Shopping for a new home is an exciting process, but what happens when you find out your former home is a meth home? Having a neighbor tell you, your home used to be a meth lab, is disturbing to say the least. Was the home decontaminated correctly? A certificate from the local health department will prove a home was decontaminated, but there is still a concern about a former meth home. Some homeowners have their new homes tested to find traces of methamphetamine still exist in the home. Common health problems can range from short-term issues to long-term health consequences. It can eventually lead to cancer in some individuals, and children are at a higher risk for health problems related to meth exposure due to their developing bodies. When home meth labs are created, toxins are spread into every inch of the room and into other areas of the home. Carpeting, walls, drapery, air ducts, furniture, and the air is toxic. When Apple Environmental handles the decontamination process, we wear respirators and correct protective clothing to prevent health risks. In many cases a home that has been used as a meth lab is deemed a hazardous waste site. The amount of chemicals removed from a meth lab is staggering. Proper procedure must be followed to remove the toxic influence of chemicals from the room. All surfaces must be scrubbed, walls must be repainted, carpeting and air filtration systems need to be replaced. The problem with meth lab cleanup is there is not currently a national standard. Some companies do not have adequate training to correctly treat and decontaminate a meth house.
Many of the contaminants present during meths cooking process can be harmful if someone is exposed to them. These contaminants can cause health problems including respiratory (breathing) problems, skin and eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Acute (short-term) exposures to high concentrations of some of these chemicals, such as those law enforcement officers face when they first enter a lab, can cause severe health problems including lung damage and burns to different parts of the body. There is little known about the health effects from chronic (long-term) exposure to contaminants left behind after a meth lab is dismantled. Until the contaminants have been identified, their quantities measured, and their health effects known, Federal Regulations advises property owners to exercise caution and use the safest possible cleaning practices in dealing with a former meth lab property and any possible remaining contamination.