The environmental impact from methamphetamine abuse is also taking an immense toll on communities. Each pound of meth produced leaves behind five to six pounds of toxic waste. Meth cooks often pour left-over chemicals and sludge down household drains, household plumbing, storm drains, or directly onto the ground. Solvents and other toxic byproducts used to produce meth pose long-term hazards because they can persist in the soil and groundwater for years. Clean-up costs are exorbitant because solvent-contaminated soil usually must be incinerated.
Meth lab clean-up is extremely resource-intensive and beyond the capability of most law enforcement offices. The average cost of a cleanup is about $5,000 but some cost $150,000.
Discussion Point and Resources:
Homes polluted by meth cooks are often resold after clean up. What should you know before you buy or rent home?
Utah Administrative Rule 19-6-901 of the Illegal Drug Operations Site Reporting and Decontamination Act, requires local health departments to maintain a list of properties believed to be contaminated by the illegal manufacture of drugs.
Contact your local health department for homes currently listed. Work with your realtor to assess the community in which your new home is located. Talk to the neighbors.