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The Southern Tier of NY Meth Prevention Program Presents

Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratories
Recognition and Surface Sampling

Presented by John Snawder Ph.D. CDC, DABT National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati Ohio.

 

Communities continue to face the problem of clandestine methamphetamine drug manufacturing and illegal laboratory discoveries. These makeshift labs continue to put police, fire, and other first responders at risk for a variety of hazards. Those at risk also include susceptible third parties, such as children, health care workers and the general population. Remediation of homes once used as clandestine methamphetamine laboratories continues to be a problem for communities and professionals are frequently requested to determine the risk of exposure to individuals residing in these residences.

This presentation will discuss how first responders may improve their safety and effectiveness when responding to a methamphetamine lab incident. The instructor will discuss potential hazards of responding to methamphetamine labs and help attendees learn to identify the type and status of clandestine methamphetamine labs. Personal protective equipment and direct reading detection technologies will be demonstrated.

• What a Clan Lab is and what drugs are produced in them

• The dangers of methamphetamine and its production

• Actions and responsibilities of first responders

• Pre-planning tactics for the clan-lab response

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Date: June 3, 2008, Time:1-5pm

Location: Tioga County Sheriff’s Office -103 Corporation Dr., Owego NY

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Date: June 4, 2008                Time:1-5pm

Location:  Endwell Fire Department- 3508 Country Club Rd. Endwell, NY

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Cost: $20.00 mail check to: STNYMPP, 223 Death Valley Rd.  JC NY 13790- along with name and contact information,name of course and location.  Space is limited! 


 

 

 

Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratories:

From Initial Investigation to Remediation

 

Communities continue to face the problem of clandestine methamphetamine drug manufacturing and illegal laboratory discoveries. These makeshift labs continue to put police, fire, and other first responders at risk for a variety of hazards. Those at risk also include susceptible third parties, such as children. Remediation of homes once used as clandestine methamphetamine laboratories continues to be a problem for communities and professionals are frequently requested to determine the risk of exposure to individuals residing in these residences.

 This work shop will provide information and an opportunity for hands-on use of “real-time” sampling methodologies. Participants will develop a sampling plan for the evaluation of a structure. Attendees will learn how to determine the risks of re-occupancy for a residence and what steps need to be taken to reduce those risks. A personal protection and decontamination plan for workers will be developed and a clearance sampling plan devised. A remediation plan for a “contaminated residence” will be formulated.

 • Understand the potential chemical exposures involved with different types of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories both during and well after the cook.

 • Understand the potential exposures associated with methamphetamine laboratories and the potential health effects associated with their presence in contaminated structures.

 • Know the sampling methodologies available and the sampling plans necessary to determine exposure risk in structures previously used for methamphetamine production.

• Formulate a decontamination plan for structures contaminated by methamphetamine production.

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Date:  June 3, 2008                    Time: 9- noon

Location: Tioga County Sheriff’s Office-103 Corporation Dr. Owego, NY

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Date:  June 4, 2008                    Time: 9- noon

Location: Endwell Fire Department- 3508 Country Club Rd. Endwell, NY

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Cost: $20.00 mail check to: STNYMPP, 223 Death Valley Rd.  JC, NY 13790- along with name and contact information, name of course and location.  Space is limited! 


 

Areas of concern and recommendations when considering re-entry to Meth lab dwelling

It should first be determined what method of cook was used, and what chemicals. Duration of lab operation, number of cooks, and recipe used. 

Determine Meth level on any indoor surface

Determine lead levels/ mercury level - if used in cooking process (lead acetate, mercuric chloride, mercuric nitrate)

 Meth adheres to some surfaces more than others do.  Consideration should be given to: obviously stained areas, immediate cooking area, areas where chemicals were found, adjacent rooms, locations typically accessible for contact by occupants, high traffic areas outside of cooking area, ventilation systems, hard and soft surfaces; walls, floors, ceilings and appliances, areas of potential waste disposal- sinks, floor drains, bathtubs, showers and toilets, septic systems.

Typical primary area would be the cooking area.  Areas affected may include floors, walls, ceilings, working surfaces, furniture, carpeting, drapes, plumbing fixtures/drains, and heating and air conditioning vents.

