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Meth production – a crime for our homes

Posted in Illegal Drugs May 12th, 2008 @ 9:45 am

Throughout the years, meth production in Minnesota has been steadily declining. That’s the good news. The bad news is meth labs are dangerous not only to people in the home but also the home itself.

In 2003, meth production was at an all time high of 500 reported incidents and in 2005, only 128 reports. This was the direct result of Minnesota legislation against meth production. Last year in 2007, only 73 meth labs were reported to the Department of Health.

But what effect does meth production leave on the homes where they are “cooked”? According to the Minnesota Department of Health, meth manufacturing or “cooking” leaves behind 5 to 7 pounds of chemical waste for each pound of meth that is made. Meth byproducts are considered hazardous waste. As a result, clean up of meth homes is subject not only to local ordinances but also to Minnesota hazardous waste rules.

The meth “cooking” process creates potentially harmful chemical residues that can remain on household surfaces for months or years after “cooking” is over. People exposed to lab chemicals before, during and after the production process have had adverse health effects. This is the same type of effect on the home where the meth is produced. Dangerous toxins from the meth production in a home require assessment and remediation by experienced and qualified personnel; otherwise, the house is not livable and should not be resold. Also, it is important to properly clean up a former meth home because a vacant home invites property crime.

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