner of structures, especially in rental properties.
Housing authorities, property owners and property managers find themselves, through no fault of their own, left with the responsibility and financial burden of cleaning up after criminals used their property for dangerous, illegal meth production. Making matters worse, the process of safely and legally cleaning up the toxic waste requires sophisticated protective equipment and safety measures, as well as near encyclopedic knowledge of complex, strict regulations. All of this can be very expensive, but property owners and managers can offset the costs with government grants designed to promote compliance with regulations.
Get Meth Lab Cleanup Facts, Then Get a Professional
Abbotts professionals are trained, certified and experienced at safely and thoroughly removing the dangerous by-products and safety hazards left by methamphetamine production. We’ve helped housing authorities and landlords across the Denver area safely and legally clean up meth labs, restore properties and protect the health and safety of residents. We can help you. Call us anytime, day or night.