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The meth mess, what now?

Meth production and even smoking meth creates environmental contamination and is a public health concern. The Utah Department of Health has designed some helpful brochures to provide informational material to those faced with the decontamination of these properties.    

Recently, Utah has been applauded for dramatic decreases in meth labs seized statewide. However, as indicated by increasing medical and behavioral treatment rates, meth continues to be a popular drug of choice.  Many people know that "cooking" meth leaves dangerous, harmful chemical residues, many of which are hazardous.  But what many people don't understand is that using meth will also leave residues in a property.  

Meth is a stimulant that can be smoked, snorted, injected, or ingested; but smoking is the most common. However, "smoking" meth is different than smoking a cigarette; the drug is heated and turned into a vapor which is then inhaled. The vapor that is not inhaled by the smoker, is then deposited on the walls, floors, and furnishings, and leaves a residue of meth. The amount of meth residue depends on the amount and frequency of smoking.   

With this increased trend in smoking, especially among women, many homes never used in meth production still test positive for meth contamination. Utah property owners, renters, buyers, landlords, and sellers question whether or not meth was previously used in their property.  How would they know? What does that mean? Concerned and confused citizens have called health departments in search of answers.  

The Meth and Your Property brochure series is intended to be an informational resource to provide guidance and tools for citizens facing a potential, or confirmed, meth contaminated property. The brochures are designed for several specific audiences commonly involved in property transactions:  owners, sellers, buyers, renters, and landlords.   

For more information and to receive a brochure, contact your local health department at 381-2252 or the Utah Department of Health: Shalece Kofford at (801)538-6191, or e-mail skofford@utah.gov.




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