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Methamphetamine Contamination Regulations

Guide for Property Owners

Whether from a meth lab or drug smoking, methamphetamine contamination is a potentially serious public health risk.

Because of this risk, the City of Lakewood wants all property owners to be aware of the Colorado laws and regulations that in some cases require cleanup and disclosure.

These requirements apply if you have a reason to suspect a meth lab or drug smoking on your property. 

They apply even if the police have not made arrests or have not advised you that a meth lab was present; in fact, national statistics suggest that only 10 percent of meth labs are ever found by police.

Information is summarized here, and you should seek professional advice if you have questions.

 

The Dangers of Meth Labs and Smoking

Among the chemicals found in methamphetamine labs are hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, phosphine, acetone and anhydrous ammonia. Although hazards posed by these individual chemicals are generally understood, no one knows what happens when these chemicals combine in the meth labs and what exactly is in the air, carpets and walls of the labs.

The methamphetamine contamination of the cook area combined with adjacent areas makes it likely that individuals who live in or visit the residence become contaminated with methamphetamine. In fact, most (if not all) children associated with clandestine methamphetamine laboratories are contaminated with the drug and have positive urine levels for methamphetamine. Samples taken from individuals and pets leaving these covert labs have tested positive for methamphetamine at levels exceeding the accepted contamination level of 0.5ug/100 cm2.

If methamphetamine has been smoked in a residence, it is likely that children inside the structure will be exposed to airborne and surface methamphetamine.

 

Online Resources

CDPHE Cleanup Information
http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hm/methlab.htm

CAMMP-nonprofit education and training
http://www.cammponline.org/ 

Property Owner's Duties

Due to the potential for hazardous chemicals and contaminants, Colorado statutes §25-18.5-103, C.R.S. require the property owner to comply with the cleanup requirements established by the Colorado Board of Health regulations found at 6 CCR 1014-3.

Under Colorado statute §25-18.5-104, C.R.S. only persons trained in hazardous materials work practices may enter the property. Initial sampling efforts to determine whether the property is contaminated are included in this requirement. 

Until cleanup is sufficient and complies with regulations, Colorado statute §25-18.5-105, C.R.S. mandates that the property be treated as a public health nuisance.

Disclosure of the potential contamination may be required. §39-35.7-103, C.R.S.

 

How Does Cleanup Work?

  •  Hire an industrial hygienist or certified industrial hygienist 
  •  Perform an initial assessment 
  •  If contamination above the state standard exists, hire a cleanup contractor 
  •  Sample to show success 
  •  Prepare detailed report and submit to governing body

 

Common Mistakes

  • Failing to deny access to everyone except your consultant and cleanup contractors. 
  • Failing to use a qualified consultant or contractor. 
  • Taking short-cuts rather than following the procedures listed in the cleanup regulation. 
  • Ignoring the requirement to perform a cleanup. 
  • Not getting expert help to understand the cleanup program and your rights. 
  • Failing to get necessary building permits. 
  • Failing to report the cleanup to the governing body.

 

Contact Information:

Environmental Services
470 S Allison Pkwy
Lakewood, CO 80226
Direct: 303-987-7190