Commonly referred to as “ice” in Australia, methamphetamine is the most destructive recreational drug to hit our shores in recent memory. Scores of Australians, both young and old, have succumbed to its ruinous nature, typically spiralling into a cycle of addiction with disastrous consequences on their health and wellbeing. But did you know ice presents a hidden danger that can affect the everyday Australian?
The residue left behind from a residential methamphetamine laboratory can cause all kinds of health issues, many of which are severe and long term. In the worst-case scenario, exposure to the toxic residue can result in death. Let’s take a look at the dangers of meth residue, how to identify a former meth lab, and what to do should you suspect your home is contaminated.
Why Would There Be Meth Residue In My Property?
Makeshift meth labs are being found all over the country in vehicles, motel rooms, rural areas, offices, holiday houses and homes.
Meth manufacturers prefer to manufacture in makeshift labs that reduce their losses should law enforcement uncover the operation. Often resulting in innocent landlords, future tenants etc being left with significant health concerns and costs.
Why Is Meth Residue So Dangerous?
Fans of the hit TV series ‘Breaking Bad’ would be well aware ofthe dangers of manufacturing methamphetamine. The complex and dangerous process involves the use of numerous Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs) as well as acids, bases, and salts. Hundreds of harmful elements are precariously mixed together, many of which will seep deep into the walls, carpet, and furniture of the home.
Meth residue can cause a whole host of medical problems. The ailments and their severity depend on the chemicals used, the extent of the contamination, the extent of the occupant’s exposure, and the physical characteristics of the occupant (age, overall health, etc.).
Examples of ailments that may arise from VOCs include:
• Nose and throat irritation
• Respiratory illnesses
Prolonged VOC exposure can cause cancer and subsequent death.
Exposure to the salts, bases, and metals that linger around from a clandestine meth lab include:
• Reduced cognitive function
• Eye damage
• Respiratory irritations
• Congenital disabilities
• Kidney damage
An associate professor from the National Drug Research Institute stated that living in a former meth lab can be more dangerous than habitually using the drug itself.
How Can I Tell If My Property Was Once A Meth Lab Or Has Been Affected by Meth Residues?
Each state maintains a register of the properties within its jurisdiction that housed a meth lab at some point in time. However, these registers only include known laboratories, which represent a small proportion of the total sites out there. Therefore, it’s essential to do a bit of sleuthing yourself.
• Ask the realtor: Real estate agents are legally obliged to disclose any information they possess regarding the criminal history of a home.
• Sniff out odd and inexplicable smells: Odours similar to ammonia, vinegar, rotten eggs, and urine should be treated with suspicion.
• Be wary of unsanitary conditions: meth labs are typically filthy with an excess of dirt, dust, grime, and stains. Although a messy or run-down house isn’t conclusive evidence of a former meth lab, it’s worth factoring into the equation.
• Ask the neighbours: Chat with your potential new neighbours to determine whether the previous occupants engaged in any unsavoury behaviour. You’ll likely learn some interesting information about the area in the process.
• Look out for low prices: If a property is significantly undervalued and has been on the market for some time, there’s likely something seriously wrong with it. And that something could be the residue left behind from a former meth lab!
What Should I Do If I Think I’m Living in a Former Meth Lab Or a Property That Has Been Affected By Meth Residue?
If you suspect your home may be contaminated, the sensible course of action is to get a professional to test the property as soon as possible. A reputable methamphetamine screening service will provide a detailed report on any harmful residue in the home, and then offer an honest and informed opinion on whether a restoration is required.
Given the immense potential for harm, a contaminated property must be cleaned thoroughly before new occupants move in.
For meth lab restoration in Adelaide, get in touch with the team at O’Shea’s today for a free quote. We provide Meth Lab testing services all over Adelaide, both before and after restoration. We can assist with property restoration and we provide thorough cleaning services after a meth lab is shutdown.
Our team is experienced, licensed, and highly trained. Most importantly, we are discreet.