In the year 2003, U.S. state law enforcement uncovered and seized 17,000 residential homes that had been used as meth labs. Officials also estimate that for every one meth lab that is found there are ten more that go undiscovered. Taking into consideration ABC Kentucky’s news report in 2011 that stated in places like Kentucky meth consumption has tripled since 2008. It’s not an unlikely estimate to assume that there are currently as many as 1,000,000 undiscovered meth homes in America.
What does this mean for you and your home? As you might imagine occupants of a meth home traditionally don’t stay in one place for very long. More times than not their dependency and addiction to the drug will cause a financial collapse resulting in foreclosure of their home. If this isn’t the case, they end up on the run moving from city to city trying to stay off the pharmaceutical alert system. And if both of these scenarios don’t play out, the likelihood of imprisonment or death leaves the meth lab vacant and uninhabited. With all of these empty meth homes land lords, property owners, and mortgage firms are left with homes they need to sell. Whether they are aware of the contaminants that were produced in the home or not, the property is often sold off or rented to unsuspecting victims.
Is Buying and Living in a former Meth Lab Dangerous?
Living in a former meth lab is extremely dangerous. For every one pound of drug that is produced in a meth lab operation, there is six pounds of toxic waste left behind. Meth particles find their way into porous sheet rock, furniture, carpet, air ducts, vents and appliances. And if you think 409 and some elbow grease will take care of the problem, your mistaken. Serious professional steps need to be taken to clean a former meth lab so that it safe. Side effects of living in a meth home are similar to the side effects of the actual use of the drug.
What are the Side Effects of Living in a Former Meth Lab?
Meth Amphetamines effect the central nervous system and the brain making it’s effects on children even more sever than those experienced by adults. Everyones body will react differently when introduced to the drug. This makes a strict list of side effects difficult to use as a checklist. However, enough research and examples have been discovered to know some very prominent side effects of living in a meth home. A sample list of dangerous side effects is given below:
- Dilated Pupils
- Hair Loss
- Loss of Memory
- Mood Swings
- Liver Failure
- Kidney Disease
- Suicidal thoughts and actions
How can I tell if my home was a former Meth Lab?
Because great lengths can be taken by property owners to clean up messes left behind, it is always best to have a professional inspection company take a test and send it to a lab. Only then can you be 100% sure there is, or is not, an issue. The government has also began compiling a list of known properties where a meth lab was in operation. You can access the list of known former Utah meth labs by clicking the link below. If not covered up, there are some tips in identifying former meth labs that may be useful. Look for the following items on or near the property to tell if there has been suspicious activity that may be in connection with a meth lab.
- An unusual amount of empty allergy medicine boxes
- Paint Thinner Containers
- Starter Fluid Containers
- Large amounts of match boxes
- Duct Tape
- Strange looking propane tanks
- Missing smoke detectors
- Yellow stains on walls and ceilings
- Dead vegetation
How Can a Former Lab be Cleaned?
First of all, if you think you may be living in a former meth lab, call a meth cleanup professional immediately for a test. If there is an issue, cleanup should be done by a professional company with experience cleaning meth homes. Often time the carpet will need to be removed a will the furniture and other porous surfaces. Each state has it’s own regulations as to the procedure and the limit of meth particles that can be in an occupied building.
If you think you may have a problem in Utah click the link below…Need a Home Tested?