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Meth Damage Glossary

When dealing with meth damage and its aftermath, you may encounter some unfamiliar terms. We've defined some of the meth damage terms you're likely to hear below.

Cross contamination – Cross contamination occurs when contamination is transferred from one area to another through ventilation or physical contact. For example, if you touch a wall loaded with meth residue and then touch a wall in another room that was previously not contaminated, the residue from your hand can cross contaminate the new surface.

Decontamination – Decontamination is a process of remediation. It involves cleansing a surface or contaminated environment of harmful substances such as meth residue.

Enhanced Photoemission Spectroscopy – CDEX Inc., the manufacturer of the meth testing scanner that we use for detecting meth damage, uses its patented Enhanced Photoemission Spectroscopy technology to detect the unique color spectrum signature emitted by meth molecules. Using a beam of light, the handheld meth scanner can quickly confirm or rule out the presence of meth molecules in virtually any surface.

Hazmat suit – A full body covering typically worn by first responders, researchers, technicians, and cleanup teams as protection from toxic chemicals and agents.

Meth Abatement – A set of process and procedures involved in removing or containing materials or items from properties containing methamphetamine or its ingredients.

Meth remediation – The process of removing, cleaning, and decontaminating an area damaged by meth.

Methamphetamine – From a purely chemical standpoint, methamphetamine is the chemical n-methyl-1-phenyl-propan-2-amine. It is a stimulant that is widely produced illegally by chemically altering over-the-counter drugs. Street versions of methamphetamine typically contain highly toxic substances such as battery acid, ether, acetone, or lye due to the way meth lab operators "cook" it. On the street, methamphetamine is called by different names including: meth, crystal, crystal glass, crystal meth, crank, ice, speed, tweak, uppers, and many other names.

Meth signature – When testing for meth damage using the CDEX meth scanner, the scanner uses light to identify molecules. Meth molecules have their own "signature" when exposed to light, making the scanner highly effective. When the unique meth signature is detected, the scanner alerts the technician.

Special substance testing – Meth testing falls under the "special substance testing" category. For example, many substances require testing such as asbestos, lead, carbon monoxide, radon, pesticides, pollutants, and narcotics.

Surface sampling – Often called source sampling or direct sampling, surface sampling involves using a swab, tape, microscopic slide, or direct sample to determine the presence of a harmful substance through testing.