The fate of the nation’s former meth labs varies dramatically, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Some states, led by Colorado, have enacted tough regulations that require former lab sites to undergo a formal safety assessment – and more cleanup, if needed – before they can be reinhabited. The laws are prompted by the toxicity of the chemicals used to cook meth, and suspicions about the long-term effects of chemical remnants in the air and on surfaces. Other states mandate home sellers to disclose the presence of former meth labs.
Meth Lab Cleanup Co., based in Texas, charges about $300 to $500 for a consultation, assessment, and site sampling. Decontamination costs from $4,000 to $6,000 for a modest home. The company’s Joseph Mazzuca says cooks sometimes disconnect stove vents to prevent neighbors from smelling suspicious fumes. Instead the vent pipe is stuffed into the insulation, creating a bigger mess. Three-quarters of his calls are to sites that never involved law enforcement, suggesting there are many labs beyond the 100,000 reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Our estimate is that there are about a million and a half meth labs in America, and less than 1 percent of them have been decontaminated,” he says.