A lawmaker wants landlords and sellers to clean up the sometimes toxic mess left behind after authorities bust a drug operation.
Republican Sen. Frank LaRose is co-sponsoring a bill that would condemn homes where meth is found and would not allow a home to be resold until a homeowner pays for clean-up.
“Last year, I believe there were 62 meth labs, so in a two-month period, we’re close to 20 this year,” said Sgt. Rod Hamler with the Street Crime Reduction and Apprehension Program in Fairfield County.
On Monday, investigators found more than two dozen 2-liter bottles filled with toxic chemicals to make meth, chemicals so toxic that investigators said the fumes can penetrate the walls.
“The gas can get into chairs and sofas and into the drywall,” Hamler said.
There currently are no state standards on how to clean up a home when meth is found. Under the bill, the Ohio Department of Health would be charged with coming up with standards on how best to clean a home where meth is found.
Lawmakers said that is important because there are no laws that require sellers to disclose meth was found in a home.
“Meth production is a problem, not just in our urban areas, not just in our rural areas, but all over the state of Ohio,” LaRose said. “What we don’t want to have is families unwittingly exposed to these chemicals.”
Those whose job it is to bust meth makers said the proposed law could help send a strong message to landlords across the state.
“I think it may make landlords a little more cautious as to why they rent to,” Hamler said.
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