Across Australia, there has been an increasing number of clandestine or meth labs found. Although the authorities take the chemicals and equipment used in labs away, a large amount of contaminated residue is left on many surfaces of the affected site including walls, ceilings and floors, which creates a future health hazard for occupiers of the building. Many prospective homebuyers are now adding meth testing to the other more common pre-purchase inspection including pool fence inspections and pest and building which is showing great initiative but then leaves them with more questions and answers if the methamphetamine test shows a positive reading. Most of our clients have very similar questions: my house has been found to be contaminated – what should I do? Should I have someone else test? What is the standard? How high is “high”? What can be cleaned up? Will I have to tear down the walls? The structure? And how long does it take?
Identifying Methamphetamine Contamination
Although Methamphetamine can be produced or cooked in many different locations there are certain warning signs that may indicate a drug house
Making or cooking methamphetamine requires minimal training and experience and limited amounts of equipment and chemicals, both of which are relatively inexpensive. Meth Labs can be found in almost any location, from houses, apartments, cars, rental storage units and motorhomes. There are many external recognition clues alluding to a meth lab. Some of the common warning signs of a suspected meth lab include:
- Unusual odours including ether, ammonia, acetone, or other chemicals
- Frequent visitors, particularly at unusual times
- Extensive security measures or attempts to ensure privacy
- Secretive or unfriendly occupants
- Excessive amounts of trash, particularly chemical containers, coffee filters or pieces of cloth that are stained red, and duct tape rolls
- Curtains always drawn or windows covered with aluminium foil or blackened on residences, garages, sheds, or other structures
- Evidence of chemical waste or dumping
Methamphetamine Contamination Remediation
The first and most vital step of a Meth lab Remediation Process is to contact licensed, professional and qualified decontamination contractors such as Meth Lab Cleaners Australia. Our team of trained experts have hazardous materials training and know how to properly evaluate and
decontaminate meth labs.
1) Onsite survey and inspection
Once any materials and equipment used in the manufacturing of meth or the drug lab equipment as been removed, an onsite survey and inspection is done by Meth Lab Cleaners Australia to gain a preliminary assessment of the property and affected area where the goal is to provide information pertaining to, and to assist with, the development of the clean up plan. Any information gathered in the first step of the remediation process is documented in a written summary.
2) Pre Forensic Testing – Initial Tier 1 Forensic Surface Testing
The need for pre forensic testing in the meth lab remediation process is solely dependent on the circumstances of each property. Pre forensic testing can significantly reduce costs associated in the remediation process by singling out contaminated areas only and the automatic discarding of any furnishings or materials too contaminated to be cleaned. Pre forensic testing should be performed for the following reasons:
- To establish the reference conditions preceding remediation
- To ensure health and safety of any person working onsite both before and during the remediation process
- To meet sampling requirements needed by banks, insurance companies, property owners or any other associated private or site entity
- To help quantify remediation costs
Meth Lab Cleaners Australia will only contract suitably qualified personnel or forensic scientists to conduct our laboratory tests for methamphetamine. We will also analyse air for VOC’s and other toxic and harmful chemicals, and surfaces for chemical residue.
3) Methamphetamine Remediation
The Remediation Process of a meth lab is a specialised service. Meth Lab Cleaners Australia follow a stringent and methodical proven process to ensure the property is remediated to a hazard and chemical free zone. A remediation action plan is drafted based on the pre forensic testing results and determines how the affected areas will be remediated to a safe and hazard-free condition.
The remediation action needed for each property is determined on a case-by-case basis, and can include, but is not limited to the following:
- Remove and dispose of any loose material including household items, furniture, personal belongings etc.
- Remove and dispose of any biohazard material
- Decontaminate and treat all internal surfaces contaminated, as indicated in the on site survey and inspection and remediation action plan using specialised methamphetamine neutralizing chemicals
- Flush all drains, sinks, toilets and outside drains with specialised methamphetamine neutralizing chemicals
- Clean any ventilation and air conditioning systems affected by chemicals or biohazard
- High pressure clean all paved surfaced and contaminated structural elements of the property
- Soil check of outside chemical disposal sites
It should be noted that approximately 30% of properties do not require remediation.
4) Post Forensic Testing and Validation for Re-Habitation
The post-forensic test and validation for re-habitation is a crucial step of the methamphetamine decontamination process. The property will be re-tested and samples sent to an independent laboratory for analysis. A final report is issued, if the property is deemed safe for re-occupancy where meth levels are less than 0.5µg/100cm2.
The final report should include the following:
- Introduction including case narrative and any information found in the initial site inspection report. It should also include any law enforcement reports, test results from the pre-forensic testing, and name any contractor, laboratory or other qualified professional involved in the remediation process including qualifications
- Methods and process undertaken to remediate the meth lab including the remediation action plan, workers safety, and procedures used to decontaminate the property, and waste management.
- Results indicating the property has been cleaned and decontaminated to Australian standards of less than 0.5µg/100cm2 of meth. Laboratory results must also be included and certified by the laboratory that performed the analysis.
Once the property is deemed to be safe, Meth Lab Cleaners Australia will provide the validation report and sign-off for re-occupancy.
At Meth Lab Cleaners Australia we offer a comprehensive service to assisting in the clean up and remediation of a property or area affected by a Meth lab. Meth Lab Cleaners Australia is ready to provide you with assessment, testing and decontamination as part of our complete drug lab remediation process.
Meth Lab Cleaners Australia follow a stringent and proven process for a guaranteed successful Meth Lab remediation each and every time
We can provide professional and confidential support for clandestine meth lab and drug decontamination of domestic and commercial interiors.