In October, sheriff deputies and a hazardous materials team were called to a property in California. They were responding to the presence of what officials believed to be a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory.
Unfortunately, cases like this occur all too frequently across the country. Numerous homes, apartments and businesses have been used for the illegal production of meth over the years. When one is discovered, it often makes the evening news, but there are many others that are never found. This means that unsuspecting buyers or people leasing a property could unwittingly expose their families or employees to a wide range of toxic substances and residues that are left in the wake of these types of secret laboratories.
A property used to produce meth often has residues left on surfaces throughout a home or building from the mixture of hazardous chemicals used during meth production. Chemicals may include flammable and volatile solvents such as methanol, ether, benzene, methylene chloride and trichloroethane. Muriatic acid, sodium hydroxide and ammonia may also be present. Any of these compounds can contaminate surfaces or materials such as carpeting, wallboard, ceiling tiles, furniture and fabrics that absorb spilled or vaporized chemicals.
“Chemical remnants can emit hazardous gases into the air or be a threat when touched,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Meth labs have been found in everything from cars, boats, hotel rooms, businesses, apartments, rental homes and even large estates. When one is discovered, it has to be thoroughly remediated to remove these hazards. With many still undiscovered by authorities, there can be people today being exposed to these chemicals in their homes and where they work.”
To identify hazardous residues, LA Testing offers comprehensive analytical services, sampling supplies and even an easy-to-use test kit that can be accessed at www.EMSLTestKits.com.