Methamphetamine, also known as “meth,” “speed,” “crank,” “crystal,” and “ice,” is a terrible illicit substance. It wreaks havoc on the user’s central nervous system as well as their skin, teeth, hair, bones, and of course their psyche. Furthermore, the chemicals that go into the production of methamphetamine are extremely dangerous. The (often amateur) labs that manufactures it create hazardous environments that need proper professional care.
Meth is commonly manufactured in illegal, hidden “labs” inside hotels, apartments, vehicles, RVs, residential homes, or even makeshift outdoor setups. Some of these homes are rented out, others overrun by squatters or transients. We have even seen labs in attics “rented” out by tenants who are having a hard time keeping their home
How is Meth Made?
Meth is made by mixing various forms of amphetamine (which can be found over the counter in Sudafed or other cold pills) with chemicals such as battery acid, drain cleaner, lantern fuel, and antifreeze. These dangerous chemicals are potentially explosive when mixed.
Because the meth cooks are drug users themselves they can be careless or disoriented while preparing chemicals which adds to the danger of fires and explosions.
NOTE: If there is a fire emergency in a potential meth lab, DO NOT ENTER the property and let the first responders know that this is a “hazmat emergency” due to the toxic fumes from these chemicals.
Besides the inherent fire damage, the illegal laboratories create massive amounts of toxic waste. Illegal production of one pound of methamphetamine produces five pounds of waste. People exposed to this waste material can become poisoned and sick.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW???
When a laboratory is shut down, some equipment may be removed by law enforcement. The remaining paraphernalia or cooking equipment will need to be properly disposed of by an environmental company like The BIOClean Team. The property will also be contaminated with methamphetamine and hazardous chemical residues that need attention.
The safest way to clean up a former meth lab is to hire a company, like THE BIOClean Team, trained in hazardous waste removal and cleanup. (see our certifications and training HERE)
Meanwhile, PLEASE make sure that ANYONE near or about to enter the property is FULLY aware of the hazardous materials and toxic fumes present in the property. We suggest posting “no trespassing” and “hazmat” signs around the property as well as securing the property with a board up while we complete our risk assessment and containment for cleanup.
We strongly advise against entering the property, but if you MUST for any reason, please wear proper protective equipment. If at all possible retain a BIOClean Team technician as an escort during this time and wear a full respirator, long sleeves, and facial covering as chemicals may be absorbed by the skin. Also, be aware that general sanitation issues frequently exist at former meth labs and may include filth, pest infestations, and hypodermic needle hazards. Thick work gloves, sturdy closed toed shoes, and eye protection should be worn.
AGAIN: WE DO NOT SUGGEST ENTERING THE PROPERTY.
The chemicals may be odorless, tasteless, and invisible, and you can get VERY ILL!
So how do we clean it? Check back next time on the BIOClean Blog for our Meth Lab Cleanup Procedures. If you need help getting a property that was used as a meth lab back in a healthy, livable condition, give us a call today and Stacy and the BIOClean Team will work hard to work with you and return the property to good shape.