Meth lab cleanups are no small task. It’s a job that requires specialized knowledge of danger and expertise in decontamination. Suppose you have discovered a meth lab on your property. In that case, it’s important to contact the appropriate professional services immediately to ensure that the area is properly disinfected and safe for re-entry.
What Makes a Meth Lab Cleanup So Dangerous?
Meth labs are incredibly dangerous places for both those who are using them and those who are tasked with cleaning them up. This is because the chemicals used in meth production can be hazardous to human health and the environment. These chemicals can create toxic fumes, making people sick or even cause death if they are inhaled. Additionally, some of these chemicals can corrode surfaces or even cause fires or explosions if they are not handled properly. Because of this, it is important to take extra precautions when tasked with a meth lab clean up.
Why Are Chemicals Used in Meth Production Dangerous?
Meth is made in various ways, but there are three different groups of chemicals used in each one:
- Metals and salts
- Strong acids/bases.
Corrosives (strong acids/bases/solvents) like acetic acid and ammonia can cause a health threat due to inhalation. In liquid form, they easily become gasses or chemicals in the air. When corrosives are in powder form, they are also easy to inhale. When solid, corrosives can become explosive when near fire or heat. When you hear of a meth lab exploding, it’s usually because these chemicals caught fire.
Inhaled corrosive vapors can cause corneal injury, redness/eye irritation, and shedding tears that won’t stop. The mucous membranes in the nose and throat can experience extreme irritation. Lungs can become agitated and can cause bleeding in the lungs, shortness of breath, and a terrible cough.
Inhaling vaporous solvents, like acetone or isopropanol, can cause severe irritation as well. At high concentrations, solvents can cause a person to lose consciousness and injure the kidneys and liver.
Metals and salts are usually in solid form and pose little threat unless ingested or inhaled as dust in the air. Metals and salts like potassium metal and sodium hydroxide can become extremely corrosive when exposed to moisture. Lithium aluminum hydride is an extreme fire hazard, known to be reactive and explode.
What is Involved in a Meth Lab Cleanup?
Chemicals and other spilled agents will remain in a former lab until they are physically cleaned up. If the space is contaminated with heavy vapors, most will clear out with ventilation. However, chemical residuals will linger until removed with clean up. These residuals pose a great health risk and should never, ever be cleaned up by anyone other than a licensed professional.
Consider sharps, for instance. If someone was to cut themselves with drug paraphernalia, the risk would be high for life-altering infection. Exposure to these chemicals without proper PPE gear or ventilation could be life threatening.
Cleaning up a meth lab involves more than just wiping down surfaces and throwing away trash – it requires specialized knowledge and expertise to handle the hazardous materials safely and effectively. Professional services will need to be called in order to assess the situation and determine what needs to be done in order to decontaminate the area.
The process usually involves removing any hazardous materials from the premises, properly disposing of them, thoroughly sanitizing all surfaces, conducting air quality tests, and making sure that all safety protocols have been followed before allowing anyone back into the area.
Meth lab cleanups should never be attempted without professional assistance. It requires licensed professionals to do so safely and effectively without putting people’s health at risk or causing further damage to the environment or property.
What To Look For
The most obvious sign of a meth lab is the presence of suspicious chemicals and equipment such as glass jars and tubing. Additionally, there may also be strange smells coming from the area or chemical burns on surfaces like carpets or floors. Other signs to look out for include large amounts of trash or hazardous waste in the area as well as people coming and going at odd hours or staying overnight without permission.
If you’ve found an illegal drug lab on your property, you may feel unsafe, confused, or unsure of what to do next. It is important to remember that you are not alone and that there are resources available to help you navigate this difficult situation. Contact the BioCleanTeam right away so that we can assess the situation and properly decontaminate the area. Your safety is paramount and recuperating the space is possible!