I’m thinking that this will grow in popularity like mold & radon.
Do you do the testing just like mold testing?
Good luck! Do you have E&O for this? How do you handle false positives?
I caught a few moments of a show last night about meth in Montana. You would think that folks would have better things to do when living in God’s country. Guess not.
Why do you think that is?
Lotsa remote areas for making the stuff, John.
Same around here.
I Saw the thread topic, and thought Russ was getting rich. I’m sure no one here has done speed or meth.
Hello Mr. Spriggs:
Good luck with your new venture in meth testing; I think that it will fill a important need, and is a welcome service.
A couple of weeks ago, I testified before the Colorado Legislative Judicial Committee on the Pending SB 06-02 Bill. I was asked to testify since, apart from being a law enforcement officer involved in meth-lab assessments, I was also the primary author of Colorado’s meth-lab assessment protocols, and the author of the supporting data quality objectives (DQOs) and hypothesis testing for those regs.
One of the issues that came up during my testimony was the question of cost of a meth-lab assessment; which typically runs about $2,500 for a property covered by State regulations, and about $750 for a property not so covered. A question put to me by one of the Senators was “Why isn’t there a cheap little test that one can just “swab” and find out if there is meth.”
My answer was as simple as most of my responses to this board. “There is. However…” There is a difference between a “meth test” and testing a property for the presence of meth. In the first case (a “meth test”), there is no statement of confidence. A “meth test” is merely part of an overall meth assessment; costs all of about $35 and a chimp could be taught to go into an house and collect the sample.
However, in the absence of DQOs, the probability that the sample will actually provide any information on the presence of meth in the home, or the probability of it detecting the presence of ancillary contamination can be very low.
The reason the costs of an assessment is so much higher than a simple test is not because the Industrial Hygienist inflates the cost of the analysis (as happens sooooo much with “certified” mould inspectors) but because the work involves understanding the underlying sampling errors, and establishing a sampling protocol that can address those sampling and analysis errors, and provide a tenable assessment to the client; an assessment that CAN stand up in court (which simple swab tests can’t), and that actually speaks to the issue of the degree of certainty associated with the test.
Two weeks ago I testified against a CIH, with a PhD, who falsely presumed that since he was a Certified Industrial Hygienist and since he had a PhD, he was ipso facto qualified and authorized to perform a meth lab assessment. However, under Colorado’s new regulations, he lacked appropriate training and experience and his work was so shoddy that it did not even rise to the level of a preliminary assessment, and entirely failed to meet even minimum Industrial Hygiene standards, and he showed an appalling lack of technical knowledge. His report was rejected, based on my report and testimony, and my side (the Municipality wherein the meth-lab was located) won their argument.
In the last few months, I have shot down a total of six such clandestine lab assessments by a variety of people who should not be performing this kind of work (including two “certified mould inspectors,” one automechanic and two “environmental consultants.”) So, whilst, I would encourage homeowners to be aware of meth, and I would encourage the use of testing services, I would also encourage honesty and integrity of the service provider to explain to the customer that the samples may not find a very serious meth problem (high degree of false negatives), and may completely overlook a SERIOUS ancillary contamination issue (which could include mercury, lead, and iodine).
I will be addressing some of these issues in my up-coming May 24th class on meth.
In the meantime, you can learn more about the Colorado regs on clan labs at:
and get general info on meth at:
Just some thoughts.
Caoimhín P. Connell
Forensic Industrial Hygienist
I have seen the info on the class you will be giving in Colorado; I’m happy to see that the small chapter I started years ago has grown so much and is continuing to provide quality classes & education in the state!
If you are able to be contracted out by NACHI to take your informative classes on meth and mold on the road, please remember the Coeur d’Alene area as a place to present. We also draw them in from Spokane WA and even Montana - Thanks!
Will somebody please give C.C. a membership in this association? The info that is coming from that organisation is absolutly invaluable.
Do I hear a second?
Keep us (me) posted if you do some type of event in Coeur d’Alene area. Bit of drive but almost everything is a drive out here.
I don’t know the stats on Meth labs in Montana, but as posted before, lots of unpopluated areas close to metro areas. Also look at the median income and the lure of a quick buck seems attractive. It is also difficult for law enforement to infiltrate and observe meth operations. Lots of samll towns where you no everyone and a strange sticks out like a sore thumb.
My wife runs a property manangement company and I plan to pass this info on to her.
That was extremely helpful information!
Just sent you an email, Tom.
Ready to start a Chapter?
If you have one starting, do you need programs?
Big bad mold and radon. Is meth going to be found naturally occurring? Better call the CDC and all national media outlets, could be epidemic.
ESA is having a training session in march in which I will be attending. With Central Florida having a growing problem with meth labs, it will be a great opportunity to bring this service to local families.