Initially used in medicine for anesthesia purposes, fentanyl made its way to the streets and is considered to be one of the most dangerous opioids today. People who use this drug to get high most commonly buy it from illegal sources that produce it in improvised laboratories. So you might wonder – why is fentanyl so deadly, and why is everyone talking about the tremendous danger associated with using it? According to doctors, fentanyl is considered to be approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and has a very high mortality rate due to users overdosing. On top of that, you’ll often see users mixing it with either cocaine or heroin to further boost the effects, making it one deadly combo. Dealers also lace their merchandise with this dangerous synthetic drug in order to increase their profits and give the impression they are selling a purer and more potent substance.
Why Is Fentanyl So Dangerous?
According to reports, the recent opioid crisis in the USA is getting even worse, and it seems that fentanyl alone is to blame for it. The drug has been associated with numerous deaths labeled as a drug overdose fatality. It is estimated that as little as a 3-milligram dose of fentanyl is more than enough to induce an opioid overdose, which explains why fentanyl is considered to be one of the most dangerous drugs out there. Recreational drug users are also not safe. Reports show that America’s cocaine supply is getting more and more contaminated with fentanyl, meaning that the average cocaine user doing lines at a club is at high risk of ending the night tragically. According to reports published by the DEA, fentanyl-laced cocaine is more common than you might think.
Drug health experts have issued a warning that the super potent opioid is being mixed with a wide variety of drugs, allegedly even the widely consumed marijuana. If we take into consideration that the USA alone has near 38 million weed users, it’s safe to say that fentanyl poses a serious threat to the entire nation. MDMA is another recreational drug often laced with fentanyl in order to prolong and boost the effects of the psychoactive drug.
Dealers are putting the opioid into the mainstream-drug market for various reasons. First of all, there are additional effects that cause a much stronger high, and then there is a profit margin. The cost of fentanyl is what makes mixing it with other, more expensive drugs a lucrative endeavor. When you consider the amount of fentanyl required to achieve a high, the cost of it is negligible. Especially if it’s produced in improvised laboratories made in basements and kitchens. Most illegal producing facilities are established in rented out houses without the owner of the property having the slightest idea. Unfortunately, producers of illegal drugs such as fentanyl tend to move their operations from address to address, leaving an inhabitable mess behind them.
The Result of a Fentanyl-Producing Laboratory
So we established that fentanyl is dangerous when consumed, but what about secondhand exposure? If you find yourself in a space that used to be used for the purpose of producing this super-potent drug, you could be exposing yourself to some real danger. Fentanyl exposure is a serious threat due to how little leftover residue can be fatal. Only 3 milligrams of this dangerous substance could kill an average adult. Cleaning a property that was used to produce fentanyl should always be handled by a professional cleaning crew that is equipped with the necessary safety equipment and is experienced in handling toxic waste.
If you decide to clean a fentanyl lab by yourself, you should be fully aware of all the risks involved.
What Happens If You Touch Fentanyl?
We established that the synthetic opioid is extremely dangerous if handled carelessly, but what about the passive side-effects of being in the same room with the drug. Luckily, in order for fentanyl to be dangerous, it needs to enter the bloodstream. This means it needs to be absorbed, ingested, or inhaled. If you were to come in contact with a small dose of fentanyl via the skin, chances are you won’t be at risk of an overdose. Also, fentanyl doesn’t readily vaporize, which means it should not spread into the air unless tampered with. That being said, you should avoid touching fentanyl without the proper safety gear. Protective rubber gloves and an adequate mask are a must when exposing yourself to fentanyl residue.
Cleaning a Property Used for Producing Fentanyl
Restoring a house that’s been used as an illegal laboratory can be a rather challenging task. Producers leave behind a huge mess when fleeing the authorities or moving their base of operations, so making the house habitable again takes a lot of work. On top of that, drug residue is hardly visible to the eye, so if you’re trying to clean it up by yourself, chances are you’ll miss a lot of hidden or not as obvious spots. Contaminated areas need to be checked and cleaned by an experienced crew that knows what they are doing.
