Home Inspections- East Wenatchee, Chelan and Okanogan County- Do you Smell that Smell?
Clandestine labs can Smell!!!
This is in response to a very interesting phone call I received concerning a home that may be used as a meth lab. I spend 15+ years training with one of the Northwest best instructors in the field of Hazardous Material response and remediation, David Kummerlowe of CADRE, Inc. Dave trains local industrial HazMat teams as well as Fire and Police department personnel. He is one of the most knowledge people in the area involving clandestine drug labs.
First if you ever run into this or suspect this is happening contact your local police/sheriff’s departments immediately. These can be highly dangerous places and people. The labs have been known to be booby trapped. Producers or cooks (as they call themselves) and Tweakers (heavy users) could have weapons ranging from small firearms to high-powered weapons to explosive.
Tweakers can react violently. Tweakers may not have slept in three to fifteen days and may be very irritable and paranoid. Tweakers using alcohol or other drugs may intensify the danger. Local authorities may send in swat teams prior to the HazMat teams go in for the cleanup.
The labs used to manufacture this often deadly drug will have ignitable, corrosive, reactive, and toxic chemicals at the sites which can result in explosions, fires, toxic fumes with irreparable damage to human health and the environment.
Methamphetamine was first synthesized in 1919 in Japan. This was a legal drug for weight loss up to 70’s when the user starting injecting it then it became illegal. (The History of Meth)
It was not till 80’s the real problem began when the modern Crystal Meth was formulated. In 1980 the federal government put strict controls on Phenyl-2-propane, the precursor chemical for Meth. Cooks on the West Coast learned that ephedrine could be used to create an even more potent form of the drug - crystal Meth was born. (Recognizing a meth lab )
Many (cooks) make meth using what’s called the “Nazi Method”. There are several varieties of Nazi recipes but all typically include pseudoephedrine, HEET, toluene or ether, muriatic acid, lithium batteries and either anhydrous ammonia or homegrown ammonia made from 21-0-0 fertilizer and sodium hydroxide. (It’s called the "Nazi method" because it supposedly is like the meth-making process used by the Germans during World War II) (Meth Slide Show) (The faces of Meth)
From Dave Kummerlowe “There's now a 2 liter pop bottle recipe we’ve been seeing in recent years that includes mixing most all of the plus water at one time. What you get is a plastic pop bottle full of ether with sparks from the lithium/water reaction, no joke. It's amazing and no doubt has caused more than one fire.”
The Gerber’s and milk in the fridge right next to a mason jar full of precursor chemicals use to make meth. These are not nice areas to be in and many times the children are innocent victims of these operations
All Pictures are provided by D. Kummerlowe.
NCW Home Inspections, LLC is located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington.
Leavenworth, Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Manson
NCW Home Inspections LLC-509-670-9572