Disposal areas; indoor areas include sinks, toilets, bathtubs, plumbing traps and floor drains, vents, vent fans and chimney flues.

Storage areas; may be contaminated because of spills, leaks or open containers.

Secondary areas of contamination may include; locations where contamination may have migrated- hallways or high traffic areas.  Common areas in multiple dwellings and adjacent apartments or rooms, including floors, walls, ceilings furniture carpeting, light fixtures, blinds, drapes and other textile products.  Common ventilation or plumbing systems.

Removal of porous materials; suspended ceilings, wallpaper, carpet that can absorb dust, powder and aerosols and vapors from the cooking process.  

Appliances that were in the room the cooking was conducted should be removed.  All other appliances associated with food preparation or storage, located outside the cooking area, must be sampled.

If cooking has continued for a lengthy period evaluate impact of soil, well and groundwater should be reevaluated.

Summary of recommendations

Air out property before and during clean up.

Remove unnecessary items and dispose of them.

Remove visibly contaminated items or items that have an odor.

Clean all surfaces, triple wash and rinse with clean water each time. Use caution if using bleach.  Since hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid or other types of acids can produce dangerous vapors to form. 

Wear gloves, protecting clothes-long sleeves and eye protection.

Clean ventilation system.  Replace filters, remove and clean vents, clean the surfaces near system inlets and outlets, clean ductwork.

Evaluate plumbing system, clean if necessary, recommended to use expert in field.

Air out property for 3-5 days.  Some states recommend turning heat up to 85 for 2-3 days (after air out).

If odor or staining remains re-evaluate.

Repaint walls with 2-3 layers of latex paint, after washing.  If staining, odors or discoloration appear after paint has dried, removal and replacement may be necessary.

Remove all gloves, rags, and clothing including shoes before leaving lab site.  Double bag all items.  Inform landfill items are coming from a lab.

Have clearance sampling conducted by qualified industrial hygienist.

 

References:

Heather McArthur, MSPH, CIH

Phoenix Police Department-Az.

 

Washington State Department of Health’s Clandestine Drug Lab Program Decontamination Standards.  July 2005

 

Guidelines for Environmental Sampling at Illegal Drug Manufacturing Sites.  Nov. 30, 2005

 

Guidelines for Cleaning Up Former Methamphetamine Labs.  April 2006 Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

 

State of California Methamphetamine Regulations, revision December 2005


Protocols for Animals found at Meth labs recommended by STNYMPP

Protective items that should be used:

  • Surgical like slippers at least. Preferred: rubber boots- they should have traction and reinforced soles

  • Heavy plastic gloves.  They should be cut/puncture resistance and provide chemical protection

  • Protective glasses – should be ANSI approved.

  • Full-face mask recommended due to possible eye and mucous membrane irritation

  • Tyvex paper suit if ONLY checking, cleaning or shaving animal.

If entering a lab site, a higher level would be recommend.  Level C

All items used in removal of animals from a Meth lab should be disposed of in a hazardous waste fashion.

Meth and residues have been found in animals removed from labs.  Animals often show signs of neglect- malnourished, burns, and afraid of people.  Be aware of an animal possibly being more aggressive and impulsiveness than normal. Be aware of animal being unpredictable in its behavior. Medications such as tranquilizers might be needed.

When removing an animal from a lab, it is recommended to wash the animal thoroughly two times with warm water and detergent.  Rinse several times, changing water each time.  Dispose of water in a sanitary sewer.

If animal has, thick fur- possible shaving may be required to remove Meth/ residue.  The paws of animals may be injured or have been expose to Meth/residues. Check carefully.

Transport with care.  Notify receiving agency animal is coming from a Meth lab.  Animal should be observed in terms of behaviors, impulsiveness and aggression.  Keep animal separate from other animals during observation time.  If animal is, demonstrating abnormal behaviors/impulsiveness/aggression testing may be needed, before releasing animal from shelter.

Animal control personnel should wash thoroughly: self, clothes, vehicle and cage.

It would always be preferred for Law agencies to remove the animal from within the structure. 

With all the new wipes available for Meth residue it might be possible to wipe animal prior to transporting.

For more information or questions please contact the ST of NY Meth prevention program at Southerntiermeth.com

 

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