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Old 11-13-2006, 10:06 AM   #41
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please dont call them labs...

I find the use of the term lab in reference to some jerk playing with volatile chemicals for a cheap high or an easy buck offensive……..but to the point. Chuck is correct. In the process of “cooking” meth hazardous waste is produced and meth vapors are generated which are readily absorbed into fibers (carpet, cushions, wood, ect). Residues can also accumulate in the plumbing and in the exhaust. I am not versed in the clean up process, however, it is undoubtedly something less than inexpensive.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:08 AM   #42
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Pretty scarry article. So I guess the question now is how do you clean it up.
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Old 11-13-2006, 11:09 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
please dont call them labs... I find the use of the term lab in reference to some jerk playing with volatile chemicals for a cheap high or an easy buck offensive……..
Then I assume we don't address that jerk as "Doctor," right?

I worked in a hospital environment for 32 years. The hazard communications program as it evolved tended to have an exemption for pharmaceuticals since it was assumed they were ingested or applied to the skin in some way ... except when you were dealing with warehouse quantities of the material. Occupational hazard restrictions (chemical or radiologic) are much stricter for employees who are exposed for many days of the year over a career due to employer liability for workman's comp; by comparison a layperson (patient or whoever) with much less time in that environment usually requires much less protection. Therefore cleanup companies do dress like spacemen -- and I think there is a boogey-man meth reputation that law enforcement doesn't mind leaving in place.

The good thing is that law enforcement contracted for your cleanup and removed bulk sources of chemicals. Looking here and here, the principal reactants that would be hazardous if they persisted in the environment would be gasoline (and other petroleum based volatiles), muriatic acid (HCl, commonly used to clean up brick work), drain cleaner, lithium and sodium. Any residual acetone, ether and anhydrous ammonia would evaporate within hours or minutes of the original cleanup of the bust.

You nose will tell you if any gasoline or paint thinner fumes are present; I think it's safe to deal with that like any auto mechanic or garage tinkerer. Are there other oily residues (brake fluid)? Once dry, muriatic acid will have reacted on any surface and spent itself (eg, turning into sodium chloride as a byproduct). Sodium has to be stored under kerosene, otherwise will react violently with water and spontaneously with humidity, destroying the active metal in short order. Drain cleaner is a relatively stable solid and spills could persist in dust kicked up in a restoration. Pseudoephedrine? That is the starting raw material and these nutjobs would want to get the maximum of that into reaction vessels. Which leaves meth absorbed into materials as Rodney describes. asta2 describes goals of replacing the floor; we can assume all the upholstery will go in the process. I would try to lessen skin-dust contact and provide respiratory protection to do this safely.

I would wear long pants, long sleeved shirts and gloves for any demolition. Wash your work clothes with some regularity. I have used form-fit paint spray respirators for hours in warm weather and find them to be quite comfortable. To me this will be the most important safety measure you will take. They seal to your face completely (if well shaved I guess) and all breathing air is filtered through the canisters and dusts are removed completely. You can huff and puff and still feel like there is adequate air exchange. Having worn blue paper masks for 30+ years I can say that they provide absolutely no protection. Keep pets and kids out of your work area. Then it becomes a matter of how will you dispose of torn out plywood etc -- shouldn't be too much of a problem IMO.

You may be able to get a paint spray respirator at a local woodworking store or perhaps Home Despot. They are quite common but get one like the picture below. Always work with good ventilation and circulation of natural air (oxygen). I use the commonly available organic cartridge filters and the result is that paint solvents (even Rot Doctor!) are removed -- you don't smell or breathe that crap in! Very important for later stages of your restoration!! I don't think you'll need to take all these precautions once you get past the dust making stages.

Double check these ideas through a high school chem teacher, a hospital med tech or a pharmacist and I think you'll see a way through this. You will be able to tell your measures are effective if you don't have skin irritation the next day and can sleep well after a hard day at work (pseudoephedrine & meth are both stimulants). With the exception of the pseudoephedrine and meth residues, the potential exposure chemicals are irritants or caustic and not systemically toxic in their own right. Certainly let us know how the project is going!
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Old 11-13-2006, 12:44 PM   #44
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Hi, it's Bridget.

I had a funny feeling when I looked at the picture the guy sent us that had all the household chemicals under the sink (*way* too many of one kind), so I insisted that we not go into it without masks and chemical gloves.

I am a photographer, so I have some pretty heavy duty chem gloves and a hepa mask just laying around (kind of funny, actually, that a housewife has CDC level gear).

