Special Agent Jeffrey Scott of the DEA says cleaning up a meth lab is labor-intensive and dangerous. Fumes from chemicals used in meth production can cause long-term respiratory problems so cleanup requires hazmat expertise.
Photographer: Lance Murphey/The Commercial Appeal
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
TULSA - Across the nation, more meth labs have been found in Tulsa County than any other county in the past eight years.
According to CNNMoney , authorities have identified 979 contaminated meth lab sites throughout Tulsa County. The data spans from 2004 to 2012 and includes houses, apartments and other properties.
Meth lab cleanup can cost as much as $5,000 to $10,000.
The Drug Enforcement Administration reports nearly 84,000 meth lab seizures since 2004.
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control spokesman Mark Woodward told CNNMoney only about 5 percent of the nation's meth labs get discovered by law enforcement.
CNNMoney reports the root of the problem lies in America's heartland -- Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas -- where thousands of meth labs are discovered every year.
According to the article, five to seven pounds of chemical waste are left behind for every pound of meth produced, and the chemicals can cling to surfaces and be re-emitted for months and even years.
Short-term exposure to meth can lead to headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Over an extended period of time, liver and kidney damage can occur as well as neurological problems and increased risk of cancer.
2NEWS spoke with an undercover narcotics officer with the Tulsa Police Department, who believes that stricter regulations on pseudoephedrine will help reduce the number of meth labs in the Tulsa area.
"You can not have meth labs go away and have pseudoephedrine," he said. "If people want labs to go away, you've got to get rid of pseudoephedrine."
For more on Oklahoma's meth epidemic, visit http://bit.ly/methinokla . Search meth labs by zip code, look at tell-tale signs of a meth house and much more.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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