FOX FILES: Are You Living In An Old Meth House?

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– Many of you could be living in an old meth house.   The facts you need to know are out there, but not always easy to find.  So FOX 2 compiled an online database and map to help you protect yourself.

The addresses come from the DEA, but they’re listed by county and difficult to sort through if you’re house shopping or checking neighborhoods.  To make it easier for you to protect your family, we plotted each of the addresses on a map so that you can easily search your neighborhood.

(Click HERE to find past meth labs in your neighborhood)

The addresses are everywhere, from a quiet street behind Gravois Bluffs in Fenton to a slab where a home once stood.  The DEA lists thousands of former meth labs.  Many are apartments, like an upscale Balwin complex we found on the list.

Some residents we talked to had no idea.  Kathy Page, who fixes up homes in Overland, did know.

She said, “We make the houses really nice.  We think it helps the neighborhoods and ups the values.”

Page remembers the DEA raid on a home that she and her husband later bought to renovate.  They’re gutting the place.

She said, “Yeah, we took our time and we went through everything and we tore the attic completely out.”

Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Sgt. Jason Grellner says invisible toxins from meth making threaten people long after the drug bust.

Grellner went on to mention.. “somebody that`s got asthma. Somebody that`s got lung disease.”

Sgt. Grellner said the toxic chemicals from cooking meth can fill every crevasse of a home and after the vapors disappear, the toxins remain hidden inside the curtains, walls and air registers.

Sgt. Grellner added, “You won`t see it. You might not even smell it.”

He`s also concerned about meth labs that don`t make the list.  He said hotels may escape scrutiny since suspects quickly move in and out of those rooms.

Grellner said, “You certainly need to understand that when you`re renting a hotel room you could be renting a meth lab.”
Reporter Chris Hayes asked, “And are they cleaning them?”
Sgt. Grellner responded, “I have never heard of remediation in a motel or hotel room.”

The DEA warns the list is not perfect.  The feds hope it leads you to ask more questions about your next home or maybe your hotel room.

Sgt. Grellner also pointed out that there`s currently no standard practice for cleaning an old meth house, so you should get several estimates and suggestions about clean up before taking action.

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