KATC Investigates

Nov 8, 2013 12:48 AM by Steven Albritton & Tina Macias

Homes With a Secret Past --- Part 1

Acadiana is on a record pace for methamphetamine busts. Since 2008, 57 meth busts have taken place. 2013 is poised to set a record for busts with 17 already.

It's a drug that's gained wild popularity in both Hollywood and illegal manufacturing. Officials say the return on making this illegal drug tempts people into going down this road. We're told an investment of $200 could bring a return of up to $2000.

"The types of labs we are dealing with are the one pot cooks. We don't have the labs where you walk in the house and they're chemicals and beakers and burners and cooks all over the house," Captain John Babin of Lafayette Metro Narcotics said.

The labs these days are small and portable. When labs are found the residence is contaminated with chemicals that need proper cleaning. What we found is many of the new residents had no idea what happened in their homes before, or if the proper steps were taken to ensure it was given the all clear.

We knocked on doors and the surprise was clear. Residents we spoke to choose not to be interviewed for this story but they all echoed the same thing. They wish they knew the full history of their home.

"Typical symptoms associated with meth lab exposure are coughing, throat problems, eye, a lot of respiratory, but you can get skin rashes and such. People with asthma have a lot susceptibility to it. It's very similar to a mold exposure," Larry Douglas of Xtreme cleaners said. Douglas owns and operates a cleaning company specializing in meth bust clean up.

State law now says that homes operating a meth lab after 2008 should come with a disclosure document that is given to the new homeowners. However, there is no penalty if former owners choose not to disclose this information.

Another law passed in 2008 is supposed to give new homeowners a way to protect themselves. The department of environmental quality requires any known meth lab to be reported to them and added to a list. Surprisingly, no Acadiana homes are on that list.

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