MCS services include pre sampling, site remediation and post sampling to ensure your property can be safely re-occupied. MCS has the expertise, assessment skills, remediation ability and experience to totally resolve any issues you have in regards to Meth Lab clean-ups.
A clandestine drug laboratory (or ‘clan lab’) is any site associated with the process of attempting to manufacture illicit drugs. Most commonly, clan labs are located in residential rental properties.
Why are drug labs dangerous?
Drug labs produce a range of illicit drugs including:
- Amphetamines and methylamphetamines – commonly referred to “speed” or “ice” and are highly addictive
- 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) – street name “ecstasy”
- Heroin and “home-bake” heroin
- Lysergide (LSD)
- Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) – street name “fantasy”
- Paramethoxyamphetamine (PMA)
- Other chemically-based dangerous substances
Drug labs in Australia can also include cocaine extractions, synthetic cannabis manufacture and indoor hydroponic cannabis. The drug “cooks” have little regard for themselves or the welfare and safety of the community.
These synthetic drugs are produced using highly toxic chemicals mixed together with other substances. Because of the mix of precursor chemicals and substances used in drug production, the resulting dangers are the generation of highly toxic fumes, poisonous gases, chemical vapours together with corrosive and flammable ingredient / by products which presents a real risk of explosion, flash burns and fire. The waste produced from drug labs may also cause harm to the occupants and the environment.
Exposure to the toxic by-products of these substances can cause immediate harm and can be life threatening. Prolonged exposure to chemicals used in drug labs may contribute to serious long term health issues (including brain, liver, kidney damage and cancer).
Even after the removal of a clandestine laboratory, residual chemical hazards from the toxic fumes and poisonous gases during production and the location where drugs are taken/consumed within the lab environment come into contact with the building structure and content items. The presence of clan lab residues inside a dwelling continues to pose a health and environmental threat to occupants (present plus future) and consequentially the property is considered a contaminated site and deemed unfit for human habitation.
Clan labs are usually set up in rental properties, meaning that future tenants are at greatest risk. Inhabiting the site of a former clandestine laboratory contaminated with a variety of chemical residues can result in serious health problems, particularly for children, elderly, individuals that have immune compromised health problems who are likely to be in contact with surfaces and furnishings containing these residues. This can leave the property owner or property manager at risk of legal action from tenants experiencing adverse health effects.
Indicators of a Meth Drug Lab
Various indicators exist when a meth drug lab is in operation and if you suspect a property is operating a Meth Lab please contact Crime stoppers 1800 333 000 or Policelink 13 14 44.
Items of a suspicious nature possibly indicating the presence of a Meth Lab include:
- Improvised heating and cooling mechanisms;
- Strong odours like urine, acetone, solvents, ammonia or other chemicals;
- Other used materials (cold and flu packets, empty pseudoephedrine blister strips, gas cylinders or butane fuel cans, stained coffee filters, pH testers or test strips, water pumps) surrounding a property;
- Windows blackened out or extra effort to ensure windows and doors are covered or reinforced;
- Surveillance systems;
- Plastic containers (with or without chemical labels) at the premises;
- Lookouts keeping watch and paranoid behaviour;
- Laboratory glassware being carried into a premises or present at a premises;
- Access denied to landlords, neighbours and other visitors;
- Fan or pump type noise coming from the premises;
- Numerous people staying for short periods. Vehicles coming and going at all hours of day and night;
- Residents never putting their rubbish out or burning their rubbish;
- Chemical staining on walls, floors and ceiling;
- Evidence of unusual electrical work surrounding the premises;
- Baking dishes or similar items containing a white crystalline substance;
- Noticeable hoses and pipes near windows or doors
- Installation of extractor fans (especially in garages/sheds);
- Recently rented premises where residents are rarely there;
- A new tenant willing to pay rent months in advance using only cash;
- New rental applicants who try to avoid background checks;
- Chemical/reaction waste (often carelessly disposed of);
- Burnt vegetation disturbed or stained soil