Friday, August 13, 2010

Better ways to reduce the dangers of our stereotype

Contrary to popular belief, every resident of the Inland Empire does not have his or her own personal meth lab. Neither does every resident of West Virginia, but West Virginia University is pursuing ways to improve meth lab cleanup:

[Suzanne] Bell and her research group will investigate if the standard cleaning and purifying procedures used to clean homes and apartments which previously served as meth labs really work.

“It’s important to clean it up properly because so many toxic chemicals are used in the preparation of methamphetamine and demolition of the site is not always possible or appropriate. The danger to future occupants is chronic exposure to residuals of these hazardous compounds,” Bell said.

So how will this research be conducted?

Bell and graduate students, Rona Nishikawa, Lucy Oldfield, Travis Doria, and Holly McCall, will simulate meth labs to gauge the effect of the chemicals used on living environments. They also hope to visit former labs to gather samples. Field sites provide the best research environment because it is impossible to simulate an entire meth lab in the academic laboratory.

I wonder if the simulation will include a mobile home, a picture of dogs playing poker, and a television set tuned to Jerry Springer.

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