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Posted on: February 7, 2023

Methamphetamine testing in large public or commercial buildings

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Arapahoe County Public Health highlights information and rules for the testing of methamphetamines in large buildings

After testing revealed methamphetamine contamination in public spaces in Englewood and Littleton, Arapahoe County Public Health (ACPH) created information resources for business owners and facility managers who may have questions about testing and remediation and any possible effects on public health and safety. 

The bottom line? In public settings, exposure times to contaminated spaces are typically short. When these short-time exposures are paired with low contamination limits, there is a low public health risk in these public spaces.

“The discovery of meth residue on surfaces is concerning and should always be taken seriously,” said Michele Askenazi, Division Director, Arapahoe County Health Department. “Taking the appropriate action after testing is important and that’s why Arapahoe County Public Health created resources to help businesses and organizations better navigate next steps.”

Testing of large public or commercial buildings is not required under Colorado regulations unless a commercial or public property meets the criteria requiring it to proceed with testing. If criteria are not met, ACPH recommends not testing, given the low risk to the public in those spaces.

“If there is no regulatory reason for a large public or commercial building to test for methamphetamine, the decision to move forward with proactive testing or testing out of curiosity should be done only after careful thought and deliberation”, said Dylan Garrison, Environmental Health Manager. “If there is a positive result following even voluntary testing, you’ll be required to report to the local public health authority and properly decontaminate/remediate using a certified contractor.” 

The Colorado Regulation for Methamphetamine Affected Properties (6 CCR 1014-3) establishes standards for testing requirements and remediation. The Regulations were adopted with residential properties in mind. Applying the same regulations to large public or commercial buildings, particularly where testing requirements are concerned, can be onerous and costly.

When testing is required, Colorado law allows larger commercial building to apply for a testing variance by submitting a request to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

ACPH can provide information and guidance on methamphetamine contamination. We do not provide testing or remediation but can provide information on companies that specialize in these areas.

Arapahoe County has posted more information on the County website.

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