Meth leaves lingering effects on homes - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Meth leaves lingering effects on homes

(National-NBC) March 28, 2006 - In January, state and local law enforcement busted the biggest meth ring in state history.

Officers seized about 37 pounds of meth ice with an estimated street worth in the millions. Forty suspected drug dealers were arrested.

That bust is just one of hundreds made around the state since methamphetamine has become an increasingly popular drug. It's a growing problem in South Carolina and across the nation.

One of the reasons is because it can be made inside a home, and when a meth lab inside a house is busted, the remnants of the toxic drug can harm future families who move in.

Despite new restrictions on pseudoephedrine, meth continues to have effects on not only users and manufactures but innocent people too.

The Garland County Sheriff's Department says they often find people moving into houses and apartments that were once fully operational meth labs and paying for it with their health. And it's not the just the junkies to blame, but landlords too.

Lt. Rodney Neighbors says, "It's a problem everywhere, not just in Garland County. It costs a lot of money to get this cleaned up right. They don't want to invest the money to get it done so they put a couple coats of paint on it and let it go, but that don't solve the problem."

To adults, the leftover fumes may just be irritating but to children it could be lethal.

Lt. Neighbors says, "You have a toddler that's crawling around on the floor. If he chews on the carpet or something like that then it goes straight to their mouths and it's worse on them."

But in the labs of the Arkansas School of Math, Science and the Arts, one young mind may have thought of a solution to the lingering problem.

Jennifer Wu was just looking for a good science project for the school science fair when she developed a test to determine the past presence of meth, "There's been a big problem in methamphetamine in Arkansas, obviously, and throughout the nation and we should come up with some to help."

Jennifer found by adding a few harmless chemicals to the walls of a home she could determine if harmful chemicals used to make meth were ever present. It is a concept that has earned her way to the state and national science fair, "I'm excited to be representing my school. Especially, I often joke that I'm a humanities person I guess, but this project has really shown me how wonderful science is and how much there is to be discovered in all aspects of learning."

And as for the secret to her home testing kit, right now she is keeping that bottled up.

Jennifer says her test is still in the feeble stages but it shows a lot of promise. Safety officials say on average, it costs about $3,000 to rid a three-bedroom home of meth toxins.

Posted 10:42pm by Chantelle Janelle

Powered by WorldNow