Meth Lab Contamination
As the number of clandestine meth labs across the United States continues to rise, more statewide laws are being passed to protect future homeowners against the slew of serious health conditions that tends to go hand-in-hand with unwittingly moving into a former meth lab. Many states with significant meth issues have passed
laws requiring real estate agents to inform potential buyers of any prospective hazards, and most states have online registries listing all homes that have been busted in lab seizures over the course of the past 10 or so years. While these preventative measures do make some positive impact, many families are still moving into homes without any knowledge of their prior utilization – putting themselves at major risk of developing serious and possibly permanent health problems like respiratory disease, migraines, seizures, and kidney failure.
Clandestine Meth Labs Pose a Slew of Serious Health Risks
Seeing as the number of meth labs throughout the US is on the rise, it is exceedingly important that you uncover definitively whether or not your home was previously used to cook the highly toxic illicit substance. Fortunately, there are several ways for you to easily determine the history of your home, and conclude whether or not you should seriously consider looking into property elsewhere.
Here is a list of signs that your home may have been previously used as a meth lab:
- The fire detectors have either been removed or taped off.
- Blue discoloration on fire extinguishers throughout the home, and on the valves of any propane tanks.
- Slight yellow discoloration on sinks, in bathtubs, in drains, and on walls.
- Experiencing breathing problems when inside the home.
- A slight and consistent metallic taste in your mouth.
- Burning of the eyes and throat.
- Strong and inexplicable odors throughout the home – usually odors similar to those of cat urine, ammonia, or solvents.
It can be quite costly to check your home for methamphetamine residue and contamination, ranging anywhere between $1000 and $2000 for a 2 or 3-bedroom house. Remediation will likely cost tens of thousands of dollars – potentially more than the down payment of the property itself. Because of the cost of remediation and because of the severe slew of potential health risks those who unwittingly move into a contaminated home face, it is crucial that adequate research is put into uncovering the history of the house (especially if it is located in a meth-dense area). There are numerous registries online, including http://www.dea.gov/clan-lab/clan-lab.shtml – and for more information on clandestine meth labs, please take a look at http://www.popcenter.org/problems/meth_labs/.
If you believe your home may have previously been a meth lab based on physical issues you may have been experiencing or visual warning signs, please contact your real estate agent immediately, and get in to see a healthcare professional at your earliest possible convenience. Meth lab contamination can be extremely dangerous – even deadly – if not adequately addressed. Take care of yourself and your family, and put in the research… it could save your life!