The illicit use of methamphetamine or meth has been a major health and environmental problem in the United States for a couple of decades. Not only are there major negative health consequences associated with the use of meth there also an array of damaging costs to the environments in which meth is present. Indeed, the aftereffects of meth manufacturing and even meth use are profound and dangerous, oftentimes significantly so. Because of the widespread nature of the meth crisis in California and across the United States, an essential understanding of what is involved in meth remediation is important. The foundation upon which this necessary awareness is built is recognizing the key terms associated meth manufacture, use, and remediation.
Amphetamine is a synthetic mood-altering drug that is classified as being potentially addictive. Amphetamine is prescribed in some instances for adults suffering from narcolepsy and for children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or ADD.
Chain of Custody
Chain of custody is the process utilized to document each individual that has possession of a test sample or environmental sample from its source (the testing site) to the lab. A chain of custody document also includes information regarding how much time the sample was in the possession of a person or persons between the testing site to the lab.
Confirmation sampling is the collection of environmental samples before and after the decontamination process. Confirmation sampling is designed to ascertain whether or not there exists a level of contamination at a site above a standard established by state law, city or county ordinance, institutional rule, or agreement between the site owner and a meth decontamination company.
Generally, the term contamination means an area is polluted by hazardous materials. These hazardous materials result in a particular property being unfit for human habitation or use because of health hazards. For example, as the result of the production, use, or presence of methamphetamine for some other reason, a property has detectable meth beyond approved standards.
Corrosive is defined as being a substance that raises or lower the pH level of a material. This change in pH results in the degradation of the material in question. Examples of substances that are considered corrosive include:
- acetic acid
- acetic anhydride
- acetyl chloride
- ammonia (anhydrous)
- ammonium hydroxide
- benzyl chloride
- formic acid
- hydrogen chloride
- hydrochloric acid
- hydrobromic acid
- hydriodic acid
- methylene chloride (dichloromethane methylene dichloride)
- methyl methacrylate
- oxalylchloride perchloric acid
- phenylmagnesium bromide
- phosphorus oxychloride
- phosphorus pentoxide
- sodium amide (sodamide)
- sodium metal
- sodium hydroxide
- sulfur trioxide
- sulfuric acid
- thionyl chloride
A decontamination contractor is a professional who has the background and is duly certified as may be required by law to provide comprehensive meth remediation services. A decontamination contractor may also provide fentanyl remediation services as well.
Decontamination standards are levels or concentrations of contaminants like meth or fentanyl that must be satisfied in order for a determination of ND or not detectable can be made. Many states have established their own decontamination standards for substances like meth. In addition, some cities or counties have developed their own decontamination standards and requirements. In addition, it is also possible that an institution or entity addressing a contamination issue may establish its own standard for when a substance like meth can be defined as undetectable.
Generally speaking, easily cleanable is defined as an object or surface that can readily be cleaned using a detergent solution. The reasonable expectation is that dirt will be readily removed when a detergent solution is rinsed from an object or surface. A companion reasonable expectation is that when something is deemed easily cleanable, the process can be accomplished without damaging a particular object or surface.
Fentanyl is classified as a fast-acting synthetic narcotic analgesic and sedative. Fentanyl has become widely abused in the past several years. Fentanyl abuse has become more widespread because it is considered easier to manufacture when compared to other mind-altering substances and provides what is described as an intense high. With that said, the potential for fatally overdosing on fentanyl is extremely high.
A grab sample references one sample collected for testing from a single, specifically defined area or specifically defined media.
At its essence, hazardous waste is defined as toxic material of some type that must be discarded in a proper manner. Hazardous waste can include everything from biohazardous material to items contaminated by meth.
HAZWOPER is the acronym for “hazardous waste operations and emergency response.” The term appears in hazardous waste treatment regulations published at this time by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA. HAZWOPER most often is targeted at government contractors as well as first responders.
HEPA is the acronym for high-efficiency particulate air. HEPA indicates the efficiency or effectiveness of an air filter or air filtration system. A HEPA filter or HEPA filtration system is designed to eliminate harmful airborne particles.
Highly Suggestive of Contamination
When something is designated as highly suggestive of contamination, this means that certain signs exist at a particular location indicative of contamination. These signs that indicate the potential for contamination are gleaned through sight and sound.
Impacted groundwater is a term that means water under the ground’s surface contains a concentration of a contaminant. When groundwater is regarded as impacted that means that the level of contamination is above lawful limits.
On a related note, impacted soil means that the ground itself contains a concentration of contamination. The concentration is above the level lawfully permitted by applicable law.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive, very powerful stimulant. Meth affects a person’s central nervous system. Meth is a synthetic drug that impacts a person more rapidly and lasts longer than amphetamine. Meth is a widely used illicit drug, manufactured in makeshift labs. On the other hand, methamphetamine produced in a bona fide laboratory is a prescription medication utilized to treat narcolepsy and some other medical conditions.
Technically speaking, naloxone is a synthetic drug that is similar to morphine. Naloxone blocks opiate receptors in an individual’s nervous systems. Naloxone is used when a person overdoses on meth or fentanyl.
Nonporous means that a surface or object is resistant to penetration by certain substances. These substances that are rebuffed by nonporous surfaces or objects include:
Examples of nonporous surfaces or objects include:
- concrete floors
- wood floors
- ceramic tile floor
- vinyl tile floors
- sheet vinyl floors
- painted drywall
- sheet rock walls
- sheet rock ceilings
- sealed wood
Owner of Record
The term owner of record means the individual identified on official records as the owner of a particular real estate. Owners of record can include:
- an individual
- financial institution
- other entity
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment, also known as PPE, means different types of garment items and apparatus designed to protect against inhalation, ingestion, or other type of contact with hazardous materials. PPE can include:
A porous material is one that permits the easier penetration or permeation of certain substances. These substances are gases, liquids, and powders. Examples of porous materials include:
- fabric covered furniture
- drop ceiling
- other fiber-board ceiling panels
- cork paneling
- other material not properly sealed
A preliminary assessment is an evaluation of the property to identify any and all areas that can be classified as highly suggestive of contamination. A preliminary assessment is also designed to ascertain the extent of possible contamination. A preliminary assessment is undertaken by a decontamination contractor or decontamination company.
Property encompasses any site, structure, or grounds around a structure. The term property includes:
- single-family residences
- units of multiplexes
- apartment buildings
- motor vehicles
- manufactured housing
Properly disposed is a term that means to discard or dispose of certain waste materials at an appropriately licensed or certified facility. The disposal occurs to prevent the waste from otherwise getting into the environment. Disposal is also designed to prevent the reuse or sale of certain types of property that were identified as contaminated.
Return Air Housing
Return air housing is the main portion of a ventilation or HVAC system. Through this element of a system air is returned from a livable or usable space of a structure to the handling unit itself for cooling or heating.
Waste is defined as any type of garbage, refuse, or discarded material. Waste can include solids or liquids.