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Meth lab cleanups cost state millions

March 02, 2010
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JACKSON, MS — The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics said that the cleanup of meth labs cost the state millions of dollars last year, according to the Clarion Ledger.

According to the story, at a cost ranging from $2,500 to $7,000 per lab and more than 620 labs seized last year, the cost of the cleanup could be as high as $4.3 million — not including peripheral costs associated with the cleanup.

Cathy Dixon, a psychologist and consultant who lectures on the topic of meth abuse, said: "There are costs to the state to put children in foster care when they''re removed from parents who use meth. There''s the cost of medical care."

Officials also said that the cleanup of a meth lab is very extensive, as pollutants can seep into the soil, water and air, and that sometimes a house must be torn down in the case of serious damage or explosion, the story stated.

Rusty Payne, spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), said: "Contractors will get rid of the gross contamination — visible spills, liquids, everything you can see. Does that make it safe for habitation? The answer is no. So, if you''ve rented your house to a meth cook, you must see to the hardcore, intense sanitizing that makes it safe to live in again."

The DEA distributes federal money to pay for contractors to clean houses where meth labs have been discovered, the story added.

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