I spent today driving for 3 hours trying to find an open landfill to dump my moldy, scary stuff. No can do: Atlanta has apparently decided that people no longer *have* large trash. I'm stuck with my "Sanford and Sons" truck for another day.

I DID find someone to look at my frame once we carve out the floor, though...

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Old 11-13-2006, 01:32 PM   #45
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Bridget, did you try the Clayton County Landfill in Lovejoy? There just south of Jonesboro, not too far off of I-75/Tara Blvd. It's about $15 per truck load for out-of-county tags, I think. That's where I took the old floor, etc, from my rebuild. Give 'em a call.
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Old 11-13-2006, 08:52 PM   #46
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OK, end of (work) day 2.

We have everything out of the interior except for the tub, tanks, and the kitchen overhead. All soft goods (to include wood) are out of it. I saved some odds and ends (drawers, medicine cabinet, hardware, etc...), but the majority is going to the dump tomorrow.

Floor is definately shot - I'm actually afraid that the cabinets were the reason the skin didn't fall off on the trip home - think I will reinforce some points before taking it to the shop. First though, we want to have the interior soda-blasted to eliminate the unsavoury residue of the last 50 years.

Bridget found a place today that we think can do the frame and floor work, but we won't know until they see it, plus we need a clear idea of cost (hey, this is a budget operation on a civil servant's salary). Nick about has the web blog set up to keep interested parties up-to-date, this will be his computer science project for the rest of the school year.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:36 PM   #47
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I had a little frame work done on my Ambassador.

I had some patches done to the A frame, the last two feet of main frame rail replaced, and one cross member moved to allow for a larger grey tank.

To save money, I removed everything, including flooring and belly pan to gain access for the welder. He had it about three weeks and it cost me $675 for everything.
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:03 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari Tim
I had a little frame work done on my Ambassador.

I had some patches done to the A frame, the last two feet of main frame rail replaced, and one cross member moved to allow for a larger grey tank.

To save money, I removed everything, including flooring and belly pan to gain access for the welder. He had it about three weeks and it cost me $675 for everything.
Tim, Thanks for letting me know what ballpark I should be playing in.

We're looking at removing the belly pan and floor this weekend. I'll have to go back through some of the other threads here to figure out how to remove to bellypan - like what size drill bit do I use to remove the rivets?

My other concern is that I don't have enough floor for a decent template to cut the new one, which I'm sure will make the reattaching of the skin a joy

Anyway not much to do now until the weekend.

Sean
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:14 AM   #49
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If you have a narcotics bureau in your state you may be well served by calling them to ask your "clean up" questions. Most of those people can even tell you if that trailer really was involved in a meth operation in the past. Meth cooking houses are never really safe again and I believe the DEQ suggests they be demoed and the dirt excavated down three feet and hauled off for disposal. Gosh, I guess this is not what you wanted to hear; however, Oklahoma was in the past a prime meth cooking state and we have had lots of training about dealing with this situation. The dangers linger on when the cooking stops.
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Old 11-14-2006, 05:27 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by juel
If you have a narcotics bureau in your state you may be well served by calling them to ask your "clean up" questions. Most of those people can even tell you if that trailer really was involved in a meth operation in the past. Meth cooking houses are never really safe again and I believe the DEQ suggests they be demoed and the dirt excavated down three feet and hauled off for disposal. Gosh, I guess this is not what you wanted to hear; however, Oklahoma was in the past a prime meth cooking state and we have had lots of training about dealing with this situation. The dangers linger on when the cooking stops.
Appreciated the concern,

We're having the interior stripped, are replacing the floor and all plumbing, so I don't think anything can come back to haunt us. Unless possible toxins could have permeated the aluminium through the multiple coats of paint and zolatone, I think we should be OK -- is that reasonable?
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:10 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by asta2
We're having the interior stripped, are replacing the floor and all plumbing, so I don't think anything can come back to haunt us. Unless possible toxins could have permeated the aluminium through the multiple coats of paint and zolatone, I think we should be OK -- is that reasonable?
You are pretty far along in this process. There's no accounting for idiotic "chemists" but the raw materials are not strongly hazardous after they are removed from the area. I found this link that restates some of the cautions already offered: http://wdh.state.wy.us/epiid/methcleanup.asp

Per juel's suggestion it could set your mind at ease if you had more info on whether law enforcement actually removed meth materials from the trailer.
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