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Sampling for clandestine drugs after remediation.

The production of illegal drugs, a growing problem in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , has been developing into a crisis for law enforcement all over the country. In 2002, the Drug Enforcement Administration The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was established in 1973 by President richard m. nixon as part of the Justice Department, thus uniting a number of federal drug agencies that had often worked at cross-purposes.  reported that meth meth
Methamphetamine hydrochloride.
 lab raids were on the rise, with approximately 9,000 raids in that year as compared with 800 in 1995.

The use and sale of these drugs also creates environmental, social, and economic problems. For every pound of methamphetamine produced, 5 to 6 pounds of toxic waste toxic waste is waste material, often in chemical form, that can cause death or injury to living creatures. It usually is the product of industry or commerce, but comes also from residential use, agriculture, the military, medical facilities, radioactive sources, and  are left behind. Makeshift laboratories can be found throughout the United States in houses, apartments, motels, trailers, sheds, and even automobiles.

In several states, drug enforcement and public health agencies have effectively supported new legislation designed to deal with the contamination crisis. Washington, Arizona, Missouri, and Illinois are among many states that have already passed such legislation. Thus, Arizona House Bill 2595 (HB2595), enacted July 1, 2003, establishes procedures for notification, remediation, and enforcement in the cleanup of illegal drug laboratories. It clearly defines responsibilities and appropriate processes following discovery of a home, RV, or other facility used in the making of illegal drugs. Provisions of these new laws New Laws: see Las Casas, Bartolomé de.  also make disclosure violations, property entry, and removal of any affixed af·fix  
tr.v. af·fixed, af·fix·ing, af·fix·es
1. To secure to something; attach: affix a label to a package.

 notice a felony. Arizona HB2595, for example, includes the following language:
    It is unlawful for any unauthorized person to enter the residually
  contaminated portion of the real property.... The owner shall notify
  the buyer in writing that methamphetamine, ecstasy or LSD was
  manufactured on the real property.... A person who knowingly violates
  an order or notice of removal that is issued by a peace officer under
  this section is guilty of a Class 6 felony. A person who knowingly
  disturbs a notice of removal posted on the real property is guilty of
  a Class 2 misdemeanor.

This language affects landowners, real estate agents, inspectors and investigators, and anyone involved in the sale of property previously involved with illegal drug labs.

After the equipment and chemicals from an illegal drug laboratory have been removed, residue from the various chemicals may still be present in the building on surfaces, furnishings, or household items. Some of the substances that were present while the laboratory was active, such as gases and volatile solvents, may have dissipated rapidly with ventilation. Areas where significant spills and saturation occurred will, however, likely retain residual amounts. Also, nonvolatile materials such as drug residues, other solids, or water-based solutions of nonvolatile materials may persist on the surfaces and require additional cleanup. Finally, the dangerous by-products generated from the ingredients pose serious environmental hazards that can persist in Verb 1. persist in - do something repeatedly and showing no intention to stop; "We continued our research into the cause of the illness"; "The landlord persists in asking us to move"
 the soil and groundwater for years. These environmental effects can cost the U.S. government, as well as property owners, millions of dollars. Therefore, proper removal techniques are required.

Sampling for contaminants is an important factor in proper remediation procedures. Improper remediation may result in the need for further sampling and remediation, which can increase the costs. All samples should be obtained from areas representative of the materials or surfaces being tested. The samples should be obtained, preserved, and handled in accordance with industry standards. Refer to the Arizona Board of Technical Registration at for the types of samples to be taken and the analytical testing to be conducted and maintained under chain-of-custody protocol. Whatman[R] 40 ashless filter paper or equivalent should be used for all wipe sampling.

* Three 10 cm X 10 cm areas (100 m[m.sup.2]) should be wipe-sampled in each room of the residually contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object.
 portion of the real property.

* Three 10 cm X 10 cm areas (100 m[m.sup.2]) from different areas of the ventilation system ventilation system Public health An air system designed to maintain negative pressure and exhaust air properly, to minimize the spread of TB and other respiratory pathogens in a health care facility  should be wipe-sampled.

* If there is a kitchen, bathroom, or cleaned appliance in the residually contaminated portion of the real property, three 10 cm X 10 cm areas (100 m[m.sup.2]) should be wipe-sampled from a combination of areas.

* Plumbing, septic, sewer, and soil samples may require additional testing.

Aerotech and Precision Analytical Laboratories offer analyses for the following substances: red phosphorus (Chem.) an allotropic modification of phosphorus, obtained as a dark red powder by heating ordinary phosphorus in closed vessels. It is not poisonous, is not phosphorescent, and is only moderately active chemically. , iodine crystals, methamphetamine, ephedrine ephedrine (ĭfĕd`rĭn, ĕf`ĭdrēn'), drug derived from plants of the genus Ephedra (see Pinophyta), most commonly used to prevent mild or moderate attacks of bronchial asthma. , pseudoephedrine pseudoephedrine /pseu·do·ephed·rine/ (-e-fed´rin) one of the optical isomers of ephedrine; used as the hydrochloride or sulfate salt as a nasal decongestant.

, VOCs in air and water, corrosives, LSD LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide (lī'sûr`jĭk, dī'ĕth`ələmĭd, dī'ĕthəlăm`ĭd), alkaloid synthesized from lysergic acid, which is found in the fungus ergot ( , ecstasy, lead, and mercury. Call Precision Analytical at (866) 772-5227 or Aerotech at (800) 651-4802 for a free sampling kit.

Technical Briefs presents short but information-packed items on a variety of field-related topics in environmental health. The information this month is provided courtesy of two sister corporations that specialize in environmental health laboratory testing: Precision Analytical Laboratories, Inc., and Aerotech Laboratories, Inc., both based in Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix /ˈfiːˌnɪks/ (English: Phoenix, Navajo: Hoozdo, lit. "the place is hot", Western Apache: Fiinigis) is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. . Readers interested in receiving additional information about Precision Analytical Laboratories and Aerotech Laboratories, including information about how to subscribe to a free "Tech Tips" listserv for environmental health professionals, can contact Aerotech Laboratories/Precision Analytical Laboratories at 2020 West Lone Cactus Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85027. Aerotech and Precision also can be reached by phone at (800) 651-4802 or (623) 780-4800; by fax at (623) 780-7695; or on the Internet at or
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Title Annotation:Technical Briefs
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Previous Article:Statutory presumption, more on statutes of limitations, and the concept of "closely regulated industries".
Next Article:Water and wastewater lessons learned from the blackout.

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