After one North Carolina landlord’s tenants got caught with a full-blown methamphetamine lab in the mobile home they rented, state health officials handed him a hefty list of cleanup requirements. The Raleigh News & Observer says the man said he would rather haul the trailer to the dump than pay the steep cost of getting it decontaminated for new tenants.
A new state law spells out standards for removing toxic residue from residences that housed clandestine meth labs. In the case cited by the newspaper, a professional cleanup crew estimated the cost of decontaminating the mobile home at $12,000 — and probably higher once the costs of ripping out the ceiling and flooring are included. “Meth manufacturers are not chemists by trade,” said Marilyn Parker, a state industrial hygiene consultant. “They are sloppy. Things get dragged all over the house on the bottom of their shoes.” The new law says that any dwelling — which includes motel rooms — that held a meth lab must be stripped of carpeting and vinyl flooring. Walls and other surfaces must be scrubbed three times and sealed with a coat of paint. Appliances used to store ingredients must be dumped. Mattresses and other fabric-covered furniture must be trashed. Plumbing and ventilation systems must be flushed. Clothing and linens must be washed twice or thrown out.