Chesterton Tribune



IDEM: Meth contaminated buildings must be tested and cleaned by professionals

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The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) wants everyone to know that it’s unsafe for them to clean up a meth lab on their own, after an unidentified media outlet in the statement ran a story which suggested that it’s okay for Hoosiers to wash surfaces in a dwelling to remove meth residue or paint over meth residue to make a dwelling safe to occupy again.

“Since the article ran, IDEM has received multiple calls from property owners and qualified inspectors asking for correct information,” IDEM said.

Here’s the truth: “Never try to clean up a meth lab on your own or use paint to cover meth residue,” IDEM said, as doing so “can be detrimental to your health.”

State law “requires dwellings, vehicles, or watercraft where a meth lab was present to be professionally tested by a qualified inspector for illegal drug lab cleanups to determine the amount of meth contamination present,” IDEM said. “Entering a property without first assessing the levels of contamination may interfere with the validity of the testing, complicate the cleanup, or seriously jeopardize your health.”

Then, once results of the test are received, the cleanup plan can be determined. “The level of meth contamination determines the complexity and cost of the cleanup,” IDEM said. “The cleanup must occur under the supervision of a certified meth lab cleanup inspector. Final testing is required after the cleanup to verify levels are safe and the dwelling may be reoccupied. Once the property has been cleared, the certified inspector will file a Qualified Inspectors Certificate of Illegal Drug Lab Cleanup with the owner, the Indiana Department of Health, the IDEM, and the local county health department.”

Hoosiers can find detailed, accurate information from IDEM’s website regarding the inspection and cleanup of illegal drug labs at

“The statutes, rules, and cleanup methods put in place are to protect the health of Hoosiers and not intended to be an undue burden,” IDEM said. “Cases have been reported of adults and children who have suffered severe health effects due to exposure to meth residue on surfaces in a dwelling that was never properly tested and cleaned. Meth residue is usually undetectable to the human eye, making it impossible to determine the seriousness of the exposure without a test.”



Posted 6/2/2014