Unlike common street drugs such as marijuana or cocaine which are derived from plant-based substances, methamphetamine is a wholly synthetic drug where the cooking process is not only incredibly dangerous in itself, but also produced dangerous chemicals, biohazard waste and chemical by-products that seep into and cling onto porous items in the property. Meth labs are considered hazardous waste sites and should only be entered by appropriately trained meth lab remediation technicians. Often victims are unaware of the lab’s existence either inspecting the property or moving in, though some people still enter out of necessity when suspecting the presence of an active lab or recently vacated property.
Why Entering a Meth Contaminated Property has Health Risks
When methamphetamine is smoked, the crystals turn into a vapour that clings to surfaces and permeates into walls, furnishings and in some severe circumstances, structural elements of the property. When people who come in contact with these surfaces, methamphetamine can be ingested through their skin or by touching contaminated surfaces then touching mouth, nose or eyes. Babies are especially vulnerable. They live in a world where they crawl on all fours and everything is sampled by tasting. It takes only small amounts of meth to affect a baby. Regardless of the source, people who are exposed to meth report speediness, loss of appetite, loss of concentration, itchy skin, dry eyes, irritability, paranoia, colds, breathing difficulty, sinus problems, headaches, nervousness, anxiety, acne and confusion. In more extreme cases convulsions and death of pets can occur.
What NOT to Do if You Suspect a Meth Lab was Present
Do Not Enter
First and foremost, do not enter a property you suspect is or once was a meth lab site if you believe it has been used for cooking meth. Call the police immediately.
Do Not Smoke
Chemical fumes are highly volatile, presenting extreme dangers from fire adn explosions
Do Not Breathe Vapours
Any sign of vapours on a suspected or active labs poses an extreme risk of inhalation that can cause death in a short period of time.
Do Not Touch
Never touch apparatus or unknown chemicals that are left behind; dried chemical powders are still toxic and can cause serious injuries. Skin contact can cause burns or chemical absorption into the body.
Do Not Handle
Handling items can cause some chemicals to combine and react, ignite or explode on contact with water or air.
Typical Contamination Found in Meth Labs
Typical primary areas
- Cooking areas: Gross contamination in these areas is always evident and can be caused by spills, fumes, explosions and gasses created during the cooking process.
- Disposal areas: Anywhere chemicals, by-products or materials used to manufacture methamphetamine are disposed of including toilets, sinks, drains, vents, chimney flumes, soil, water and groundwater including supplies, bins and septic systems.
- Storage areas: Meth Lab decontamination will also need to occur in areas the cook meth and drugs have been stored. Leaks, spills and open containers all have the possibility of cause contamination
Secondary areas of contamination
- Locations adjacent, or near, to any primary area including hallways or high traffic areas
- Common areas in multiple dwelling structures and adjacent apartment including floors, walls, ceilings, carpeting, light fixtures, draperies and other textile products
- Common ventilation or plumbing systems in hotels and multiple dwellings
Why Contact Meth Lab Cleaners Australia
Any meth lab decontamination job has its own unique set of difficulties and problematic areas. If you or a loved one is faced with the daunting and overwhelming situation of meth lab decontamination, don’t hesitate to contact Meth Lab Cleaners Australia. Our team of qualified, experienced and professional team of Meth Lab Decontamination technicians are on standby, ready to talk you through our comprehensive service to assist 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 Meth Lab decontamination process.