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Costly meth lab cleanups on the rise

February 23, 2009
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CHATTANOOGA, TN — The increase in the number of methamphetamine drug labs being discovered in hotels and motels is adding to the cleaning duties of housekeeping crews and remediators alike, according to an Associated Press story hosted by
Hotels and motels are an attractive alternative for drug makers seeking to avoid a police raid on their own homes. However, the dangerous contaminants can lurk on countertops, carpets and bathtubs, and chemical odors that might provide a warning to the toxic conditions that exist can be effectively masked by tobacco smoke and other scents, the story stated.
Joe Mazzuca, operations manager at Meth Lab Cleanup Co., said: "I have tested pricey hotel rooms in Idaho and Utah and discovered contaminants where no one previously suspected a meth lab had been. Seventy percent of the work Meth Lab Cleanup Co. does are properties that were never busted."
Meth lab cleanups cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on how long the lab was in use, the story noted.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration records show that states reported finding evidence of drug-making in 1,789 motel and hotel rooms in the past five years, the story added.
According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, methamphetamine labs can be set up in less than four hours inside a hotel or motel room.
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