Meth Lab Cleanup >> Clandestine Methamphetamine Production

This guidance is a distillation and incorporation of cleanup methods and procedures used in other states affected byclandestine methamphetamine production (Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, and others). A special acknowledgementand thanks to John Martyny and the researchers at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center for their researchinto the understanding as to how contaminants originate and migrate from the ‘methamphetamine cooking’ process.Lastly, KCI - The Anti-Meth Clandestine Methamphetamine ProductionSite, (formerly the Koch Crime Institute) deserves much praise for identifying and promotingmeaningful strategies in crime reduction and prevention, KCI was a pivotal resource for this guidance.
 
The Tennessee General Assembly passed P. Ch. 855 of the Acts of 2004 (subsequently codified into TCA 68-212-500's)addressing clandestine methamphetamine labs. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)then promulgated Rule 1200-1-19 providing Clandestine Methamphetamine Production the standard of cleanliness and the process for professionals dealing withthese sites to be placed on the lists maintained by TDEC.TDEC maintains lists of cleanup contractors certified to clean properties affected by the manufacture ofmethamphetamine and persons qualified to do testing and certify cleanups such as a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)or other TDEC certified CML Hygienist.
 
This guidance is designed to assist property owners on the appropriate steps necessary to remove a quarantine orderbecause of the presence of hazardous substances and/or waste associated with the criminal production ofmethamphetamine, its reagents, or its precursors. This guidance also assists the CIH or other such persons or entities aslisted by the Commissioner (Cleanup Contractors and CML Hygienists) to evaluate an appropriate cleanup responsethrough examples of degrees of Clandestine Methamphetamine Production clandestine methamphetamine production and associated activities.The Primary Goals of a RAP Cleanup Response are:
• Achieve Overall Contaminant Mass Reduction.
• Thoroughly Document the Cleanup Response.
• Achieve a level of cleanliness that is protective of human health so a property is deemed"Safe for Human Use”.
 
In order to achieve these goals, it is important for the property owner, CML Hygienist and CML Contractor to understandall residual health hazards posed as a result of this criminal activity. In addition, they must be able to accurately assess thehazards, identify the appropriate cleanup procedures, and adequately photograph and document the cleanup response.Upon completion of the cleanup, the CIH or CML hygienist must present the property owner a copy of the documentation Clandestine Methamphetamine Production package of the cleanup and a Certificate of Fitness stating that the property is now "Safe for Human Use” with respect to methamphetamine related contaminants. If additional criminal or environmental support is required, the Cleanup Contractor must know when, where, and how to contact appropriate agencies.
 
 Principle Threat Waste and Contaminants of Concern encountered at CMLResidual methamphetamine and associated Clandestine Methamphetamine Production hazardous waste are released during the methamphetamine manufacturingprocess. Airborne contaminants are absorbed into rugs, furniture, drapes, walls and other absorbing surfaces. Airborne contaminants also enter and contaminate the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Spills arecommon and affect floors, walls, appliances, and other surfaces. Hazardous waste is frequently dumped into sinks, toilets,and bathtubs.
 
This leaves contamination in the waste water Clandestine Methamphetamine Production system. Law enforcement and health agencies have foundthat levels of iodine, phosphine, and hydrochloric acid are likely to exceed current occupational standards during a cookusing the red phosphorous method. Hydrochloric acid levels were especially high during the final "acidification stage,"often exceeding the NIOSH "Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health" (IDLH) level.
 
 Large amounts ofmethamphetamine are also released into the air and deposited on most items and on horizontal and vertical surfacesthroughout the building. ‘Cooking’ can release as much as 5,500 micrograms of methamphetamine per cubic meter intothe air, and deposit as much as 16,000 micrograms per 100 square centimeters onto surfaces. Concentrations of iodine gas(a common Clandestine Methamphetamine Production byproduct of methamphetamine production) of less than one part per million can cause severe respiratory distress.
 
 Iodine can be spilled or adsorbed to surfaces where it can sublime to air. The IDLH for iodine in air is 2 partsper million. The anhydrous ammonia (NAZI) method also shares many of these contaminants. With this base insightinto the potential hazards Clandestine Methamphetamine Production associated with the clandestine methamphetamine laboratory process, it is clear that bothresidual methamphetamine and hazardous waste generated during the manufacturing process pose a threat to humanhealth, and render the property ‘Unsafe for Human Use’.
 
 The Principal Threat Waste (PTW) and Contaminants of Concern (COC) resulting from the manufacturing process maybe in the form of corrosive waste sludge and /or as residues of a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), metals,acids and Clandestine Methamphetamine Production bases. Some of the chemicals used in the process include but are not limited to hydriodic acid, hydrochloricacid, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, red phosphorus, hydrogen peroxide, naphtha, Freon, chloroform, acetone, benzene,toluene, ethyl ether, acetic acid, methyl-ethyl-ketone, hypophosphorus acid, yellow phosphorus, anhydrous ammonia,lithium, sodium, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and methanol.
 
The residual COC Clandestine Methamphetamine Production and PTW may be contained in or onabsorbent materials, ceiling tiles, walls, floors, counter-tops, appliances, children toys, linen, drapes, furniture, mattresses,clothing, soil, waste water systems, HVAC systems, range vent hoods, etc. For more information on the hazardsassociated with the chemicals see Appendix A.Albeit rare, it is possible that bulk chemicals, reagents, and methamphetamine oil could remain on the property. In mostcases law enforcement agencies and their contractors remove bulk chemicals, paraphernalia, and manufacturing related items.
 
However, if Clandestine Methamphetamine Production suspicious items are discovered, a hazardous materials specialist should remove them and properlydispose of them. Things as simple as a garbage bag full of containers or a bucket of cat litter may contain deadly amountsof toxic vapors, and the vapors may be released when the items are disturbed. A garbage bag of containers withmethamphetamine related residues could easily contain enough phosphine gas to cause permanent pulmonary damagewith a single exposure. Consult law enforcement before proceeding to ensure these items are not important evidence.
 
One of the more significant hazards when decontaminating a methamphetamine lab can be hypodermic needles. Userswho inject methamphetamine are much more likely than the average population to have hepatitis or HIV/AIDS.Methamphetamine labs are frequently strewn with copious amounts trash that can hide carelessly discarded Clandestine Methamphetamine Productionhypodermic needles. Needles have been found in many unlikely places such as in furniture, mixed in other garbage, on the floor orintentionally hidden in unexpected places for concealment.
 
 While HIV virus is unlikely to survive in an old hypodermicneedle for more than a day, hepatitis pathogens can survive for a week or more. Because of the ease with which theseitems can puncture Clandestine Methamphetamine Production personal protective equipment (PPE), extra caution should be taken when a hypodermic user's lab isbeing decontaminated. Tough, puncture resistant boots and over-gloves are appropriate in these situations.

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