Meth is a dangerous drug. That is a well-known fact in both scientific and medical communities. It’s no surprise, then, that exposure to meth residue can make you ill.
In general infants, children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk for complications. However, meth residue can affect healthy adults too. In fact, Burgess et al. found that police officers responding to an active meth lab were 7 to 15 times more likely to become ill than officers responding to other calls. Similarly, case studies conducted by the CDC indicate that both children and adults experience symptoms of meth exposure when entering contaminated homes. (For real-life examples of that, feel free to visit our blogs).
Common Symptoms of Meth Residue Exposure
- Watery, red, and burning eyes, often accompanied by discharge and pain
- Irritation of the mucus membranes, especially in the nose and throat
- Skin irritations, redness, and rashes
- Chest pain and difficulty breathing
- Abdominal pain and diarrhea
- Chronic sneezing, coughing, and congestion
- Adverse effects on the central nervous system
- Moderate or severe headaches
- Dark-colored urine
- Rapid heart rate
- Yellow jaundice
- Impairment in mental capabilities
Please note that scientists don’t know much about the long-term effects of exposure to methamphetamine residue. However, we do know that environmental hazards (like toxic chemicals) can erode health over time. So (until science catches up), we must assume that chronic exposure to meth residue could also produce more severe symptoms or physical complications.
Similarly, we should mention that when meth is present, there is a chance of contamination from other chemicals as well. This is because meth production involves a lot of hazardous materials. As such, we can’t possibly account for every single health risk that may manifest alongside methamphetamine residue. (This is another reason the state of Utah requires decontamination, as it mitigates the risk of exposure to many different substances used when cooking meth).
What If I think I’ve Been Exposed to Meth Residue?
The first thing to do is to check with your doctor. Be sure to tell them if you’ve recently moved or believe you’ve come in contact with meth. If symptoms are more severe, you may consider visiting an urgent care facility or an emergency room. Once everyone is safe, the best way to know if there’s meth in your home is to test.
For more accurate results, and to save yourself some money, we recommend seeking professional consultation before starting the testing process. Contact a Certified Decontamination Specialist in your area. For more information about testing or decontamination in Utah, feel free to call us at (801) 888-6698.