Efforts to minimize meth labs underway in Indiana

New laws set to take effect July 1

INDIANAPOLIS - State leaders hope new legislation set to take effect this summer will raise awareness about the dangers of meth contamination.

Starting July 1, all home sales paperwork will require the disclosure to the seller if a home was contaminated with meth. Another law will introduce a registry that will list all the homes and vehicles that haven’t been decontaminated after a meth bust.

RELATED: Indiana meth bust addresses | County-by-county breakdown of meth busts

Thousands of properties in Indiana are off-limits because they have been contaminated with meth, and the Call 6 Investigators found it is possible for you to move into a house and not even know it was once a meth lab.

Chris and Jennifer Nugent bought their Mooresville home in 2013. They had no idea it was contaminated with meth until their children became sick and their dog died suddenly of cancer. Indiana’s home inspection process does not currently check for meth contamination.

They made the discovery last March and it forced the family of five to flee their home.

"We envisioned this to be our retirement home. Our kids to be able to graduate from here. Everything we thought this was -- was turned upside down," Jennifer Nugent said.

The Nugents have been abandoned by their insurance company which says it won't help with the cleanup because of exclusions in their policy.

Donetta Held is in the business of removing meth from polluted properties. 

She believes homebuyers and renters should demand a meth test so they can either walk away from a property or take on the decontamination costs.        
    
"Building inspectors test for termites, structure of the home. No one is considering any kind of drug activity in what's the history of the home," Held said.
   
State Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville, is a major advocate for anti-meth laws.

"People who use meth don't care about anybody case," McNamara said.

She said she doesn't know if home meth tests are the answer, but McNamara wants to require a prescription for cold and allergy medicine with Pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in making meth. McNamara believes requiring prescriptions will cut the abuse statewide.

"If we can control the one ingredient that is the most damaging effect to methamphetamine, we need to make an effort to make that happen," McNamara said.

The Nugents hope their mortgage company will work with them so they can salvage their credit and avoid foreclosure.

Anyone with information on possible meth labs is asked to call the Indiana State Police tip line at 1-800-453-4756.

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