I've been looking at homes for sale and came upon one that is condemned
because it was used as a meth lab. The little research I've done shows
that there are certified contractors who can inspect and correct the
conditions to make a structure habitable. Anyone have experience with
this? What chemicals remain in the structure, how to be sure it is
safe, etc? The house needs work, just from observation, but looks like
a good candidate for rehab.
I dont know anything about meth labs, but I'm sure the police or other
law enforcement people have removed all the drugs and/or materials used
to make the stuff. That leaves nothing to cleanup, except the
reputation of the house. A good scrubbing, some paint, and friendliness
to the neighbors should do the job.
Just my opinion.
I hate the kind of chemo-phobia engendered by sites like this.
I'm a retired chemist, in his seventies, in good health. If chemicals
were this bad, I should have been long dead by now.
In fact, my graduate adviser, in his eighties, just got out of jail last
year after conviction 20 years ago of running a meth lab.
I often wonder if things don't get blown all out of shape. If you read
some of the dangers of the broken CFL lamps , they would not be allowed in
the US either.
All the chemicals I see listed are in common use every day. Except the
I looked at a list of all of the chemicals on one website, and I have
used all of them (unmixed :o). Before I narrowed down the search to my
state's regs, I saw several sites that suggest chemicals used for
clean-up. Bleach was one; Simple Green mentioned on several sites.
On NPR there was a story about the man in Japan who had the misfortune of
being caught in both the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He is
now in his 90s and shows no signs of cancer, leukemia, or anything else.
But that is still no reason to go poking around a nuclear reactor or a
nuclear waste dump.
well wear protective clothing, gut all the walls cielings etc....
remove everything to the sub floor, wash down all surfaces with kilz
or bin, then begin rebuild.
if your a smoker just do all of this without protection since you dont
care about your health and tobacco is one of the most lethal
substances know to man.......
I'm fairly sure you did not work with the chemicals you were using in
the same unsafe manner that cookers do in a meth lab. You were probably in
a laboratory with soapstone horizontal surfaces and some sort of local
Certainly but that does not mean I was not exposed to chemicals or never
had problems with them. Had my share of fires and explosions and
causing building evacuations.
As said elsewhere, toxicity is dose related. None of the meth chemicals
appear particularly toxic.
I've become a fan of the Breaking Bad series where a chemistry teacher
goes into the meth business. He does everything safely.
I don't know that storing your profits in a $40/month storage locker is
When Walt's wife showed him the stack of money, he asked. "How much is
here?" to which she replied: "I have no earthly idea."
I've fiddled with computing how much was there. First, I have to compute how
many individual bills could be stacked in a pile six feet wide, four feet
deep, and four feet high. Here's what I've got so far:
Each bill is about 6x2 inches. The pile, then, works out to be 12 bills wide
and 24 bills deep. Hence one "layer" contains 288 bills.
Assuming a ream of 24# paper is 3" thick, a stack 4 foot high would yield 16
reams or 8,000 bills high. Eight thousand layers times 288 bills per layer
equals 2,304,000 individual bills. So, at a minimum, assuming all the bills
were one dollar bills, the stack would amount to over $2 million. If each
bill had a denomination of $100, the White family is sitting on $200 million
bucks, all in a neat pile in a storage locker.
But it wasn't Walter that did that. It was his WIFE. I guess
you could say that giving all those millions to your wife and
not supervising is equally unsafe. For those that didn't see
it, she had a skid size pile of cash in one of those pay storage
locker places, easily tens of millions. And it was just covered
with a tarp, to boot.
You would think first rulse would be to at least hide it in boxes
that look like clothing or household stuff, and to spread it out
over many locations, not one big pile. If someone stumbled on
it, there goes all your $$$.
I don't remember the exact number, but I think they had enough of
the principle chemical to make $300mil worth of meth. I don't know
how much he had gone through, but that pile could be in your range.
You are correct. Acute toxicity is dose related. Chronic toxicity is
also dose related but requires much lower exposure levels. I would be
concerned with chronic exposure. Your own experience, while valid, is just
a single data point. It is anecdotal experience.
As for meth chemicals not being particularly toxic, it all depends on
what synthesis and conditions are being used. Off the top of my head, the
more common clandestine approaches use halogenated hydrocarbons and
anhydrous ammonia. I classify these as toxic, the ammonia acutely so.
I too am a fan of Breaking Bad. I would not hold up the lead character,
Walter White, as a typical meth cooker. Jessie is closer to reality. I
also disagree with your assessment that Walt does everything safely. He
does things in a way that minimizes the risk to himself, not to the
surroundings. His waste is obviously mislabeled and there is no reason for
him to minimize the release of vapors.
I'm a little more involved in toxicology experience and my personal
experience is a lot more than anecdotal.
What you say is true about chronic toxicity but it is also dose related.
Smokers for example have maybe 5% of their hemoglobin tied up by carbon
monoxide but it will not kill them.
Walt does protect himself as well as the interior of the home he uses.
I suspect fumes are not that bad or they would be reported as released
in a populated neighborhood. Where I worked it was amazing that we did
not get a lot of complaints. We put one hell of a lot of toxic fumes up
fume hoods. I could tell some horror stories but I won't.
Ah...fond memories of high-school chem (my favorite class). After an
especially thorough lecture about the dangers of releasing bromine gas,
we went on to do our experiment. Don't remember what we mixed, but as
was certifiably predictable, one class-mate didn't have his flask sealed
up and we had clouds of brown gas floating about the room. Another
time, probably a precursor of my adult cooking skill, we mixed
(sulfuric?) acid with carbon, probably sugar. Heat to boiling. Stir.
Fill out the workbook page and turn in at end of class. Only thing on
my workbook page after the experiment (aside from black glop splattered
all over it) were the words "I'm sorry. My experiment exploded all over
My grandson is taking advanced microbiology in HS. Students went around
school and took cultures from anything they wanted, then made agar and
grew the samples taken. Teacher got all serious about one sampling
taken from a drinking fountain...don't know what it was.
Kurt Ullman wrote:
~ I know a couple (houses) have been declared the functional
~ equivalent of brownfields where the house had to be torn down,
~ trucked off to a haz mat landfill, and a lot of the dirt
~ around the house removed.
A process that the entire USA will be undergoing before too much
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