Sadly, the manufacturing of methamphetamine (meth) and other illegal drugs within single family dwellings, hotels, vehicles, etc. has risen dramatically over the past fifteen years. The chemical agents used in the production of illegal drugs can include common household products such as methanol, ether, benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethane, toluene, muriatic acid, sodium hydroxide, table salt, and ammonia. Once these chemicals are combined or used in ‘cooking,’ many other potential harmful chemicals can be produced. Unfortunately, many homeowners, landlords, new property owners unknowingly find out they own a structure that was previously utilized as an illegal drug manufacturing facility. Concern over their own health, the health of their tenants, or the potential liability associated with owning a structure formerly used as such a facility, has led to an increase in the need for professional abatement companies, as well as consulting and testing companies such as Guzi-West.
Many states, including California, have calculated a health-based remediation standard for meth of 1.5 μg/100 cm. It’s critically important the right areas of concern are tested as meth tends to become deposited in given areas of a structure following the structure being used as a laboratory (i.e. HVAC system, kitchen, juncture of a ceiling and wall, etc.). The most common method of testing for methamphetamine is by wipe sampling. Wipe tests are typically performed over an area approximately 100 square centimeters. Isopropyl alcohol or methal alcohol are normally used to wet the gauze, and the area wiped five times across and five times up or down. The gauze is then placed in a container, such as a centrifuge tube or plastic bag, and delivered to a laboratory for analysis. It’s also critically important to ensure the laboratory is experienced in the inspection of methamphetamine (as well as clearance testing), and that they are capable of reading down to a concentration which is below your respective states remediation standard. The Guzi-West team has performed numerous meth investigations and worked alongside abatement and restoration/decontamination companies to ensure property owners are able to effectively manage the complex process of addressing methamphetamine contamination issues.