Toxic Home

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Playing Toxic Home

When Kate's and Pat’s son, Zach, had an asthma attack after their second night in the home they had just moved into, they began to suspect something was wrong.

Kate found an unusual combination of household products in the garage. She researched online and discovered that the products were used in the production of methamphetamines. Their new home previously had been used as a meth lab. All of their furniture and other belongings they had moved into the house had been contaminated.

“We essentially were told, ‘to walk away with all of your stuff inside,’” Kate says.

Exposure to the chemicals used to manufacture meth has been linked to liver and kidney problems, brain damage, cancer and birth defects.

The family has moved into a rental home, but Kate's and Pat’s credit has been damaged, and they can’t afford to buy all new furniture. After they lost all their processions, Zach wrote a letter to Santa. Hear what he asked for

Melissa Cizauskas, vice president of the Women’s Counsel of Realtors, explains that not all states require disclosure that a house has been contaminated by meth and  it can be difficult to tell from a typical physical inspection whether a house has been used to manufacture meth. She says some signs might include a discoloration of the drywall or a chemical smell. She suggests that if you have any concerns, you should hire a licensed environmental hygienist to conduct additional testing.

Warning Signs
Signs that a child has been exposed to chemicals use to manufacture meth, include:

  • Watery or burning eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin irritation and redness
  • Mild to severe burns on the skin
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Labored breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Moderate to severe headache
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Decrease in mental status
  • Hallucinations
  • Extreme irritability

Signs that an adult has been exposed to meth lab chemicals include, irregular or rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure.

For more information about how to determine whether your house has been contaminated with toxic chemicals, visit