Meth Lab Cleanup >> How To Report Suspected Meth Activity

Cleanup Guidelines for Properties Quarantined Due to ClandestineDrug Laboratory ActivitiesIntroduction This document is designed to assist property owners on the appropriatesteps necessary to How To Report Suspected Meth Activity remove a Louisville Metro Health Department quarantine order due topresence of hazardous substances and/or waste associated with the criminal production ofmethamphetamine, other clandestine drugs, and the precursors.
The primary goals of a cleanup response: Achieve a level of cleanliness that is protective of human health so a propertycan be How To Report Suspected Meth Activity deemed "Safe for Human Use”. Document the cleanup response.In order to achieve these goals, it is important for both the property owner and/or CleanupContractor to understand all residual health hazards posed as a result of this criminal activity.
In addition, the Cleanup Contractors must be able to accurately assess thehazards, identify the appropriate cleanup procedures, and How To Report Suspected Meth Activity adequately document thecleanup responseContaminants of Methamphetamine ProductionResidual methamphetamine and associated hazardous waste are released during the drug ‘cooking’ process. Airborne contaminants are absorbed into rugs, furniture, drapes, wallsand other absorbing surfaces. Airborne contaminants also enter and contaminate theheating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Spills are common and impactfloors, walls, appliances, and other surfaces.
 Hazardous wastes may be dumped intosinks, toilets, and bathtubs, resulting in contamination of the waste water system. How To Report Suspected Meth Activity Duringa methamphetamine cooking process, levels of iodine, phosphine, and hydrochloric acidare likely to exceed current occupational standards using the red phosphorous method.Hydrochloric acid levels were especially high during the final "acidification stage," oftenexceeding the NIOSH level of IDLH (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health). Largeamounts of methamphetamine are also released into the air and deposited on horizontaland vertical surfaces throughout the building.
‘Cooking’ can release as much as 5,500micrograms of methamphetamine per cubic meter into the air, and deposit as much as16,000 micrograms per 100 square centimeters onto surfaces. Both residualmethamphetamine and the hazardous wastes generated during the How To Report Suspected Meth Activity manufacturing processpose a threat to human health, and render the property ‘Unsafe for Human Use’.Contaminants resulting from the manufacturing process may be in the form of corrosivewaste sludge and /or as residues of a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs),metals, acids and bases.
Some of the chemicals used in the process include but are How To Report Suspected Meth Activity notlimited to hydriodic acid, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, redphosphorus, hydrogen peroxide, naphtha, charcoal lighter fluid, Freon, chloroform, acetone, benzene, toluene, ethyl ether, aceticacid, methyl-ethyl-ketone, hypophosphorus acid, yellow phosphorus, anhydrousammonia, lithium, sodium, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, and methanol.
The residualcontaminants may be contained in or on absorbent 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.After adequate ventilation of How To Report Suspected Meth Activity contaminated areas, most solvent vapors will not pose animmediate threat to human health. Solvents tend to evaporate easily and dissipate whenventilated. For most of these solvents a substantial spill or continuing source is necessaryto maintain a toxic concentration over a long period of time. Similarly, phosphine gas, ahighly toxic byproduct, is a concern during and shortly after the actual ‘cook’.
 However,since it is so reactive and dissipates rapidly it is not likely to have a long residence timewhen the structure ventilated adequately.Spills are very common in methamphetamine labs. Solvents, How To Report Suspected Meth Activity ammonia, red phosphorous,iodine and other chemicals can leave hazardous vapors or residues on either hard orporous surfaces.
Those on porous surfaces can have considerable residence times. Likeresidues from vapors, the residues from spills can be tracked from place to place onshoes, clothing, toys, and other items of How To Report Suspected Meth Activity people present during cooking or cleanup. Spillsmay also be a persistent source of volatile chemicals. Spill areas should be targeted forremoval or thorough cleaning.The primary route of disposal for contaminants is the waste water system. Sinks andtoilets provide a route of disposal for the large amounts of byproducts (hazardous wastesludge) that result from drug production.
The sludge in turn frequently clogs p-traps andtoilets making the waste water system inoperable, and possibly contaminating the septicfield depending on degree of drug production. Fortunately, many of the microorganismsin a septic system can break down the How To Report Suspected Meth Activity hazardous chemicals. If the amount of drugproduction is great or the lab has been operating for an extended period of time, extremepH conditions or large amounts of solvent may overwhelm the system, which will requireit to be remediated by informed professionals.
Municipal sewer systems can take thesebyproducts miles from the clandestine lab. Fortunately, this transport action within amunicipal sewer system has a tendency to dilute the problem, so for many cases a simplenotice of the problem to the sewer authority may be a sufficient remedial action.Another key transport mechanism in methamphetamine labs is the heating, ventilationand cooling (HVAC) system. How To Report Suspected Meth Activity Intakes from the HVAC or other air duct systems can pullin hazardous vapors and redistribute them to every room attached to the system.
Residuescan accumulate in ductwork, filter and blower mechanism (typically at low temperatureand low air movement) and then off-gas later (typically at high temperature and highmovement). How To Report Suspected Meth Activity Depending on Tiered response, a cleaning of the ductwork and blowers isappropriate, and filter replacement should be considered during a methamphetamine labremediation.Below are examples of chemicals that may be encountered, the transport mechanisms,location of contaminants, and its persistence on the quarantined property.
Anhydrous Ammonia - tends to evaporate - does not tend to leave a residue -easily removed by ventilation Phosphine gas - always in How To Report Suspected Meth Activity gaseous form - reacts with other chemicals in theenvironment and degrades rapidly - dissipates with ventilation Methamphetamine - vaporizes during production and deposits as residue -resides as residue on surfaces - may be persistent on surfaces Acids - released as vapor during production or as a spill - deposited as residue -reside on surfaces until wetted - long residence time.
 Solvents - released as vapor during production or spilled - absorb How To Report Suspected Meth Activity into poroussurfaces and evaporate over time - persistence is related to spill volume, the extentof perfusion into porous materials, and environmental conditions Red Phosphorous - released as spill - resides as residue - indefinitely Iodine - released as spill - resides as residue - indefinitely Lead - released as vapor or as spill - resides as residue or dust - infiniteresidence Mercury - released as vapor or as spill - resides as metallic residue or as a gasindefinite residence time.
Lithium - released as spill or battery pieces - resides in spill residue or metallicchunks, infinite residence Alkalis (Lye) -released as spill, resides as residue or dried spill, indefiniteresidence How To Report Suspected Meth Activity Alcohols (methanol) - released as spill - absorb into porous surfaces andevaporate over time - persistence is related to spill volume, the extent of perfusioninto porous materials, and environmental conditions.

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