Meth Lab Remediation Process

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.
According to the World Health Organisation, Methamphetamine use is the second most abused illicit drug behind marijuana, currently as never-before-seen, epidemic levels which leaves a toxic aftermath. While the use and sale of meth and related illicit drugs creates a serious and insidious social and economic problem, the manufacturing process of meth creates serious environmental and health issues across the country. Methamphetamine production, or ‘cooking’ methods are almost always crude and hugely dangerous, where precursors, reagents, solvents, and waste products pose risks to the short, and long-term health of those unknowingly exposed to them. Residue of the manufacturing process contaminates properties throughout the country, where no standardised method of decontamination exists.
If you come across a meth lab or drug lab, it is utterly important to not touch anything and call the local authorities.
The remediation process of a meth lab consists of 4 steps:

4 Step Meth Lab Remediation Process

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.
The site survey is detailed and contains sensitive and important information gathered from site and from law enforcement, and includes the following:

  • Actual condition of the property
  • Provide information to develop the clean up plan
  • Complete description of property including address, layout of the property, adjacent properties, size and location of all rooms including location of doors and windows, ventilation systems, description of interior surfaces and any furnishings that remain on site
  • Documentation of areas that have sustained the heaviest contamination
  • Confirmation of cooking or manufacturing methods
  • The presence of any other potential hazards including asbestos, lead etc.
  • Investigation of the ventilation systems, and whether it has been contaminated
  • Evidence of whether the plumbing system has been damaged
  • Determination of whether disposal occurred in or around the property (burning, dumping, burying etc.)
  • Examination the adjacent properties or structures to determine whether contamination has occurred
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. 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 Test and Validation for re-habitation

The post-forensic test and validation for re-habitation is a crucial step of the decontamination process. The property will be re-tested and samples sent to an independent laboratory for analysis.
Perhaps the most crucial stage of a meth lab remediation process, the post forensic test and validation for re-habitation determines whether the property has been cleared to a safe, bio-hazard and chemical free state, and to comply with the Australia standards, the final finding must be less than 0.5µg/100cm2 of meth. This is the standard level considered safe for human habitation in Australia.
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.