Methamphetamine is an extremely addictive stimulant developed in the early 20th century. It targets the central nervous system, increasing dopamine, and causing a sense of euphoria. However, this feeling does not last long, leading to patterns of binging and crashing. Over time, these patterns can make it next to impossible to function, as each use provokes the potential for severe side effects and reactions. The consequences of using methamphetamine are not unique to the user, either. You see, after smoking or cooking, meth remains in the environment as a harmful residue. This has led to certain recommendations for decontamination standards both from CDC and the EPA.
Why Decontamination Matters
Creating illicit meth requires a chemical cocktail of poisons and toxic materials. That includes dozens of combustible and flammable substances. In fact, the entire process is extremely dangerous. Furthermore, due to its molecular structure, meth changes states easily. This means it can absorb into your skin and the porous materials in your home. It can also re-release into the environment via off-gassing, and well as creating films on hard surfaces. Indeed, this chemical Frankenstein can work its way into every vent, room, and surface in a property.
Unfortunately, with modern-day inventions of the shake-and-bake method and mobile meth labs, it’s easier than ever for cooks to go unnoticed. In many scenarios, it’s even impossible to identify such locations based on appearances alone. And while existing on a smaller scale, these cooks still have the potential to leave behind various residues.
Decontamination, then, provides even more benefits than removing harmful meth—though that is certainly a worthy concern on its own. It also acts as a precautionary cleanup for other harmful contaminants that often remain in former labs and cooks sites. For this reason alone, it’s wise to decontaminate whenever a home or business tests positive for meth. And, depending on where you live, it may be the law.
Decontamination Standards in Utah
At this time, there is no federal mandate requiring decontamination in the United States. As such, each state sets its own regulations regarding methamphetamine. Even so, meth contamination isn’t something to ignore. Doing so could lead to you, your family, visitors, and pets becoming ill.
Utah, specifically, has had its own share of problems with meth. In fact, we were once notorious for the amount of meth produced here, and many homes remain contaminated. Beyond that, rates of use and addiction are still quite high. And, even though figures of reported meth labs have dropped, these figures do not account for the ‘micro-cooks’ and highly mobile labs more common in today’s illicit markets.
Luckily, lawmakers continue to take meth contamination seriously, requiring decontamination any time a house tests positive for meth. They also maintain a thorough list of regulations for the decontamination process. Among these is the requirement that houses test at or below 1.0/100cm²μg (one-millionth of a gram of meth per one hundred square centimeters.) Others include specific methods of decontamination and testing, closing the property to entry by all those except Certified Decontamination Specialists and the owner of record, and providing a public list of currently contaminated houses.
Of course, that’s just where the conversation about decontamination standards begins. There’s a lot more to know about proper methods, testing, and reporting. That’s where Certified Decontamination Specialists can help. It’s their job to know the process inside and out and to remove meth quickly and effectively. In fact, we recommend consulting with such a specialist any time you suspect meth in your home, obtain a positive test, or buy and sell a property. If you’re in Utah, feel free to call AEI Decon. We’ll happily talk through your next step. (801) 888-6698.