Methamphetamine is quite a dangerous drug, not only because it causes serious issues to its consumers, but it’s also a potential hazard for people who find themselves in the vicinity of a meth lab. Chemicals in meth are known to be quite detrimental to one’s well being because unlike something like cocaine, meth is not derived from natural sources but rather manufactured in improvised laboratories.
If you’re looking to rent or buy yourself a new place, it’s probably a good idea to look for particular signs that might indicate that your potential new home has once been a meth lab. On top of that, even if it wasn’t, you should look for clues in your neighborhood houses, because you don’t want to live in the vicinity of a meth lab.
Take a moment to check out this article as it is designed to bring meth toxicity closer to people who have zero ideas of its adverse effects.
What is a Meth Lab?
Before we dive deeper into the matter, it’s probably a good idea to define what constitutes a meth lab.
A meth lab is most often an improvised setting in a house or even on wheels. Many meth labs are so-called rolling meth labs, meaning they are inside an RV, designed to be moved to a secluded location in order to hide strong toxic fumes and toxic byproducts.
How To Recognize a Meth Lab?
There are plenty of telltale signs that are easily noticeable if you know what you’re looking for. Here are some of the things you should be looking for in order to recognize a meth lab:
- Lack of fire detectors
- Blue discoloration
- Yellow discoloration (walls, sinks, showers)
- Peculiar odor
- Itching and burning sensation
If you manage to stumble upon any of these five factors, it means you’re probably standing in a house that was once a meth lab.
There’s a lack of fire and smoke detectors in almost every meth lab because the owner is trying to avoid detection and alarms. As far as discolorations go, they are usually caused by fumes and smoke. The yellow color is very hard to eliminate, if not impossible. Most experts will advise you to just get rid of contaminated sinks, showers, and drains in lieu of trying to clean them.
Meth Health Risks
The most important thing you should always keep in the back of your mind is the adverse health effects of meth. To fully understand the health risks of meth, we should first define what is meth made out of.
Meth is made of highly toxic chemicals, including acetone, phosphine, and pseudoephedrine. These chemicals can cause short-term as well as long-term health issues. As far as short-term predicaments go, it’s usually migraines, burns, skin irritation, and sometimes even weight loss. Long-term effects include problems with liver and kidneys, albeit more research is required.
Many people want to know does meth cause cancer, and the answer is – yes, it can cause cancer. However, the most susceptible demographic for these health issues are infants and children. Adults usually tend to cope with potential issues of meth exposure much easier than infants and children. In fact, infants who are exposed to extended periods of time have a high chance of developing life-long health issues.
What Should I Do if I Suspect the Presence of Meth in My Home?
Contrary to popular misconception, you cannot deal with such dangerous things on your own. Many people think that a former meth lab needs a thorough cleanup before it turns into a livable space. While that’s somewhat true, the important element in the equation is the fact that the cleanup must be done by trained professionals who use special cleaning solutions and know exactly what it takes to clean everything up.
By DIY-ing your way out of this situation, you’re only increasing the risk rather than lowering it. You’ll certainly miss a spot or two, and consequently, end up with a contaminated home even though you’ve spent days cleaning it.
A Few Dos and Don’ts
Now that we’ve covered the major risks of methamphetamine, it’s time to dive into the dos and don’ts. Use these as vague guidelines rather than hard-written rules.
- Don’t clean up the place yourself. As we’ve mentioned, if you’re not a trained expert, you’ll definitely do something wrong which will consequently render your efforts useless. Rather than wasting time on trying to DIY it, hire a team of professionals and let them take care of it.
- Don’t jump to conclusions too soon. If you’re looking to buy a home and you happen to notice signs of it being used as a meth lab in the past, keep in mind that it’s not always the case. Sometimes, people just like to keep their windows covered, and don’t mind neglecting their curtains and sinks.
- Conduct thorough research. Read about the neighborhood you’re trying to move into, speak with some neighbors, and take a glimpse into the crime rates in the area. By collecting useful information, you’ll have a much better picture of what’s going on in the neighborhood, instead of just relying on the real estate agent’s stories.
Methamphetamine is something that should not be taken lightly. Whether you’re living in a vicinity of a potential meth lab or are perhaps planning to buy a house that might look like a former meth lab, we strongly advise that you take it seriously and do everything you can to preserve your health as well as the health of the people in your household. Whatever you do, don’t try to neutralize the risks by yourself, hire a team of professionals!
If you would like to know more about thorough clean ups, meth labs, or rodent infestations, don’t hesitate to read our other articles!