Lack of Meth Clean-up Regulations Put Residents at Risk

6 years 4 months 44 minutes ago Monday, December 09 2013 Dec 9, 2013 Monday, December 09, 2013 4:52:00 PM CST December 09, 2013 in News
By: Lauren Bale, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - In 2011 37,294.80 ounces of methamphetamine drugs were seized by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Despite the fact that Missouri is the meth capital of the nation, the show-me state doesn't require documentation showing a former meth lab has been cleaned properly, putting current and future residents in danger.

After a meth lab is discovered, law enforcement agencies take the production materials to a hazardous waste facility. However, once meth has be produced in a house the hazardous chemicals remain long after the lab is taken down.

In Missouri, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to clean up the property, but there are no requirements on how the property should be cleaned. Katie, a Columbia resident, experienced first hand the lack of instruction provided to homeowners faced with cleaning up a former meth lab. She was forced to clean her house after discovering her former boyfriend had produced meth in it.

"I called the police department to let them know," Katie said. "When they finally did get here I asked them if there was a hazmat team to clean up and they said vacuum and wash down your walls and that was the best advice they had to give me."

Law enforcement officers say the current situation creates a dangerous problem.

"We do feel a frustration because we want to make sure anybody moving into a community is safe and not in harms way," Moberly Police Chief Russell Tarr said.

According to the The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, meth contaminants can cause serious health problems such as respiratory problems and lung damage. There is little information provided about the long-term consequences of living in a former meth lab, but a 2009 study in Toxicological Sciences suggests long-term exposure to meth contaminants may cause cancer.

The DHSS also provides guidelines for cleaning a former meth-lab, but acknowledges the limitations due to a lack of state regulations.

The guide states:

"There is currently no official guidance or regulations on how to clean up a former meth lab property for reoccupation. DHSS is working to find an answer that will protect the public and be practical for property owners. Responses across the country to the cleanup of these properties have ranged from doing nothing to complete demolition. Until a cleanup standard is determined, DHSS advises owners to do their best to thoroughly clean up these properties."

There is no way for future homeowners to know how the property was cleaned, leaving current and future residents of former meth labs at risk. The Department of Justice does provide a list of addresses of former meth labs in Missouri, however the site discloses the fact that all former meth labs may not be listed. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A resident living at Cedarhurst of Columbia assisted living center has tested positive for COVID-19. Columbia/Boone County... More >>
35 minutes ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 10:50:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
KOMU 8's Emily Spain talked with a family communications expert about how to talk to your children about the COVID-19... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 6:59:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Before COVID-19 was even on the world’s radar, MU School of Health Professions associate professor Carolyn Orbann had... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 6:53:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is announcing up to a $2 billion dividend that will go to... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 6:23:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in Continuous News
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 4:19:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson announced the closure of public and charter schools for the rest of the academic... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 3:17:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police officers report no one was injured after they investigated a shots fired call on Wednesday night.... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 3:00:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 2:20:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - Chad Michael Kennedy, 28, of Boonville, was arrested and charged with assault, criminal action, and unlawful use... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 2:05:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Small businesses have been hit hard by COVID-19, but they are continually coming up with ways to... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Food banks are starting to feel the affects of COVID-19 as Missourians are staying home. As... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 1:46:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Garrett Wiggans was hired as the new Head Coach for the girls basketball team at Helias Catholic... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 1:19:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - In a virtual press conference on Thursday, University of Missouri System President Mun Choi took questions from reporters... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 12:53:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
ELDON - The Witt Family Fireworks business has been around since 1989 and is fully family owned and operated. But... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 12:40:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - As schools nationwide are adapting to remote learning, one Columbia preschool owner is doing the same. Michelle... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 12:38:00 PM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A woman died Wednesday after being in a motorcycle crash the night before. Candace A. Stevenson, 36,... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 11:17:00 AM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Dickey's Barbecue Pit delivered 30 free boxed lunches to Boone Hospital's intensive care unit on Thursday. Owner... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 10:53:00 AM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
STURGEON - Pinnacles Youth Park closed its gates to the public on Tuesday due to concerns of group gatherings during... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, April 09 2020 Apr 9, 2020 Thursday, April 09, 2020 10:36:00 AM CDT April 09, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 40°
12am 40°
1am 40°
2am 38°
3am 36°