The health effects of living in a former meth house and the new 'rolling meth lab'

PINE BELT, Miss. - Homemade meth labs are more-so a thing of the past, but real estate agents say to ask questions prior to purchasing a home to avoid damaging health effects.

Back in the 90's homemade meth labs were a real estate nightmare.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs with South Central Regional Medical Center said, “If there were a crystal meth lab in a residence, the residents be properly remediated and cleaned out.”

Realtor Associate Chip Grenn said, "Not anybody can just go do this, I mean you have to call somebody who is, hazardous material designation, to go in clean, and test it before, and test it after.”

Due to stricter laws of purchasing pseudoephedrine, meth labs are not as common, but its still important to stay information when purchasing a home.

Green added, "We are required to disclose them because they create and environmental hazard, when they have been a meth lab, if we know there has been a meth lab in there we have to disclose that." Green continued, "...if we suspect there has been a meth lab in there we need to call law enforcement or let the seller have a test done.”

Dr. Dobbs urges buyers to stay informative and always ask their real estate agent questions especially those with children, who are more at risk.

“It’s the thing, kids are way more vulnerable to exposures than adults are, they absorb a lot of chemicals through their skin, and because they are small they have a large surface area to volume ratio, like we have seen with pesticides" said Dr. Dobbs.

He added, " Kids are uniquely vulnerable so we have to be really careful with kids.”

Although homemade meth labs are rare to come across, those making meth have taken a different approach. Major Jamie Tedford with the Jones County Sheriff's Department said meth labs have evolved from homes to cars.

Local law enforcement officials said meth is taking a 'mobile' approach, officials termed it 'rolling meth labs', they say in the drug real its a faster and cheaper method to supply.

Major Jamie Tedford said, “Basically what happens is, if I am going somewhere and purchasing Sudafed, and the other guy purchases a box of Sudafed, or battery, or lithium, or started fluid, because they are making it in such smaller amounts.”

He said supplies and users typically meet in rural locations. “Either ride around and they let it cook in there car, or they will sit there on the side of the road, in a rural area and let it cook" said Major Tedford.

He continued, "Once they cook it off they will leave their items there, so they won’t get caught with their waste and there bottles there.”

Suppliers use rolling meth labs instead of homes to avoid getting caught. "And now with the smaller amounts we are not seeing that as much, its just not as common to smell, and that is why they are doing that as well" he said.

"So if they live in a neighborhood, a lot of times they will not cook near neighbors because they are in fear of something smelling it and fear of saying something, that’s why we are seeing it more in the cars, instead of the meth labs.”

Major Tedford said although supplies seem as if they are always a step ahead with new ideas, law enforcement agencies will continue to fight the war on drugs.

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