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Clandestine Meth Lab Cleanup Procedures

Warning: Before undertaking any meth lab cleanup efforts, it is imperative the you check whether your state/city/county requires licensing or specific protocols to be followed.

Properties used to produce methamphetamine will usually be found within a lab-like setting ("Meth lab"), including containers of chemicals, heat sources, and various types of lab equipment. Typically, after a lab is discovered by law enforcement, the bulk of any lab-related debris, such as chemicals and containers, is removed. However, it is possible that a small amount of contamination may be left on surfaces, such as sinks, drains, and ventilation systems, or in absorbent materials, such as carpets and furniture. Though found in small amounts, meth lab contaminants may pose health threats to persons exposed to them.

Many of the contaminants present during meth's cooking process can be harmful if someone is exposed to them. These contaminants can cause health problems including respiratory (breathing) problems, skin and eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Acute (short-term) exposures to high concentrations of some of these chemicals, such as those law enforcement officers face when they first enter a lab, can cause severe health problems including lung damage and burns to different parts of the body.

During the meth cooking process, vapors are given off that can spread and be absorbed by nearby materials. Spilled chemicals, supplies, and equipment can further contaminate non-lab items. It is a good idea to remove unnecessary items from the property and dispose of them properly. Items that are visibly contaminated should be removed from the property and may be disposed of in a local landfill.

Basic Steps to cleaning a former meth property:

  • Air out the property before and during cleanup
  • Remove all unnecessary items and dispose of them
  • Remove visibly contaminated items or items that have an odor
  • Clean all surfaces using proper personal protection. Clean the ventilation system
  • Leave plumbing cleaning to the experts

Option 1

  1. Ventilate contained areas. There is no need to keep the site under negative pressure. It is a good idea to use carbon filters in your air scrubbers.
  2. Remove all porous items.
  3. Use a HEPA vacuum to clean all surfaces.
  4. Perform pH testing to determine areas to be cleaned and what products they should be cleaned with (alkaline or acid based).
  5. Use only disposable rags for wet cleaning. Each rag should clean a max of 4' x 4' area (2' is recommended)
  6. Perform post-cleaning testing to ensure you've done a thorough job.
  7. Seal surfaces using Fiberlock Lead Barrier Compound (this step is not required, but recommended).

Option 2

  1. Ventilate contained areas. There is no need to keep the site under negative pressure. It is a good idea to use carbon filters in your air scrubbers.
  2. Remove all porous items.
  3. Use a HEPA vacuum to clean all surfaces.
  4. Perform pH testing to determine areas to be cleaned and what products they should be cleaned with (alkaline or acid based).
  5. Use only disposable rags for wet cleaning. Each rag should clean a max of 4' x 4' area (2' is recommended)
  6. Heat the area to 105ºF for 6 to 8 hours while using air scrubbers with carbon filters. You can also use ozone with heat (Ozone is not preferred since the heat/airflow greatly diminishes the effectiveness).
  7. Perform post-cleaning testing to ensure you've done a thorough job.
  8. Seal surfaces using Fiberlock Lead Barrier Compound (this step is not required, but recommended).

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  1. Fiberlock IAQ Advanced Peroxide Cleaner
    Fiberlock IAQ Advanced Peroxide Cleaner (2.5 GL)

    IAQ Advanced Peroxide Cleaner is the most advanced cleaner available for the restoration and remediation professional. It aggressively removes stains and odors caused by mold, mildew, bacteria, and other microbial growth.

    • For use in mold remediation and water damage restoration
    • Penetrates deep into the substrate to remove stains
    • Does not leave chemical residue

    Starting at $102.35

  2. Unitex Microfiber Cloth, 16" x 16", 300 Gram
    Unitex Microfiber Cloth, 16" x 16", 300 Gram

    Softer than silk, yet bull-dog tough, these 300-gram weight microfiber cloths measure 16" x 16". They pick up more dirt and dust than traditional rags and wipes, plus they use less chemical and leave surfaces dry and streak-free.

    • 300-gram quality
    • Lint-free
    • Lasts longer and picks up more dirt
    • Use on any surface, will not scratch
    • Launderability exceeds 200 washes

    Starting at $14.43

  3. Fiberlock LBC ‑ Lead Barrier Compound (5 GL)
    Fiberlock LBC ‑ Lead Barrier Compound (5 GL)

    LBC is a safe and effective alternative to the costly process of lead-based paint removal and is accepted in all 50 states as a permanent lead abatement method.

    • Goes on white, dries white
    • Coverage of 80-120 sq ft per gal
    • Dries in 1-2 hours
    • Meets/Surpasses ASTM E-1795 Standard for Lead-Based Paint Encapsulants for both indoor and outdoor use
  4. Disposable Wipes (50 PK)
    Disposable Wipes (50 PK)

    These white wipes really come in handy on any job that needs more than a paper towel, but less than a regular towel. Since no laundering is required, just use and toss!

    • Each measures 12 x 13 inches
    • Use and throw away
    • No laundering needed
  5. Minuteman HEPA MicroVac Vacuum (C82904‑07)
    Minuteman HEPA MicroVac Vacuum (C82904‑07)

    The Minuteman Micro Vac is ideal for mold, lead, or asbestos remediation. It combats harmful allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander that collect in carpeting, draperies, and furniture.

    • HEPA filter is 99.97% efficient at 0.3 microns
    • Quiet, yet powerful vacuum motor won’t disturb occupants
    • 4-gallon capacity
    • Ideal for mold, lead, or asbestos remediation
    • Tools included
  6. ProTeam LineVacer HEPA Backpack Vacuum with Xover Performance Tool Kit
    ProTeam LineVacer HEPA Backpack Vacuum with Xover Performance Tool Kit

    This HEPA vacuum is ideal for medical facilities, clean rooms, computer labs, or highly sensitive areas, offering the finest package of motor power and filters in the market.

    • Free Shipping!
    • 10-quart capacity
    • CRI seal of approval
    • Can tackle asbestos and lead paint abatement cleanup
    • HEPA filtration
    • Weighs just 13 pounds
  7. Dry Air MAX Force Air Mover
    Dry Air MAX Force Air Mover

    The MAX Force delivers maximum air to tackle the toughest jobs. Designed to push large volumes of air through ducting, the MAX Force can ventilate and dry out the hardest-to-reach places quickly and easily.

    • 8.8 amps, 1 HP
    • Single-speed, ductable axial air mover
    • Ductable to 50 feet (ducting sold separately)
    • 38 lbs
    • Interlocking stacking design
  8. pH Pen
    pH Pen

    Take quick, accurate readings on concrete and carpeted surfaces. Flat surface electrode measures pH on concrete, carpets and solid objects. CAL alerts signals need to recalibrate.

    • Get quick pH readings on all types of carpet
    • High accuracy of 0.01 pH
    • Display indicates when the reading is stabilized

    Starting at $137.37

  9. 14" x 15" x 1" Activated Carbon Filter
    14" x 15" x 1" Activated Carbon Filter

    This 1" Activated Carbon Filter fits the HEPA 1000 Air Scrubber. When using this filter you will need to exchange your standard 2" pleated filter for the 1" pleated filter.

    • Optional 2nd Stage Filter for the HEPA 1000 Air Scrubber
    • Must use 1" Pre-Filter in concert with this filter
    • Listed Size: 14 x 15 x 1 inches
    • Nominal Size: 13.7 x 14.7 x .875 inches

    Starting at $53.60

  10. Microfiber Cloth, 16" x 16", 300 Gram
    Microfiber Cloth, 16" x 16", 300 Gram

    Softer than silk, yet bull-dog tough, these 300-gram weight microfiber cloths measure 16" x 16". They pick up more dirt and dust than traditional rags and wipes, plus they use less chemical and leave surfaces dry and streak-free.

    • 300-gram quality
    • Lint-free
    • Lasts longer and picks up more dirt
    • Use on any surface, will not scratch
    • Launderability exceeds 200 washings

    Starting at $1.13

  11. O‑Cedar Commercial Utility Pail, Double‑Sided
    O‑Cedar Commercial Utility Pail, Double‑Sided

    This double bucket features two deep wells that are ideal for separating cleaning solution and rinse water for efficient cleaning. It features a molded-in pour spout and plastic grip for reduced splash and easy emptying. Can also be used to transport tools and supplies.

    • Double compartments for separating cleaning and rinsing solution
    • Great for carrying tools and supplies
    • Heavy-duty, chemical-resistant plastic
    • 19-quart capacity
  12. Unsmoke Degrease‑All Degreaser
    Unsmoke Degrease‑All Degreaser

    Degrease-All offers a special blend of tough cleaning agents formulated to remove silt and soot from walls, fixtures, sealed wood, painted surfaces, yet gentle enough to be used as a traffic lane cleaner. It also removes heavy smoke odors.

    • Multi-surface degreaser
    • Highly effective for removing soot
    • pH: 12.3 (RTU 11.0)
    • Safe for stain-resistant carpet
    • Various dilution options

    Starting at $30.44

  13. StoneTech® Restore Acidic Cleaner
    StoneTech® Restore Acidic Cleaner

    Restore cleans away hard water deposits, grout haze, efflorescence and soap scum. For use on ceramic and porcelain tile, granite, slate, sandstone, and grout.

    • Cleans away hard water deposits, grout haze, and soap scum
    • Makes tile and grout look new
    • pH: < 1.0
    • For use on ceramic tile and grout
    • Variable dilutions

    Starting at $171.98

  14. Bag‑A‑Duct, PVC Coated Wire Ducting
    Bag‑A‑Duct, PVC Coated Wire Ducting

    Use flexible ducting to ventilate small, confined areas that fans cannot reach. Cheap ducting won't last long, and you may end up paying more in the long run.

    • Various diameters
    • Comes with built-in storage bag
    • Works in temperatures ranging from -20ºF to 185ºF

    Starting at $199.26

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