– Jane couldn’t wait to share the news. She’d been trying to call all day, only to find herself constantly interrupted. After all, with all the meetings and getting the kids to soccer practice, it was tricky to find a quiet moment. But it finally came. The car was parked, the kids busy with their warm-up. There was nothing to distract her. Of course, her sister was the first one she’d call. As soon as the other line picked up, she blurted it out, startling a dog in the next car over. “Guess what? There might be meth in my house! Isn’t that great?!” –
An Unlikely Scenario
You may have inferred, by now, that the story above isn’t entirely accurate. In fact, it may have struck you as downright unbelievable. That’s because it is. “I’m so excited about the dangerous and toxic chemicals in my house,” said no one. Ever.
Finding meth in your home isn’t generally a reason to celebrate. It comes with dozens of questions and plenty of uncertainty. However, this isn’t a problem that goes away on its own. And, when it comes to hazardous substances like meth, there’s no room for error. If you suspect there’s meth on your property, then (for the safety of everyone involved), there’s only one thing to do.
Testing for Meth
The only way to know if your home is contaminated is to test. You see, methamphetamine can have a subtle presence. In other words, you may not see or smell it, but the residue can still linger. That being said, there are some resources for identifying a meth lab (or signs of meth in a home). If you’d like to learn more, you can visit the health department here or check out our other blogs. These resources can help you learn more about what to watch for. But, keep in mind that just because you don’t see any obvious evidence, it doesn’t necessarily mean your home is clean.
That is why we recommend testing whenever you buy or sell a house, or (if possible) when moving into an apartment. And, naturally, you should test anytime you suspect someone has stored, smoked, or cooked meth on the property. So, unfortunately for Jane, her next move is a fairly predictable one: time to get a test. But which one? There are a few different options. We’ve given a basic overview below. But (spoiler alert) we’re recommending the second one.
Instant Meth Tests
There are several kits available for at-home and instant testing. However, in our experience, they’re generally inaccurate. We’ve seen instant kits give false positives and negatives, even when we’ve retested the very same spot. In addition to the issues with accuracy, they won’t offer any real insight into the specific amounts of methamphetamine present. That is why organizations like the health department won’t even accept results from these types of tests.
It’s also worth mentioning that you’ll probably have to follow up with a laboratory test no matter the reading you receive. As such, we find it saves our customers time and money to start with more refined methods. So, stay away Jane! There’s a better option coming your way.
Laboratory Methods for Testing Meth
There are a few kinds of laboratory tests. However, the most cost-effective and common is a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Quite a mouthful, eh? The easiest way to describe this process is that samples are taken, and sent to a lab where they undergo a chemical assessment. Simply put, as long as the sample is collected correctly, this method produces much more accurate results.
We won’t go into the other all laboratory methods here (we’ll discuss those in future blogs). At this point, just be sure your test is NIOSH compliant and that it meets your state requirements. That should cover all your bases.
On that note, be sure you select the right person to do the test so you don’t waste your money. For instance, if you’re in Utah and attempting to remove your home from the contaminated properties list, you’ll need a certified decontamination specialist to perform the test. We can help with that. Give us a call, and we can help you sort out your next step: 801-888-6698.
Image by Clicker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay