Anytime methamphetamine is cooked, it leaves widespread contamination behind. In the process of cooking the chemicals used to make methamphetamine, toxic chemicals travel through the air landing in places you might never expect them to. The contamination in a home or any other area used to make methamphetamine is extremely costly for the homeowner.
Basically, to figure out what gets contaminated by cooking the chemicals used to make meth, think of it this way:
Take the roof off of the house and then dump the house upside down – whatever comes out is considered contaminated. Some of that will include the furniture, any clothing, bed linens, drapes, curtains, towels, toys, game systems, computers and laptops, printers, stereos, cameras, telephones, cell phones, televisions, and appliances. Any surface, whether soft or hard, will contain toxic residue.
Ok, now now it’s time to turn the house upright again and look inside. See the ceilings, walls, carpets, carpet padding, cabinets, ventilation systems used for heating & air conditioning, counter tops, window sills, door frames, and wood trim? Those and any other surfaces inside the house that I may have missed are all contaminated too.
What do the cleanup contractors have to do to cleanup the property? Contents of the home are usually destroyed. The interior of the home is sometimes stripped down to the studs. On homes that are not completely destroyed by meth contamination, clean up can sometimes save the home. Contractors will remove all residue from any surfaces inside the home.
What proof is there that a meth lab home has been totally decontaminated? After a complete decontamination of the home has been completed, samples are taken from surfaces inside the home. Those samples are then sent to a testing lab in Washington, D.C. to determine if any contamination still exists. If the home tests “clean”, they will issue a certification that buyers can use to assure any future buyers that the home is safe to live in.
How “clean” does a home have to be to receive a certification that it is safe to live in? In order for a home to be certified to national standards, contaminating residue must be less than the equivalent of a single package of Sweet N’Low spread across two and a half football fields.