Preliminary findings from Westside meth test ‘cook’ show poisons can linger; grant being sought for longer study

       Preliminary results from a Westside methamphetamine test operation last April show that contamination from the illegal drug can linger at least 24 hours.
       The “pilot study” is believed to be the first of its kind and could lead to a year-long study examining the dissipation rates of meth poisons, according to Terry Curry, a detective sergeant with El Paso County who is assigned to the Colorado Springs Police Metro Vice and Narcotics Investigation (VNI) team.
       Funded by a grant, the Westside testing occurred in an empty house in the 2400 block of Ehrich Street that was burned and demolished (with the agreement of the property owner) about a week afterward. The effort, which involved area law enforcement and fire officials, was led by the National Jewish Medical and Research Center. Officials in protective suits cooked up batches of methamphetamine, then measured the poison levels that remained after simulating typical household behavior such as walking around, sitting on couches or vacuuming.
       “Our preliminary results show that 24 hours afterward, when a house is contaminated, anyone who walked in with street clothes would have tested positive, even if they didn't touch anything,” Curry said.
       National Jewish is now seeking a federal grant for a year-long study, he said. He added that there have been previous tests of meth labs indicating the poisons have not dissipated even after six months, but these have not been controlled studies so the results are not scientifically certain.

Westside Pioneer article