Meth contamination cleanup can take weeks, cost thousands

INDIANAPOLIS - Meth addiction, production and distribution is not slowing down in Indiana and there is a growing need to clean up contaminated properties after meth lab busts.

There are currently hundreds of homes that are off-limits to people because they are drenched with the toxic cocktail of chemicals used to make meth.

MORE: Delaware Co. leads state in meth labs this year

The Call 6 Investigators suited up and followed a state-certified team inside a house that was contaminated and deemed not suitable to rent or buy.

The suits are a precaution that crews must take to protect their health and save the home.

James Plessinger swept up "particles" left behind by meth contamination -- one of the key steps Crisis Cleaning crews take to decontaminate a home.

"You have to pay attention to every little thing. You can’t miss part of one room because then it could reinfect the whole house," Plessinger said.

There are many properties in central Indiana that county health department officials won't let anyone live in until the meth pollution is removed.

"It gets into all the floors, all the walls, the ceiling. Remember, it’s smoke so it’s going in your fans, in your HVAC system. It’s going everywhere in the house," Crisis Cleaning owner Rick Held said.

The levels in the home that the Call 6 Investigators visited did exceed state-mandated environmental safety guidelines.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system was 16 times the accepted level, the living room was seven times the accepted level and the child’s bedroom was twice the accepted level -- all serious health hazards.

Every door, wall and ceiling will need to be cleaned, which could take up to three weeks.

The cleaning is labor-intensive and the final step is to spray a chemical to make sure the meth is zapped away. Once it dries, surfaces are tested.

Results must come back negative before county and state regulators will let people move back in.

"I think people might know that it’s bad to smoke it and it’s bad to cook it, but I don’t know if they realize just how much it affects everyone else around them," Plessinger said.

Depending on the size of a home and the level of contamination, cleanup can cost up to $10,000.

All homes busted for meth since 2007 must undergo a cleanup process that meets state requirements.

Follow Rafael Sanchez on Twitter: @rafaelontv  | Facebook: RafaelSanchezNews

Print this article Back to Top