Meth Labs Hurt More Than Just Cooks And Users


It is no secret that the making of methamphetamine is a serious problem.  Since meth can be made using household items, it is unique from many drugs in that it can be "cooked" at home with the right materials and knowledge.  It doesn't have to be shipped and smuggled in from other countries.  Meth could be cooking closer to home than you think, and it can be a real problem for many more people than just the "cooks" and "users."

Overview of Methamphetamine

If you've ever watched Breaking Bad you are probably somewhat familiar with meth, how it is made, transported, and how it affects people.  Making meth involves mixing several household chemicals together that are very volatile.  It can be done in huge amounts (like Walt and Jesse did) or in smaller amounts (what likely happens in most cases).

When meth is "cooked," it releases particles and vapors into the air.  This is what causes contamination.  When oxygen meets the concoction too soon, an explosion can occur.  

The Importance of Proper Cleanup

When a meth lab is discovered, it is important that precautions are taken to keep everyone safe.  The health department is notified.  They come to the location, identify the activity that has occurred, and condemns the location.  During condemnation, the location must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated.  People who are properly trained are brought in to decontaminate and clean the property.  It is often gutted, since smoke from the cooking usually permeates everything, from the carpet to the drywall, appliances and insulation. 

This thorough cleanup must occur because there is no known lowest amount of methamphetamine that is "safe" for humans.  A person can be accidentally exposed by inhaling the vapors or by touching something that has been permeated with the smoke. Some side effects that often come with being exposed to even small amounts of meth are shortness of breath, chest pain, skin irritation and dizziness.  Children are especially susceptible to these symptoms when exposed. 

After a standard period of time after clean up, the air and surfaces are tested to see what the levels of meth are.  Once the levels are acceptable, people are allowed to reenter the property.  At that point the owners are left to put it  back together, often needing to replace everything inside.

Effects of Meth on the Innocent

Cooking and smoking meth have effects on many more people than just the cooks and users.  An explosion can hurt people in the area and can damage property.  Anyone who has come in contact with any level of methamphetamine will test positive on a drug test.  People who have been exposed can experience symptoms of meth exposure. 

The worst part is, you may have been exposed to meth and not even known it.  People are creative with where they cook.  Sometimes it happens in the basement or attic of a home with innocent family members or friends living elsewhere in the house.  People are known to cook in hotel rooms.  Depending on the ventilation system in the hotel or motel, the fumes can be carried throughout the building and affect other guests.  Landlords who rent homes may have a tenant who contaminates the rental.  With the amount of foreclosures that occur, there is a chance a foreclosed home was once a meth lab and future tenants can be exposed. 

If a home is condemned in your neighborhood, the owners may not have the money to fix the property.  It is a very expensive process, and often everything inside must be replaced.  Owners then walk away from the property, and the neighborhood is left with a condemned eyesore.  This can attract squatters and can severely damage the property value of other homes in the area. 

Cooking meth is not glamorous and is very dangerous.  Proper clean up is vital to keep innocent people safe, and entire communities can be affected by just one meth lab. For more information on meth lab cleanups, contact a professional like The Crime Scene Cleaner.


13 July 2015

Making My Home Spic and Span

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