Methamphetamine is a drug that is also known as meth,
speed, crank, crystal or ice. It is a potent synthetic drug t
hat stimulants the central nervous system. The effects of
meth are similar to those of cocaine.
Due to its high potential for abuse, methamphetamine is
classified as a Schedule II drug and is available only through
a prescription that cannot be refilled. Although
methamphetamine can be prescribed by a doctor, its
medical uses are limited, and the doses that are prescribed
are much lower than those typically abused.
Most of the methamphetamine abused in this country comes
from foreign or domestic superlabs, although it can also be
made in small, illegal laboratories, where its production e
ndangers the people in the clandestine laboratories, neighbors
and the environment. These small laboratories have been found
in everything from hotel rooms and recreational vehicles to
apartments and suburban homes.
During the illegal production of meth, properties will often become contaminated with hazardous chemicals. These laboratories also pose a strong risk of fire or explosion. Common household chemicals used in meth labs include flammable and volatile solvents such as methanol, ether, benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethane to name a few. Other common chemicals may include muriatic acid, sodium hydroxide, table salt and ammonia.
Many of these toxic chemicals can easily contaminate a property. Carpeting, wallboard, ceiling tile, furniture and fabric can absorb spilled or vaporized chemicals. Outdoor disposal sites may also require evaluation and extensive cleanup.
These chemicals can pose a significant health risk to current and future occupants, especially children. It is essential that any property that was formally used as a meth laboratory be tested and remediated by qualified environmental professionals. Various states have laws that may also require reporting and mandate cleanup efforts.
If you suspect you may have contamination from methamphetamines or clandestine drugs in your home, seek the advice of a professional and an indoor air quality testing expert.