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by Wendy Stackhouse · July 06, 2012

Cleaning Up Meth Lab Scenes with Heat

Finding out you have a Meth Lab on your property can be devastating news, and although these scenes can be hazardous, heat treatment can help make them history.

As we have talked about on the Alliance Blog before “Meth labs are the most common drug labs found in the US. They can be in homes, apartments, hotel rooms—even cars! When a meth lab is discovered, after the authorities leave, there is a big clean up job to be done!” CSI Azusa: Meth Labs.

Meth labs use many toxic chemicals in the process of manufacturing: ammonia, acetone, benzene, iodine, toluene, hydrochloric acidbenzene, and trichloroethane, as well as phosphorous, solvents and metals. All of these leave residue that needs to be removed from every porous surface including:

* Carpeting
* Drapes
* Clothing
* Walls
* Counters
* Floors
* Ceilings

Some of that residue can permeate the drywall or other building materials in the structure, leading to the possibility of having to gut the entire house. The vapors from volantile organic compounds (VOCs) from these chemicals can cause:

* Irritation of the nose and throat
* Dizziness
* Nausea and vomiting
* Headaches
* Breathing problems
* Cancer

Law enforcement agencies use remediation companies, like Alliance Environmental Group, to remove all the chemicals found at a Meth Lab scene. They conduct an “airing” out process, during which most volatiles are eliminated, but not all. Heat treatment is effective for getting rid of volatiles after this initial airing out.

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Any property used as a Meth Lab then must be remediated before it can be reoccupied. This is required by health agencies, usually the County. California has very strict remediation requirements before a home is deemed to be habitable after its use as a Meth Lab. Even the structure was not used for cooking, but only lived in by heavy Meth users, it can need extensive remediation.

Why use ThermaPureHeat to clean Meth Lab scenes?

Heat can be used in the initial airing out of the scene. It is much more effective than using the residence’s internal HVAC system for this stage of cleanup.
Heat can prevent the need for removing drywall and other porous surfaces in the structure, lessening restoration costs after cleanup.
Heat treatment reduces the labor that goes into the cleaning process.
Heat does a great job at removing absorbed volatiles.

We at Alliance hope that you never have a problem with finding a Meth Lab on your property. But if you do, anywhere in California, we can help you clean it up to comply with state standards of habitability and your own standards as well. Please contact us if you need us!

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, Like us at AirTek on Facebook!

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