Why SPRAY, FOG or GAS and PRAY is NOT considered a viable meth decontamination method?
The use of strong oxidizers such as high levels of peroxide, chlorine dioxide (Clo2) or ozone are not considered viable decontamination methods.
Why not use a strong oxidizer to remove meth?
Meth is Not Organic.
The primary use of strong oxidizing agents for cleaning or decontamination purposes is to oxidize organic substances or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). They are excellent at removing organic source materials and odours. Methamphetamine is not organic.
Whilst some VOCs can be released during the manufacturing phase, as they are volatile, they are usually long gone before the decontamination takes place.
The Use of Strong Oxidisers is Not Safe
In addition to meth residues, there is a toxic cocktail of all sorts of other bad stuff used in the manufacturing process, by the addition of more chemicals or highly reactive chemical processes such as oxidizers you just don't have any idea of what chemicals you are making... or leaving behind.
Not only is it highly unsafe for the contractors working in the dwelling or any unauthorised persons accessing the site, strong oxidizers also adversely affect many building materials, particularly copper wiring and other metals.
Why do Some Decontamination Contractors Try to Oxidize the Meth?
The objective for any reputable decontamination service provider is to remove the contamination from the dwelling, not just to pass the test.
The use of strong oxidizers in the cleanup phase is capable of temporarily fooling the test by breaking some of the chemical bonds that make up the meth molecule, but all of the bits are still there, in about 4-6 weeks the residue can start to regenerate back into meth. The contamination should be removed, NOT just changed into something else.
Where is the Use of Oxidizers Considered Best Practice?
The use of peroxide in foam and fog meth decontamination products should be under 4% in dilution. These low levels of peroxide are used to keep the product active on the surface material that you are attempting to clean. The peroxide also assists in breaking the tough bond between the meth molecule and the surface.
Essentially the peroxides job is to assist in the emulsification process so that the contamination can be and easily rinsed away and to reduce the amount of time and agitation required to achieve the emulsification.
International Standards and Research
- NZ standard requires products that are not high in oxidizers for this and safety reasons. NZ standard, page 25, section 18.104.22.168
- US EPA Voluntary guidelines Page 15, use of ammonia and peroxide.
- Serrano, Martyny, Kofford, Contreras, and Van Dyke. (2012). Decontamination of Clothing and Building Materials Associated with the Clandestine Production of Methamphetamine, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, vol. 9:3, pgs. 185-197
Think of it in terms of any type of contamination, such as mould or sewerage contamination. Just because you kill it, break it, change it, cover it up, does not mean it still does not pose a risk. The objective for any reputable professional decontamination service provider is to remove the contamination from the dwelling by cleaning or other methods not to SPRAY, FOG or GAS and PRAY.
Without any peer-reviewed scientific research into the advocacy of using high levels of peroxide, chlorine dioxide, or ozone, our advice is to steer clear. DeconASSIST only advocates the use safe, effective, and proven methamphetamine decontamination systems.