Each year, thousands of methamphetamine (meth) labs are discovered in houses, apartments, sheds, and even automobiles. These labs, used to make illegal drugs, are seized by law enforcement and must then be professionally and thoroughly abated to remove harmful substances.

Meth labs typically house containers of dangerous chemicals, such as paint thinners, solvents, acids, and anhydrous ammonia. Exposure to these potent toxins can cause lung damage, throat burns, dizziness, and even death – that’s why it is crucial to prevent them from spreading through the air or coming in contact with other property. Abatement professionals rely on high performing tapes to build airtight containment systems when cleaning up former meth labs. A fully stocked toolbox should include:

  • Barricade tape: Considering the inherent dangers of meth labs, barricade tape is an essential tool to warn of the health and safety hazards as well as block off the vicinity of the lab from unqualified personnel.
  • Masking tape: If building a containment using the traditional two-step method, a masking or painter’s tape is used to mask off doorways, windows, and other surfaces to protect them from damage when poly sheeting is applied and removed. If building a containment for a meth lab cleanup with the knowledge that the structure will be torn down after abatement, the masking tape may be omitted.
  • Duct tape: The second tape in the two-step containment building process is a duct tape. This tape is used to secure poly sheeting to the masked off perimeters of doorways, windows, and other openings or surfaces. When properly applied, the duct tape’s strong adhesive provides an airtight seal with the poly and the masking tape beneath it.
  • Double-sided tape: The newer method of containment building is a one-step process involving only one type of tape, one that is double-sided. Tapes that are designed specifically for abatement applications are constructed with two different adhesives: a low adhesion painter’s tape adhesive which is adhered to the wall or surface being masked off, and a powerful duct tape adhesive on the opposite side that holds securely to the poly sheeting, creating an airtight containment in less time.
  • Packaging or strapping tape: Meth lab cleanup often involves bagging or boxing up open containers of chemicals, contaminated property, and other hazardous materials. Having a packaging or strapping tape on hand will ensure that bags and boxes are securely sealed to prevent spillage on the way to disposal.

In any meth lab abatement job, always select tapes that are built to withstand the harsh environments that apply to your specific situation, such as heat, humidity, dust and debris. The last thing you want is containment failure due to poor quality or failed tape.