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Residual Risks of Meth Debated


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By Christine Byers, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

In thousands of methamphetamine busts each year, drug agents don protective suits and breathe through respirators as they cart away toxic chemicals.

But they leave something behind. For years, invisible meth residue remains trapped in ductwork, carpeting and walls. Eighteen states have decided that the residue is so hazardous the homes must be decontaminated. But not Missouri and Illinois — both states among the top five for lab busts in 2007.

And that leaves people like Dennis and Tina Kasden feeling vulnerable. They moved into a home on a peaceful lake in Jefferson County six months after it was raided for meth in 2007. Then they started getting sick. And though doctors can't say for sure why, the Kasdens have no doubt. "All I know is, inhalers that used to last me six months now only last me one month," said Dennis Kasden, who suffers from a sinus condition.

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Sure, if 100% of these meth cookers were caught and we had a record of where they'd ever lived, that'd be fine: however, what about a home that's been contaminated by someone that was never caught and who's already pickedup and moved, maybe years ago, to another home?



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