Meth Lab Cleanup

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On Sep 8, 12:05pm, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

Since you don't know anything about meth labs you shouldn't be saying that YOU think just scrubbing and painting is enough to clean up the TOXIC waste residues which are deposited on EVERY surface by the vapors given off by the cook is enough to declare the property "clean"... The proper response is dictated by how long the meth lab was in operation and how high the residual concentration of toxic chemicals at the site... For a lab used only once or twice perhaps removing all fabrics/carpets from the house and scrubbing/painting as well as having any HVAC ductwork professionally cleaned would suffice but if the lab was in operation long enough so that the soils around the perimeter of the house have dangerous levels of chemicals present then the structure is not worth saving and all the contaminated soils would have to be removed...
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On 9/8/2012 1:13 PM, Evan wrote:

Considering the community where this home is located, I have my doubts that the lab existed on the property for very long. That said, I did more searching and found the regs for cleanup in my state...property must undergo very specific sampling and testing before and after cleanup, same for disposal of materials removed. Cleanup must be by cert. contractors, although the law allows the owner to participate under supervision by the contractor.
Little bit here: http://www.in.gov/meth/files/Cleaning_Up_Former_Drug_Lab_Handout.pdf
Considering how often rental properties are mentioned on the ng, I wonder how many owners know whether cleanup is covered by their insurance co? In Indiana, the property cannot be sold or occupied until it is clean :o)
http://www.in.gov/legislative/iac/T03180/A00010.PDF ? http://www.in.gov/idem/4178.htm
Without the meth lab problem, the property would be ideal for remodelling; it is a stable neighborhood with a lot of rehab going on and properties selling fairly quickly :o(
Considering all of the gov. agencies involved in the meth problem, it has to be a hugely expensive problem....the local gendarmes grab a lab about every week or so around here.
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Totally wrong.
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It's so wrong you can't even categorize it as to how wrong - off the scale.
Time the cost of cleanup is factored in, they could give the house away and it wouild still be a losing game.
Harry K
Harry K
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On 9/9/2012 3:06 PM, Harry K wrote:

Well, sort of....several sites suggest first contacting police to get a report of the conditions in the structure. They should have a handle on how long it operated, and when labs are discovered it is a big fat deal to get it closed, the chemicals disposed of, etc. I am certainly not highly interested in buying a meth lab, but if the owner had a renter that operated there a week or two, I'd be much more interested than if it was a cabin in the boonies cooking meth for months or years. Also of interest is the condition of the structure and how much the chems might permeate. State regs here are very exact on sampling surfaces before and after cleanup. There are industries in the area (do you know YOUR neighborhood?) that pump out thousands of tons of chemicals that I breathe every day, not to mention the neighbor's fireplace :o)
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Besides the cleanup issue, there is the issue of what you have to disclose to buyers when you go to flip it. Like, if it's been cleaned up to all state regulations, procedures, etc, do you then still have to disclose to buyers that it was a meth lab? My guess would be that there might be laws specific to the state that might address that issue and that absent that, it's still to me of such major significance that I think you should disclose it. I could think of hypothetical cases where even if it's not required, if you didn't dsiclose and something were missed in the cleanup, it could come back to bite you.
And then having disclosed it, the next question is how do you figure what impact that is going to have on the price? I'm not particularly afraid of chemicals, but if there are similar houses selling for X, this one would have to be at a substantial discount to interest me. So, you have multiple unknowns. How much it will cost to clean it up and what the house will later sell for. I would not get involved in this unless there was plenty of margin to cover all the above.
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clipped

If I did decide to purchase, I would be most interested (at the outset) in learning the conditions found when the cops went in...there is a whole special task force dealing with disposal. Considering the state statutes, the residue before and after cleanup would be next. I am not by any means leaning toward this property, but without the meth lab problem, it would be an ideal cheap property to remodel extensively (good bones, good stable neighborhood, increasing prop. values; properties are moving here). That said, it had never before occurred to me that a home might have once been contaminated with drugs.
I've read various descriptions of the meth lab odor, and cat urine is mentioned....a former neighbor who had extensive knowledge (and who is probably dead) said it was just a sickening sweet smell. I've had neighbors who dealt in coke, one of whom died at a young age of heart attack, and now I wonder what the danger of coke residue is. Come to think of it, mebbe that has something to do with the "autism epidemic". I put that in quotes because I expect that autism is pretty badly overdiagnosed for access to social services. Coke probably vastly more pervasive than meth until fairly recently.
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Good grief. Trying to link coke residue with autism? Coke and meth are two very different things. Cocaine is imported as such, already processed, not made in a lab here. The processing lab is typically in South America. You hear about meth lab operations being busted all the time. I've never heard of a similar coke lab being busted in the USA.
And if there were an association between cocaine and autism, then one would expect the huge increase in numbers to be centered around populations where cocaine usage is highest. Instead it seems to be distributed everywhere.

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clipped

Good grief is right :o) For the record, I didn't have coke mfg. in mind; it was the end product which allegedly contaminates most of the currency in the US (and what else?).

Where is cocaine usage highest? Isolated there? How many college age and older have never tried the stuff or come in contact with faint residues?

After all the hysteria trying to link vaccines with autism, coke seemed a slightly more logical suspect :o) I once had a neighbor with two severly autistic children....they were wild! The rate of autism diagnosis nowadays is about 1%....an epidemic like that should be getting a lot more scientific study! Jeez!
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The difference between Richard Prior and Michael Jackson: Richard Prior was burnt by coke. Michael Jackson was burnt by Pepsi.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgb-zCnz9mE

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There are many homes in rural Oregon that have been torn down and 6 to 12 inches of topsoil removed in order to decontaminate the property. You're absolutely right; it's expensive and there are plenty of problems with reusing a former meth lab property.
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David Kaye wrote:

Not just meth labs.
Homes use for marijuana grow-ops usually have substantial internal dammage and problems.
And I'm sure that most buyers have access to police reports (because police departments are monetizing their crime and incident data) and buyers will check to see if the property has a history with the police.
Real estate disclosure laws in your area might compel you to make the buyer aware of the home's history. Disclosure laws such as urea formaldehyde insulation, asbestos (etc) are being updated to include meth labs and marijana grow ops.
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On 9/8/2012 12:05 PM, snipped-for-privacy@thecave.com wrote:

A crime scene is a crime scene. They obtain evidence they need and run yellow tape around the site. It is up to the owner to remedy the situation.

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I would not invest in this property unless you know how extensive the contamination is.
The standards for cleanup are nothing like what would be required if the meth were legally made in a laboratory. The problem you will be facing is that the cookers were not concerned with confining their cook to one area of the house. Waste products and spilled raw materials may be in all the rooms. By "in all the rooms" I mean possibly spilled on the floors. A house is filled with porous surfaces so a simple wipe down is not going to do it. The various chemicals and solvents may have been absorbed into wood or fiber (think drapes and carpeting) and may have become trapped in dead spaces in the ventilation system and plumbing. Vapors could have traveled up to the attic where they will slowly be released over time. I won't even discuss what may have been poured into the soil around the house. Unless every, and I do mean every, part of the house is scrubbed and treated with a kill solution, you will never be sure that you have removed or destroyed any residual raw materials including solvents, intermediates, or the meth itself. If the contamination was localized to just one part of the house, you MIGHT be able to have it decontaminated and sealed for less than it takes to turn a profit upon flipping the house. Please keep in mind that even after decontamination, which MUST be proven by proper testing, you may still need to seal or encapsulate various parts of the structure. If this doesn't work, that part of the structure must be removed and replaced. It is equivalent to what is done in soil remediation. The soil is removed and new fresh soil is used as the replacement.
Good Luck.
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snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net says...

Some homes have been torn down because it was less expensive to rebuild than to do an environmental cleanup.
Thus the reason landlords do such extensive background checks these days on potential tenants and anyone who will be living in a rental (criminal background, renter check, driving record [DUI], credit, etc.)
Just mold cleanup can cost thousands of dollars. And I saw an asbestos cleanup of a business cost $1M! (That is MILLION!)
They totally seal off the building so no air can escape, then go to work on a building wearing space like suits, etc. Big bucks!!!
I would RUN from anything like that. Look at the following...
http://www.epa.gov/oem/meth_lab_guidelines.pdf
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Norminn wrote:

Hmm. There's at least ONE group of people that wouldn't mind the house was a former meth lab...
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Is there a residual odor? I've asked around [sheriff's dept, incarcerated individuals, neighbors, etc] and no one will either confirm, nor deny that a meth lab stinks and you can smell it in the neighborhood.
I ask, because several times at night I've smelled a strange smell lingering in the air and am VERY concerned.
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Robert Macy wrote:

There is more than one way to cook meth, but if you see or smell these chemicals together, they might indicate a meth lab. -acetone -isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol or Iso-Heet fuel treatment) -methyl alcohol (wood spirits or Heet fuel treatment) -lye as in Red Devil lye -crystal or liquid iodine -mineral spirits -bleach -anhydrous ammonia -sulfuric acid (car battery acid) -hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) -matches/match box strikers (for red phosphorus) -cold tablets containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine -white gas -lithium (from lithium batteries) -trichloroethane (solvent for gun cleaning) -sodium metal or rock or table salt -ether (starter fluid) -toluene
http://chemistry.about.com/od/medicalhealth/f/What-Does-A-Meth-Lab-Smell-Like.htm
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Thank you for excellent list.
We live in a very rural area of sparse residential housing. In other words, no farming and no livestock. It's just that sometimes throughout our valley I smell a 'sour milk' smell hanging in the air. Only twice within a year, but little wind, so couldn't tell direction, just a 'wet' sour milk odor.
Not having taken part in the drug era, I didn't know. ...maybe it's something else.
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All of these will REQUIRE purchase with photo ID soon, the sudafed already does
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