Understanding Residential Meth Damage
The health hazards of using methamphetamine, or meth as it is commonly called, are well documented; however, did you know that meth residue left behind by users can linger in homes, apartments, and motel rooms? This residue is also toxic – and you and your family members may be unknowingly exposed to it every day right in your own home.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, meth is typically made from hazardous ingredients such as: lye, paint thinner, ether, battery acid, drain cleaner, iodine, lighter fluid, brake fluid, lantern fuel, red phosphorous, and anhydrous ammonia. The production of meth leaves and estimated six pounds of hazardous waste for each pound of meth created. Homes that served as former meth labs as well as those where meth users ingested the drug, typically by smoking it, can contain significant levels of toxic residue.
Meth residue can enter porous building materials such as carpets, flooring, ceilings, wallboards, furnishings, and objects. In the case of a home used as a meth lab, another concern involves illegal disposal of the toxic meth byproducts such as pouring the waste down drains and toilets or even in the backyard garden.
What Meth Damage Means to You
What does this mean to you? Unless you personally built your home from the ground up, its previous occupants or their guests could have been meth producers or users. Meth residue left behind in walls, carpets, draperies may be present – and potentially harming you and your family members – without your knowledge. Toxic residues can be absorbed through the skin, so simply touching a contaminated surface could be harmful.
According to a report posted on EPA.gov titled Detection of Illicit Drugs on Surfaces using Direct Analysis in Real Time, "Methamphetamine (meth) from meth syntheses or habitual meth smoking deposited on household surfaces poses human health hazards." While homes that were used as meth labs are extremely hazardous, a home where users smoked the drug can also be contaminated. The EPA acknowledges studies which have shown that users smoking meth can produce airborne meth levels that result in general contamination of the structure in its Voluntary Guidelines for Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup document.
Whether you suspect meth damage due to tips about past meth use from neighbors or unexplained health issues, or if you simply want to rule out meth damage for peace of mind, ordering meth damage testing is a cost-effective way to get the answers you seek. Schedule a meth damage test today.