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The secret behind meth houses in North Carolina


... been what's called a caveat emptor state," said Legal Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs for the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, Janet Thoren. "That means buyer beware. There's been a lot of chipping away at that over the years. The ...


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sharesharetweetemail EMBED </>More Videos <iframe width="476" height="267" src="http://abc11.com/video/embed/?pid=2610631" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>The secret behind meth houses in North Carolina (WTVD) WTVDBy Jon CampMonday, November 06, 2017 06:25PMWAKE COUNTY (WTVD) -- You might think the law would require people selling a home in which methamphetamine was cooked up, to disclose that information to potential buyers, but you'd be wrongThat's not the case in the Tar Heel State "North Carolina has typically been what's called a caveat emptor state," said Legal Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs for the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, Janet Thoren"That means buyer bewareThere's been a lot of chipping away at that over the yearsThe disclosure form that's currently in place is one of those chips in the buyer beware method of purchasing homes."Home sellers are required to fill out a lengthy disclosure form, as well as another form for oil and gas, but Thoren said sellers can "opt out" of all disclosures by asserting "no representation" on that form.RELATED: 7 things that do and don't have to be disclosed in NC home salesThat includes homes in which meth was made, even if there are lingering health risksBrokers and Realtors are subject to stricter disclosure rules but it's sellers who provide them the informationNorth Carolina's Disclosure Law"I will not be surprised if there are people that do not know (the history of their home)," said ThorenShe was quick to answer when asked if buyers should be made aware of a home's history with meth"They should know."In North Carolina, banks also don't have to disclose if a home was used to make meth after foreclosuresThoren said this, too, should change."Most meth houses, or former meth houses, have, from what I've seen, gone into foreclosure and are being sold as part of a foreclosure sale by the bank where no disclosures are required," she said"Depending on how the transaction goes through, they are exempt from the law."Former North Carolina meth housesThe federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) tracks so-called homes that were formerly meth labs and makes the information public on the National Clandestine Laboratory Register.The DEA describes it's database this way: "It contains addresses of some locations where law enforcement agencies reported they found chemicals or other items that indicated the presence of either clandestine drug laboratories or dumpsites."Interactive map of former meth houses in Wake County Health risksExperts said small amounts of chemicals can contaminate surfaces, drains, sinks, ventilation systems, and absorbent materials: such as couches, carpets, beds, etc.People can be exposed to toxins simply by breathing, touching surfaces that are contaminated, eating or drinking from glasses or dishes that have layers of contaminated grime, or eating or smoking after their hands came in contact with contaminated areas Problems from exposure may include difficulty breathing or respiratory irritation, skin and eye irritation, headaches, nausea, and dizziness.High exposure - even for a short time - can cause death or severe lung damage and skin or throat burnsExperts warn that children are particularly at risk.TestingThere are two basic approaches to testing for meth residue:1Learn if it's present2Determine the extent and location of the contaminationIf a homeowner wants to know if meth residue is present, home test kits can be helpfulThese are usually instant tests that do not need to be sent to a lab for results.The test kits often include collection papers that are rubbed on multiple surfacesA chemical is then dripped onto the collection papers, and a color change indicates the presence of methamphetamine, amphetamine, or ecstasy Professionals, such as industrial hygienists, handle the other kind of testingThose kits are expensive and have to be returned to the lab for analysisThe most sensitive tests require overnight, cold shipping both ways.You can also test yourself, or your kids, for meth that has been ingested from contact with contaminated surfacesExperts said saliva tests are accurate, easy to use, and only take about five minutes.Cleaning upExperts said the first thing homeowners should do to clean up an area exposed to methamphetamine is to contact a professional contractorShort of that, here are some steps experts suggest:Use protectionBefore entering the property, put on personal protective equipment such as gloves, protective clothing, and eye protectionRespirators that offer protection against vapors are recommendedAir out the property for three to five daysOne of the first thing professional cleanup crews will do is make sure the area is aired out for the safety of the removal crewAfter that, good ventilation should continue until the cleanup is finishedClean all surfaces that may be contaminatedWalls, counters, floors, and ceilings can hold contamination, especially where the preparation and cooking took place or chemicals were storedThis could include removal or replacement of wallboard, floor coverings or countersIf this is not possible, intensive cleaning, followed by a physical barrier such as paint, linoleum, or epoxy should be usedClean ventilation systems/filtersThe ventilation system should be cleaned; new furnace filters should be installedHVAC systems can collect fumes and dust and redistribute them throughout a home, contaminating ducts, ductwork, filters, and even walls and ceilings near the ductworkReplace all of the air filters in the system, open and clean vents, clean the surfaces near system inletsand clean the system's ductworkDon't neglect the pipesPlumbing can also be contaminated from waste products being poured into drains and toiletsThese can collect in the pipes, traps, and septic tanks and give off fumesThrow cleaning materials out after useAll clothing, shoes, gloves, rags, and anything that came in contact with contamination should be removed before leaving the houseDispose of it with the other household items that require disposal in a landfillWhen in doubt, call a professionalIf odor or staining remains, have your home evaluated by a professionalJoin ABC11's Jon Camp and Janet Thoren, legal counsel for the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for a chat on meth homes for sale and your rights to know as a buyer(function(d, s, id){var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s) [0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, 'script', 'scrbbl-js')); Report a Typo Related Topics:realestateiteammethamphetaminemeth labmethreal estatewake county newscrimehomeownersWake County Email sharesharetweetemail (Copyri

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