Meth Lab Cleanup

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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.
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wrote:

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.
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snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

The chemicals that are used in making meth seep into the wood, carpets, soil, etc. If interested, here is a website outlining the problem. http://www.kci.org/meth_info/meth_cleanup.htm
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On 9/8/2012 12:54 PM, Kurt Ullman wrote:

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.
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wrote:

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 lithium.
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On 9/8/2012 4:30 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

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.
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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.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

and what kind of battery does your laptop use?
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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.......
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The problems are the CONCENTRATIONS of the common chemicals "in use every day" as everyday chemicals can be quite dangerous when used in high concentrations...
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">>

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 ventilation.
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On 9/9/2012 4:07 PM, Baron wrote:

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.
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Frank wrote:

I don't know that storing your profits in a $40/month storage locker is "safe."
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.
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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.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

She said she DID spray the place for silverfish...

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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.
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On 9/10/2012 10:57 AM, Baron wrote:

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.
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clipped

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 workbook."
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.
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I know a couple 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.
--
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to work within the system, but too early to shoot
  Click to see the full signature.
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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 longer...
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