Texas Landlords Rent Out Dirty Meth Labs | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Texas Landlords Rent Out Dirty Meth Labs

A lack of regulations on meth lab cleanup in the Lone Star State risks future residents' health.

Image: 

Texas is like the "wild wild west" when it
comes to meth lab cleanup. Photo via

By Chrisanne Grise

10/03/12

| Share

Texas is not doing enough to protect residents from the health risks caused by meth labs, reports StateImpact Texas. Every ounce of meth cooked produces four or five ounces of toxic byproduct, and meth cooks will dump it anywhere they can. And if those chemicals aren't cleaned up properly, they can cause a range of health problems. In Texas, there are no laws requiring homeowners to clean a property after police break up a meth lab there—so landlords can rent ex-meth labs right away, without even telling tenants about the building’s history. “I’ve got a whole filing cabinet of contaminated homes in Austin that have probably never ever been cleaned,” says Kirk Flippin, owner of Texas Decon Environmental Services, a company specializing in meth lab cleanup. “Texas is very unregulated. It’s kind of like the wild wild West…The citizens aren’t being protected by the state of Texas.” Exposure to the chemicals used by meth cooks can cause health problems like lung disorders and nervous system issues. In children, they may also cause skin rashes and damage to organs like the liver, thyroid and kidneys.

The laws Texas does have to protect residents tend to be ineffective. For example, sellers are required to tell a buyer if a house was used as a meth lab—but if a bank or real estate agent is selling a foreclosed home, they can omit that tiny detail. Other states have much stricter laws: in Colorado, a house can be quarantined even if someone just smoked meth inside. Those campaigning to change the rules in Texas have yet to see much progress. Texas legislature member David Leibowitz proposed requiring landlords to disclose any meth lab history to future tenants: the bill died in the House, and no similar ideas have been suggested since. “The bill failed because the apartment industry put their profits before their renter’s health," says Leibowitz. "They vigorously opposed the bill. They didn’t want to have to notify potential tenants if a meth lab had been in a particular rental unit. They wanted to be able to continue to rent it out.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv