Meth small town america

February 6, at 2:

Meth small town america

The three-bedroom house was in a nice neighborhood: The family was on their way — they'd also just opened a small business near their home, had an month-old child, and Jaimee was eight months pregnant.

Life had officially started for the Alkinanis.

Meth small town america

But soon things turned for the worse. A few days after they had moved in, a neighbor welcomed them with disturbing news. So they called their realtor. He told them not to worry, that the house had been decontaminated.

He even produced a certificate from the local health department to prove it. Then the family started getting sick. Within five months, Jaimee and her husband developed sinus problems that required surgery.

When their baby was born, he had serious lung issues that caused him to stop breathing a few times. So the Alkinanis had their house tested for methamphetamine. Houses formerly used as meth labs, called meth houses, put their residents at risk of serious health consequences, says Stan Smith, a doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles, and director of the Drug Endangered Children Task Forcea division of the California Drug Enforcement Agency.

Upon moving into a meth house, people have experienced short-term health problems ranging from migraines and respiratory difficulties to skin irritation and burns. Long-term problems are less well known, but the results from a study in Toxicological Sciences suggest that methamphetamine chemicals may cause cancer in humans.

And because children have small, developing bodies and a tendency to play on the ground and put things in their mouths, they are especially susceptible to adverse health effects from meth toxins. The chemicals used in methamphetamine production are highly toxic and range from pseudoephedrine—the main ingredient in meth and the active ingredient in decongestants —to any one of 32 other precursor chemicals.

These include acetone, the active ingredient in nail polish remover, and phosphine, a widely used insecticide. Home-cooking meth spreads toxins to every inch of the room where the meth was cooked and beyond. Nothing escapes contamination—the carpet, walls, furniture, drapes, air ducts, and even the air itself becomes toxic.

Cory Craig, a state highway patrolman and narcotics specialist based in northern Missouri. Police treat methamphetamine labs as hazardous waste sites. They remove meth-making hardware and chemicals, and often hire professional cleaning companies to sanitize the house.

Are You Living in a Former Meth Lab? - Scientific American

The sheer amount of chemicals removed from labs is staggering. In dealing with toxic chemicals, most meth lab clean-up crews follow general guidelines. In the room where the meth was made, they scrub all surfaces, repaint the walls, replace the carpets and air filters, and air out the property.

However, there are no national standards for meth lab cleanups—regulations differ from state to state. And in some states, getting a license to decontaminate a house is as easy as taking a few hours of class and a written test.ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET?

Meth small town america

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