Huntington Beach, California, August 18, 2023
Last month, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office announced the execution of a search warrant at a suspect clandestine methamphetamine conversion lab in Shafter. The effort resulted in the seizure of approximately 360 pounds of methamphetamine, the arrest of multiple individuals, and the dismantling of a large-scale clandestine methamphetamine conversion lab/operation.
Due to the presence of dangerous chemicals and conditions, the Kern County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force (KC-HIDTA), Kern County Fire Department and members from Kern County Environmental Health were tasked with assessing the hazards caused by the methamphetamine conversion lab. Shafter Code Compliance also responded and the structure was deemed unsafe for occupancy.
Regardless of whether a property is used as a meth lab or as a conversion lab, the chemical hazards associated with these types of operations can be extremely unsafe. Many of the chemicals used in the production of meth are highly toxic and can give off powerful odors when stored improperly or during the actual production process. Chemicals commonly used in meth production include flammable and volatile solvents such as methanol, ether, benzene, methylene chloride and trichloroethane. Other chemicals may include muriatic acid, sodium hydroxide and ammonia. A number of these toxic chemicals can contaminate carpeting, wallboard, ceiling tiles, furniture and fabrics that absorb spilled or vaporized chemicals. Yet another concern is surface residues that can remain long after the property was used as a clandestine laboratory.
“In California, the Methamphetamine Contaminated Property Act of 2005 requires the clean-up of these types of properties so they are safe for future occupants,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Big problems can occur when these laws are not followed or if no one ever knew that a home, condo or apartment was once used for meth production or conversion. In those cases, the property is likely never remediated and future families or building occupants could be at serious risk.”
Helping property owners, landlords, tenants, facility managers, environmental consultants and regulatory agencies to detect these chemical hazards are the scientists at LA Testing. With multiple laboratories in California, LA Testing offers analytical services to identify surface residues, bulk chemicals and air quality exposure risks. They also provide sampling supplies, personal protective equipment and even carry an easy-to-use Methamphetamine Test Kit.
To learn more about methamphetamine and chemical testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com
, email info@LATesting.com
or call (800) 755-1794. To obtain a Methamphetamine Test Kit for surface residues, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for environmental, indoor air quality and material testing for mercury, asbestos, mold, bacteria, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.