DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Meth lab locations now online: Public Health Web site provides information about labs in your neighborhood (Washington)

http://www.kingcountyjournal.com/sited/story/html/230215

by Mike Archbold
Journal Reporter

If you want to find out if there is a known meth lab in your neighborhood, the answer is as easy as a click on your computer

The Public Health -- Seattle & King County Web site now has a methamphetamine lab mapping service that shows old and new meth labs near your home. All you need to do is enter your address.

The site lets visitors know whether a site has been cleaned up, is in the process of being cleaned up or is still contaminated. It provides dates of when labs were found and orders given to clean them up. You can even find out the name of the owner of the property and order a copy of all cleanup orders in a couple easy steps.

``Methamphetamine labs are a scourge on our neighborhoods, and this new capability makes it much easier for residents to find out whether a drug lab was identified and cleaned up,'' King County Executive Ron Sims said Tuesday, the day after the new map link was installed on the county's Web site.

The current listing has more than 300 meth labs dating back to at least 1998. They are listed by city though the listing for each city includes surrounding areas. In the suburbs, Auburn, Renton and Kent have the highest number, 39, 39 and 35 respectively. The far majority are cleaned up sites.

The Auburn area has three contaminated sites and two being cleaned up. Renton has one site still contaminated. Kent has two contaminated sites and four being cleaned up.

On the Eastside, Bellevue and Redmond, meanwhile, have no meth labs listed. Kirkland and Issaquah have three each, all of which are cleaned up. Maple Valley has five and rural Enumclaw has 18 with only one still contaminated.

Dorothy Teeter, interim director and health officer at the county health department explained that after law enforcement uncovers an illegal drug lab, Public Health prohibits people from occupying contaminated sites until the lab is properly decontaminated.

Public Health has published a listing of meth labs for years with addresses. But now neighbors, real estate agents and other interested parties can see visually where labs are located and the status of those labs, Teeter said.

County officials said they are still adding a few older meth labs to the listing and map.

Public Health's Illegal Drug Lab team assesses contamination and oversees the clean up and decontamination at illegal drug labs after the police conduct the initial seizure and notify Public Health.

Health officials warn that the chemicals used to manufacture methamphetamine are extremely toxic and frequently explosive. Corrosive chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia and hydrochloric acid as well as solvents like acetone and toluene are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. During the cooking process, these chemicals may cover walls, carpets, and other surfaces with dangerous levels of contamination, rendering the location contaminated. When these substances are inhaled, ingested or get on the skin they can cause injury, particularly to children.

A meth lab often contains pressurized tanks containing anhydrous ammonia or hydrochloric acid, various hoses and tubes, and chemical bottles, glassware, and pill packets or bottles.

Other common ingredients include lithium batteries, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, paint thinner, and starter fluid.

Health officials warn residents not to enter a suspected building or site. Inhaling, ingesting, or having skin contact with the chemicals can cause burns and respiratory problems. The materials are often highly explosive and can explode on contact with air or water.

Mike Archbold can be reached at mike.archbold@kingcountyjournal.com or at 253-872-6647.

Finding the meth lab maps

The new meth lab locator maps can be found on King County's GIS iMap Web site, accessible by clicking a link on the Public Health Web site at http://www.metrokc.gov/health/methlabs.

* To get to the maps, it is easiest to go to Public Health's Web site at http://www.metrokc.gov/health/methlabs. Scroll down and click on ``How do I check on an illegal drug lab cleanup?''

* From there you can download the updated list of more than 300 cleanup sites in King County by city area. The addresses in black, which are most of them, have been processed and cleaned. Those in blue mean decontamination is under way. Red addresses mean the site is still contaminated.

* Downloading the full map of the county, on the left side under TOOLS, click on Property Search. Below the map, you can enter your parcel number or address. The map then zooms in on your house, a red triangle. To survey your neighborhood, under TOOLS click on the magnifying glass under NAVIGATE and then click on your house. The map will zoom out. Keep clicking until your have covered your neighborhood. The lab sites show up as orange squares for contaminated labs, blue for cleanup under way and green for cleaned up.

* An example of how the map site works: an address of one of the King County Journal's editors in Lakeland Hills in Auburn shows no meth labs in the immediate neighborhood but zooming out farther in Lakeland Hills, six green or cleaned-up meth labs are posted within about three miles of the home.

Signs of meth lab activity

How do you tell if there is a working lab in your neighborhood? It's difficult.

Meth labs can be set up anywhere, including vacant houses, motel rooms, vehicles, motor homes, campgrounds, storage sheds, or outbuildings.

Signs that you may have a working lab in your neighborhood include:

* Strong odor of solvents.

* Blacked out windows.

*Increased activity, particularly at night.

* Iodine- stained fixtures and excess trash.

If you suspect a meth lab in a neighborhood, call 911.

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