How do I check if a property has been contaminated with methamphetamines, or obtain records of the health department?
A request for health department records of meth contamination on a property should be submitted to the Environmental Health Services Division and include the requestor's:
- phone number;
- property address.
Our response time is usually two (2) business days.
What is the LIST the health department legally must keep concerning contaminated properties?
In 2006 it became mandatory that law enforcement report all meth laboratories to local health departments. The local health department is then required to maintain a list of these properties. Only properties that are reported by law enforcement are put on this list, and it is available to the public.
There are on average two to four (2-4) homes each month that are being decontaminated BUT they are not required to be on this list.
What are the health hazards of Methamphetamine?
For long and short term health effects of methamphetamine for children and adults, click here.
Brief Description: Methamphetamine (meth) works on the centers of the brain that increase the release of dopamine, which is a chemical (neurotransmitter) that normally helps to regulate and elevate mood. The meth molecule damages the system that allows the brain cells to transfer messages, and the ability to repair this system is limited. Because of the way meth interacts with the body, even small amounts of meth can cause any variety of the following:
- Increased wakefulness
- Increased physical activity
- Decreased appetite
- Increased respiration
- Irregular heart beat
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Cardiovascular collapse
- Altered judgment and inhibition
Will methamphetamines affect my pets?
Yes. If ingested, the toxic dose is 0.59 mg per pound of body weight . Signs may include pallor or reddened mucous membranes and skin, restlessness, hyperactivity, hyperthermia, hypertension or hypotension, increased respiratory and heart rates, abnormal heart rhythm, drooling, dilated pupils, muscle tremors, seizures, circulatory collapse, and death. Do not induce vomiting without veterinary instruction as the animal may lose consciousness quickly and aspirate the vomitus. Seek veterinary attention.
For information on other environmental exposure, click here.
How can I tell if my home was a meth lab? What are the signs of a meth lab that I should look for?
- A large amount of cold tablet containers that list Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine as ingredients.
- Jars containing clear liquid with a white or red colored solid on the bottom.
- Jars labeled as containing iodine or dark shiny metallic purple crystals inside of jars.
- Jars labeled as containing Red Phosphorus or a fine dark red or purple powder.
- Coffee filters containing a white pasty substance, a dark red sludge, or small amounts of shiny white crystals.
- Bottles labeled as containing Sulfuric, Muriatic or Hydrochloric Acid.
- Bottles or jars with rubber tubing attached.
- Glass cookware or frying pans containing a powdery residue.
- An unusually large number of cans of Camp Fuel, paint thinner, acetone, starter fluid, Lye, and drain cleaners containing Sulfuric Acid or bottles containing Muriatic Acid.
- Large amounts of lithium batteries, especially ones that have been stripped.
- Soft silver or gray metallic ribbon (in chunk form) stored in oil or Kerosene.
- Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue.
- Occupants of residence going outside to smoke.
- Strong smell of urine, or unusual chemical smells like ether, ammonia or acetone.
What is a certified test?
For a meth test to be considered certified, which changes the action and authority of the health department, it MUST be conducted by a decontamination specialist. Most tests or reports are received are from home inspectors and they are usually not certified.
Where can I find a certified decontamination specialist to conduct a test or decontaminate a property?
The Department of Environmental Quality Certified Decontamination Specialist List.
Where can I get a meth test kit? (Current homeowners or potential buyers)
The health department currently has ‘do it yourself’ meth test kits on hand, in the emergency response upstairs room 2085. The kits are located on the west wall in a clear container labeled ‘meth kits’. These kits belong to ALS Environmental Laboratory, located in Salt Lake City. Before a test kit is handed out it MUST BE PREPARED. This entails adding 4mL of isopropyl-alcohol (provided in the container) with a syringe (provided in the container) into the amber vial in each kit. There are directions in each kit on how to conduct the test. If the customer has any questions, have them contact:
- ALS Environmental Laboratory 960 W. LeVoy Drive in SLC 801-266-7700
What is the cost?
- The customer pays ALS Lab when they submit the sample. It currently costs $45 and the results are usually provided in about four (4) days. One could expedite the test and get the results in two (2) days for a $90 charge.
What happens if the test results are over the 1.0μg/100cm2 Utah Standard?
If the test results are elevated over the 1.0 μg/100 cm2 Standard, please notify Rachelle Blackham with our office. Give the customer Rachelle’s direct office phone number, and make sure a property address is left in any phone message. The action the health department takes depends on whether or not the test was conducted by a certified decontamination specialist.