Clandestine drug laboratories, also known as ‘clan labs’, ‘drug labs’ and ‘meth labs’, are illegal operations where drugs are manufactured. Many of the chemicals involved in the manufacturing process are toxic, dangerous, highly flammable or explosive.
Once drug manufacturing chemicals and equipment have been removed from a property, chemicals may remain on surfaces and furnishings. The presence of clan lab residues inside a dwelling may result in the property being deemed unfit for human habitation.
Clan labs are now being treated as contaminated sites, posing potential health, financial and legal risks to inhabitants, property owners and managers.
In Western Australia, under the provisions of the Health Act 1911, the owner of a property is obliged to ensure potential contamination inside a dwelling has been addressed and that any hazards are removed (including the need for decontamination) before the dwelling is again used for human habitation.
Therefore, comprehensive analysis is required to determine the presence and quantity of any chemical residues associated with the manufacture of illicit drugs.
Peace of mind with quality chemistry
ChemCentre chemists attend every clandestine laboratory scene discovered in Western Australia. We are very familiar with the type of chemicals used and the associated hazards.
Our clan lab remediation services are open to all members of the community and ChemCentre can be engaged directly by concerned property owners, managers and tenants, as well as authorities at both the local and State level.
ChemCentre has two service levels for anyone wishing to assess the contamination and cleanup of a clan lab site:
You can purchase one of our proprietary swabbing kits and perform the swabbing yourself, or
ChemCentre can work in conjunction with a nominated environmental consultant.
ChemCentre swabbing kits
ChemCentre produces clandestine laboratory remediation swabbing kits which are available for purchase. The kits include swabs, templates, gloves, appropriate packaging and labels for each of the swabs, as well as instructional information on how to correctly swab an area. The kits also include a postage pack enabling the swabs to be forwarded directly to ChemCentre for analysis.
We would provide you with a summary report outlining the results of our analysis which will also include a brief interpretation of the results with reference to The Clandestine Drug Laboratory Remediation Guidelines published in 2011 by the Attorney General’s Office, Commonwealth of Australia (ISBN: 978-1-921725-63-0).
ChemCentre works with a number of environmental consultants who advise clients on sampling plans and swab the appropriate areas at the scene. The consultant then provides the client with a full report outlining the process undertaken at the scene and the results of analysis from this company. The cost of this service would need to be negotiated with the environmental consultancy company directly.
The size and nature of a clandestine laboratory can vary dramatically, so every site will be different. We therefore recommend that you seek advice about the number of samples to take and the areas to collect the samples from when you purchase the sampling kits.
Please note: in Western Australia, the only agency authorised to verify and approve the remediation of a property that has been used as a clandestine drug laboratory is the relevant Local Government. We suggest that you contact your Local Government Environmental Health Officer prior to undertaking any sampling plan, swabbing or remediation of a property.
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