Meth Lab Cleanup >> Clandestine Drug Labs

Clandestine drug labs are found throughout Indiana. They are found in homes, apartments, hotel and motel rooms, and mobile homes.When they seize a drug lab, law enforcement agencies remove bulk chemicals and drug making equipment from the site. However, residual Clandestine Drug Labs contamination often remains because the hazardous chemicals that are used when manufacturing these drugs can contaminate the property.
Without proper cleaning, the risk of exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals is likely. New occupants moving into former drug labs may be unaware of the contamination problem.Illegal drug labs Clandestine Drug Labs have become a growing problem in Indiana. In 1999, Indiana law enforcement agencies investigated 177 illegal drug labs. By 2012, that number rose to 1,663.
 Indiana Methamphetamine Investigation System
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has alist of addresses where law enforcement agencies have reported illegal drug labs. Hazards and Health EffectsIllegal drug labs are extremely hazardous to occupants and neighbors. Persons who manufacture illegal drugs use a wide variety of hazardous materials. These chemicals can be spilled or deposited on floors, walls ceilings and furniture. While it is being Clandestine Drug Labs manufactured, methamphetamine vapor condenses inside the property and on household goods.
This can cause a variety of health problems, especially for children.Safety for Property OwnersIf you own, or represent the owner of, property that has been used as an illegal drug lab,do not enterthe property until thelocal health departmentor aqualified inspectorhave determined it is safe to enter.After the chemicals and equipment used in the lab have been removed, talk to your local health department Clandestine Drug Labs to determine if the property is safe to inspect and what safety precautions you need to take.
How Indiana Responds to Illegal Drug Labs
 When an illegal drug lab is discovered, it is reported to the local law enforcement agency. In most cases, the Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Suppression Section terminates lab. They dismantle, remove and properly dispose of the lab contents. They are trained and equipped to safely enter and dismantle illegal drug labs. However, they do not remove residual contamination from Clandestine Drug Labs the lab. The Methamphetamine Suppression Section or other law enforcement agency that terminates the drug lab sends a written report to the local health department.
 The Department of Child Services ensures that any children involved receive proper care under theIndiana Drug Endangered Children Response Protocol [PDF]. The local health department prohibits occupancy of the property until it has been properly cleaned and is no longer hazardous to occupy. Property owners must clean Clandestine Drug Labs up their own property before it is reoccupied or sold. Qualified inspector shelp property owners clean their property so it can be reoccupied or sold.
Indiana has Rules for Drug Lab Cleanup
Indiana's drug lab cleanup rules [PDF]: Require persons who own property that was used for illegal drug manufacture to clean up the property before selling or reoccupying the property. Set criteria for persons to become qualified to Clandestine Drug Labs clean up these properties. Set standards for cleanup and inspection of these properties. Provide a certificate that shows the property has been properly cleaned up.
How to Clean Up Your Property
You may hire a an IDEM-certified qualified inspector to: do an initial assessment of the property Clandestine Drug Labs to find out how much cleanup is needed, clean the property to meet Indiana standards, or help you hire a cleanup contractor and supervise the cleanup, test the property when the cleanup is complete, and, if the final decontamination levels have level has been met, issue you a certificate showing the cleanup was done properly.
 You may remove all Clandestine Drug Labs potentially contaminated material from the property and have a qualified inspector document the removal. You may demolish the property.You and the qualified inspector can work together to find the most cost-effective way to clean up your property.
How to Find a Qualified Inspector
Use theQualified Inspector Listto find an inspector. Each inspector on the list has met all to be a qualified inspector.DisposalIn most cases, these wastes can be disposed of in apermitted municipal solid waste landfill [PDF]. Contact Clandestine Drug Labs IDEM by phone at (800) 451-6027 or via email at "info at" if you have questions about disposing of wastes from illegal drug labs.
Are Children Involved?
The Indiana Department of Child Services and other Indiana agencies have developedprocedures [PDF]to deal with children who are affected by an illegal drug lab. If children have been affected by an illegal drug lab, contact the Department of Child Services office in your county or city.Surface pH testing shall be conducted on at least three locations in each room within the areas withvisible contamination and within areas known Clandestine Drug Labs to store or handle chemicals used for the clandestine druglaboratory in the residually contaminated portion of the real property.
Surface pH measurements shall be made using deionized water and pH test strips with a visualindication for a pH between 6 and 8. The pH reading shall be recorded for each sample location.o For horizontal surfaces, deionized water shall be applied to the surface and allowed to stand for atleast three minutes. The pH test strip shall then be placed Clandestine Drug Labs in the water for a minimum of 30 secondsand read.o For vertical surfaces, a Whatman 40 ashless filter paper or equivalent filter paper shall be wettedwith deionized water and wiped over a 10 cm x 10 cm area at least five times in two perpendicular directions.
The filter paper shall then be placed into a clean sample container and covered withdeionized water. The filter and water shall stand Clandestine Drug Labs for at least three minutes prior to testing. The pH teststrip shall then be placed in the water for a minimum of 30 seconds and read.B. VOC sampling and testing procedures: A properly calibrated photoionization detector (PID) or flame ionization detector (FID) capable ofdetecting volatile organic carbons (VOCs) shall be used for testing.
 The background concentration of VOCs shall be obtained by testing three exterior areas outsidethe limits of the residually contaminated portion of the real property and in areas with no known orsuspected sources of VOCs. All VOC readings shall be recorded for each Clandestine Drug Labs sample location.o At least three locations in each room of the residually contaminated portion of the real propertyshall be tested for VOC readings. The testing equipment probe shall be held in the sample locationfor at least 30 seconds to obtain a readingAll accessible plumbing traps shall be tested for VOCs by holding the testing equipment probe in theplumbing pipe above the trap for at least 60 seconds.

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