Residual solids and liquids in the form of surface residues, spills, etc. will remain in place unless physically removed. Until completely and thoroughly removed, there is a possibility of being exposed to these residuals risking injury.
The longer the exposure, the greater the potential for harm. Exposure over an extended period of time (months to years to a lifetime) is known as “chronic exposure.” Not much is known about the chronic health effects from methamphetamine labs. There is scientific evidence, however, that shows that the chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine can cause a variety of health effects including cancer, brain/nervous system injury, injury to the liver and kidneys, birth defects, and reproductive disorders.
Chemically induced cancers and permanent injury to organ systems are generally associated with continuous or habitual exposure to harmful chemicals over extended periods – years or a lifetime.
If appropriate decontamination procedures are followed, former lab buildings can be re-occupied. Based on the known physical properties of the chemicals associated with methamphetamine production, there is no current scientific evidence to suggest a continuing human health risk after a thorough decontamination.
Source: Oregon Drug Lab Cleanup Program, Department of Human Services