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What You Should Know About the Dangers of Meth Contamination

Ask people about the dangers of meth and you'll likely hear a lot of the same stories. Most people are well aware that methamphetamines, and their common variants, pose a unique danger to anyone who takes them. Awareness campaigns have even done a good job of demonstrating what long term use can do to someone's appearance. However, there's a side of meth that most people are far less aware of. This is the danger of simply living in proximity to residual methamphetamines. The most common example of the problem can be seen with so called meth houses.

A meth house refers to any residence where large amounts of amphetamines have been in circulation. This might seem a little counter-intuitive at first. Almost everyone knows that smoking, ingesting or shooting up with meth is bad. However, people seldom stop to think about just how small an active dose really is. The average pea weighs 360 mg. But the average dose of methamphetamine is eighteen times smaller. You should consider just how little time is needed to breathe in that quantity of material from the environment. You're essentially looking at a situation where even a drop of the contaminants in a meth house would be enough to cause some serious problems.

People dealing with meth residue aren't simply looking at drop's worth of contamination though. It's important to remember just how well any given surface can absorb or release contaminants. You can think back to times when you've spilled drinks on the carpet. Long standing stains are a reminder of how tenaciously a home can cling to contaminants. Many surfaces soak up contaminants and then release them into the environment at slow and controlled pace. Organic systems such as wood are especially prone to this type of reaction.

What's more one isn't just dealing with meth. It takes quite a few dangerous chemicals to create methamphetamine. Regulations which intend to stop meth production often make this even more worrisome. The further away from meth an initial chemical compound is the more work is needed for the project. And current regulations have pushed to keep substances with a chemical similarity to meth out of the public's hands. This means that the average meth compounding environment will be filled with a wide variety of poisonous chemicals and solvents. What's worse, many of these can also serve to increase the overall solubility and absorption of dangerous compounds.

In total one can assume a minimum of 32 precursor chemicals in any meth compounding procedure. Some of these can be psychoactive drugs in and of themselves. While other chemicals are often created with deadly intent in mind. You might see some insecticides for example. This is especially concerning because the latter compounds are active in the human as well as insect body. It's simply that the doses used to kill an insect and human are different. And this leads to the larger concern with meth residue.

Meth contamination isn't just about one time exposure. You'll almost certainly be OK if you're just visiting a house with some level of meth absorption. But things change dramatically the more time someone spends in it. And meth contamination in your home is essentially living in a situation where low doses of various chemicals are constantly pushed into your system. The human body is typically quite good at cleaning out environmental dangers. But consider a situation where your body is fighting off 99% of the environmental contamination. Every single day will essentially increase the amount of it in your body. It won't take very long to build up to dangerous levels.

Many of the chemicals used to make meth are carcinogenic. This means that exposure to a house with meth contamination can be increasing your risk of cancer every day. There's also the issue with how meth works. Methamphetamines are specifically designed to cross the blood brain barrier. This is a part of the brain which normally keeps environmental contaminants away from your brain. But amphetamines and related chemicals are designed to bypass that barrier. The end effect is that chemicals related to meth are often both toxic and able to enter into parts of the body which are normally protected.

You'll also find that families face unique problems. Babies and young children are the most at risk for these types of contamination. Most chemicals scale to the size of the person ingesting them. If someone is half the size of another than they require half the dose for the same effect. It's not hard to see how susceptible a baby is when compared to an adult when dealing with meth contaminants.

Finally, one of the more pressing issues of meth contaminants is how it can act as a ticking time bomb. A house might have been cleaned but not decontaminated properly. There's been cases where homeowners have remodeled only to find it that cabinet removal and sheet rock removal disturbs the contamination.  Many times the heating system has not been addressed. Or, for example, steam cleaning a carpet can instantly unleash a meth related payload of chemicals. In short, meth is a huge problem for society as a whole. But you should also be aware of the dangers posed by just being in an area where meth was manufactured.

To know for sure if your living area is contaminated, test. To decontaminate a home to safe levels, call a licensed professional

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