Homebuyers Beware: DEA Warns You Could Be Buying A Former Meth Lab

Leaky pipes, problems with the air conditioning unit, if you thought your basic concerns with home buying were bad enough, you could be buying a former meth lab and inheriting some of the toxic residue the former tenants left behind.

Thousands of residential meth labs are shut down by authorities on an annual basis and in many cases a lack of regulation returns those homes to the open market after a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting have been added. Unfortunately for home owners the residue of meth can end up behind dry wall and in small cracks throughout the home.

In 2011 a total of 10,287 meth labs were seized across the country according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and while nearly half the country now features disclosure and decontamination regulations, half of home buyers are not aware of the former meth labs and many homes simply fall through the cracks of poorly utilized regulation.

According to DEA spokeswoman Dawn Dearden in an interview with FoxNews.com

Abandoned labs and a patchwork of local and state regulations on how those properties are decontaminated and then resold has created a “nationwide issue.” Some of the byproducts of meth labs can be extraordinarily toxic and explosive. And when you either pour those chemicals down the drain or into the yard, you’re talking about highly toxic substances that get into our environment and create enormous problems.”

Among those dangerous chemicals are ether, acetone, iodine crystal, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide, among others. The process of creating meth is also wasteful, for every one pound created 5 pounds of toxic waste is created.

The DEA warns that the problem of residential meth cooking has become so bad that entire company’s are being formed to clean up the mess meth leaves behind and they have become successful in their own right.

With meth seeping into hardwood floors, walls and the overall structure of many homes some owners have discovered the problem, demolished the home and started from scratch, a costly decision made for health sake.