Meth Lab Fire

Fire fighting efforts following an explosion resulting from an illicit Shake & Bake Methamphetamine Drug Lab

According to recent Associated Press (AP) reports…  Missouri regained the distinguished “honor” of the top national spot for methamphetamine drug lab seizures in 2011 with 2,096 total meth lab seizures for the year.   Once again, taking back the title from Tennessee who the AP confirmed through a survey that Tennessee (#2) had a mere 1,687 in 2011.  These top two were followed by #3 Indiana with 1,437, #4 Kentucky with 1,188 and #5 Oklahoma with 902.

Combined, the numbers indicate nationwide meth lab seizures rose at least 8.3 percent in 2011 compared to 2010.

Missouri had been the nation’s No. 1 meth-producing state every year from 2003 until 2009 until falling behind Tennessee for one year. In 2011, a single Missouri county had more busts than Texas, Florida and California combined.  In fact, Jefferson County (Missouri), which is near St. Louis, tallied 253 seizures; the three other states had 219.  BioMax believes that the reduced numbers of methamphetamine (Meth) drug lab seizures in some states (like California) are likely due to the significantly reduced budgets and “attention” by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) as well as the BNE (Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement) within many states such as California.  There is simply little budget currently for sustainable proactive efforts to address these pervasive issues in California, says Mr. Polkabla, CIH, REA, Senior Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) of BioMax Environmental, LLC.  Because of this, California’s drug lab problem is likely significantly higher than the current statistics would indicate.

Illinois was the sixth highest in lab seizures with 584.  The remainder of the top 10 States were: Iowa (382), Michigan (352), North Carolina (340) and South Carolina (265).

Mr. Polkabla has served as an advisor with Cal/EPA and DTSC during the implementation of AB 1078 (California’s Meth Lab Cleanup Standard) and provided technical presentations during the implementation clinics sponsored by the California CUPA Forum, DTSC, and the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health (CCDEH) throughout California.  Mr. Polkabla has personally performed hundreds of meth lab residue sampling assessments in California since 1996 including the developed and oversight of site-specific mitigation procedures and cleanup activities at these sites.   Mr. Polkabla is a recognized expert in the field of methamphetamine drug lab assessment and cleanup procedure and is a frequent lecturer and presenter on this topic.  Mr. Polkabla currently serves on the faculty with UC Berkeley’s Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH).

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