Is it safe to live in a house where meth was cooked?
DENVER, Colorado (KDVR) — A condominium that recently hit the market in Denver’s Capitol Hill area is turning some heads with its property overview.
The 567-square-foot condo, located at 985 N. Corona Street in Denver, is listed at $252,000. It has one bedroom, one bathroom and plenty of potential, according to the listing — in addition to some issues.
“Due to methamphetamine contamination, it has been tagged by the City & County of Denver. There is an ORDER TO VACATE/ACCESS RESTRICTED/NO TRESSPASSING NOTICE placed on the front door by Denver Public Health & Environment,” the condo’s listing, which appears on sites such as Zillow and Redfin, states.
Should “methamphetamine contamination” be a dealbreaker for potential buyers?
How are former meth labs cleaned?
According to 2019 research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, people who move into former meth lab locations that have not been de-contaminated can experience respiratory illnesses, skin irritations and behavioral changes. Among the symptoms of exposure are persistent cough, dizziness and difficulty breathing.
So what would be needed before you could live in a home like the Denver condo? The listing said a licensed and certified industrial hygienist verified by the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment will have to bring the property into compliance.
While there’s not one standard way of disinfecting a former meth production location, there are some guidelines many states follow. As laid out by the Illinois Department of Public Health, some methods used by certified hygienists include testing all materials for readings, airing out the site and wiping down any possibly porous surface with detergent (if that surface isn’t fully replaced). Additionally, both ventilation and plumbing systems will be cleaned or replaced.
According to the Denver property’s listing, the condo will also need the following:
- The kitchen will need to be gutted and the appliances will need replaced
- The living room and bathroom will need to be cleaned and re-tested
- Buyer will need to pay the cost of additional testing and whatever fees are required by City and County of Denver to remove the tag
- There is a $32,000 lien owed the HOA that will have to be paid
- There are broken windows that will need to be repaired
The condo was built in 1963. In 2015, it sold for $160,000. Zillow estimates the property to be worth $244,159.