When dealing with fentanyl mitigation, following cleaning procedures is a must, and that’s why it’s always the smartest approach to hire a professional cleanup company instead of doing it yourself.
Here are a couple of reasons why hiring a cleanup company is a wise choice, as opposed to doing it yourself.
The Overall Cost
Let’s start by analyzing the cost of cleaning up a property that’s been contaminated by fentanyl. Let’s imagine you’ve contacted a few cleaning services and you weren’t happy with the price estimate that they’ve given you so you decided to do it by yourself. First of all, you’re going to spend money on a testing kit in order to get a better idea of the level of contamination. Once you’ve determined how much contamination you’re dealing with, you’re going to have to buy all the necessary cleaning equipment. Using basic cleaning equipment will not suffice when trying to restore potentially lethal interiors.
Even if you invest in a testing kit and purchase all the cleaning gear, you still need to get acquainted with the cleaning procedures that need to be followed in order to be successful. The main problem with this approach is that you might find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck in the middle of the job, and you tell yourself “Now I need to hire someone to clean up where I messed up,” but you already spent a ton of money on buying equipment and, on top of that, you put your health at risk.
This is why it’s almost always better to hire someone from the get-go.
Cleaning Hazardous Interiors Is Tedious
Illegal lab cleanups require time, dedication, and knowledge. By hiring someone that’s used to doing it every day, you’ll be saving yourself time, protecting your health, and “buying” a piece of mind knowing that the job will be done properly. Now that’s something you can’t attach a price tag to.
Professional cleaning companies will provide you with the manpower and the safety equipment needed to complete the cleaning job successfully. For example, here at Spaulding Decon, we use special cleaning agents that are designed to remove specific drug residue without dispersing it into the air. We also have heavy-duty equipment such as Industrial HEPA vacuums and negative air scrubber machines. These machines remove all potentially toxic airborne particles and speed up the cleaning process. Definitely not something you would have lying around in your garage.
Trained and Experienced Technicians
Professional cleaning companies that specialize in restoring contaminated interiors hire skilled individuals that have been previously trained in handling and disposing of toxic waste. These experienced technicians are familiar with all the cleaning procedures and can complete any task successfully. Spaulding Decon has successfully restored thousands of houses that have been completely modified into laboratories used to produce illegal substances. There have been cases where properties have been deemed completely uninhabitable until we took it upon ourselves to restore them to their previous state.
Another reason why you would want to hire a professional biohazard cleanup company is getting financial help from your insurance company. Insurance claims might be possible as long as professional cleaning crews are handling the contaminated property. Now, don’t expect your insurance company to cover the entire cost of the job. Some services can be filed through insurance, while others will be charged from your own pocket.
That being said, most cleaning companies will provide you with a detailed list of services covered by insurance and can even help you complete the claim.
Your Own Personal Health
Finally, the number one reason why you should consider hiring professionals to clean up a fentanyl-infested property is the preservation of your own health. Unless you are a professional cleaner yourself, you are more than likely inexperienced in handling such scenarios. It takes just a few wrong moves and unlucky circumstances, and you’ll be dealing with devastating consequences for the rest of your life. Don’t put yourself at risk if you don’t have to. Instead, hire someone that’s experienced in toxic substance mitigation and has the necessary safety equipment and tools to complete the job.
Choose a Reputable Cleanup Crew to Take Care of Your Home
Your main takeaway should be that fentanyl is a serious threat to both users and others that find themselves in the proximity of the super-potent opioid. While fentanyl might not be an immediate threat as long as you avoid contact, cleaning it is an entirely different story. Cleaning fentanyl is not a DIY job you can casually complete on a Sunday. Instead, you should consider hiring professionals trained in the proper disposal of this dangerous substance.
Spaulding Decon is a reputable biohazard cleanup company that’s been successfully restoring homes around the country. We are recommended by both police departments and insurance companies. Contact us today and find out how we can help you out with your problem.
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