By Rick Sallinger

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Apartments plastered with warning signs about meth contamination has some residents in a Longmont housing complex concerned.

(credit: CBS)

It’s hard to blame Anisha Drake for being worried. After all, she lives at Cloverbasin Village with her one year old son, Landon.

(credit: CBS)

The sign on the apartment right next door to her home carries a large warning reading ���declaration of methamphetamine affected property.” She’s unsettled.

“Mostly because my son is real young and we were getting sick a lot, ” she told CBS 4 investigator Rick Sallinger.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Anisha Drake. (credit: CBS)

It’s not just the one apartment, there are a total of five that have been designated uninhabitable until they have been cleaned.

But people who live there like Drake wonder if smoke containing meth may have drifted into other units through the vents.

(credit: CBS)

“So that’s what so terrifying about it. It’s in the building. So scary,” she said.

The management company, Mission Rock Residential, said when it becomes aware that a property has been used as an illegal drug lab, it acts accordingly. Drake is not satisfied.

“They said ‘Oh your building’s fine.’ And I said, ‘That doesn’t sound right. We are living where we live, so we don’t know what we are going to do,’” she said.

Even the cat, Boolie, has been getting sick and the vet isn’t sure why.

The Boulder County Health Department told CBS4 it does not believe that the contamination has spread to other units. But for the Drake family, that assurance does not seem good enough.

Boulder County Health Department statement:

We were notified of possible meth contamination starting on April 3, 2018 by the consultant hired by management at Cloverbasin apartments. Test results indicated that units 104, 204, and 304 in Building 9 and units 108, 208, and 308 in Building 13 were confirmed as Methamphetamine Affected Properties (e.g. contamination is above the requirements (0.5ug/100cm2) of Colorado Board of Health Regulation No. 6 CCR 1014, Cleanup of Methamphetamine-Affected Properties,).

After being notified of the test results we provided a letter to the property owner/manager requiring them to:

  • Prevent entry in the property by any individual, unless they are properly trained and have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to do so.
  • Conduct cleanup of the property in accordance with the requirements of the Colorado Board of Health regulation, or demolish the property.
  • Conduct and submit a final report of the cleanup to the Governing Body, as defined in CRS §25-18.5-105(1) and (2), which includes Boulder County Public Health

To our knowledge, residents are no longer living in the affected units. The consultant has investigated all known potential cross-contamination pathways. Hence, we do not believe that contamination has spread to other units. When the units are cleaned up to required standards they will no longer pose a health risk from methamphetamine exposure.

It’s difficult to describe the risk that was posed before the residents moved out of the units. Health impacts of exposure to methamphetamine is dependent on each person’s physiologic response, which is dependent on the route of exposure (transdermal, oral, inhalation), length of exposure, the amount ingested, the age of the person, and how that drug is metabolized and excreted.  Every person’s physiology is different and it really depends on the route of exposure and amount that enters the body. We rely on science and the expertise of consultants to provide guidance on risk in each individual situation.

We understand that situations like these are very unsettling and we are continuing to work with the management at Cloverbasin as well as City of Longmont staff. In addition, we have been, and will continue to work with our legal team to ensure we are doing all we can to protect residents, part of which will include an opportunity for residents to provide input.

Mission Rock Residential Statement:

We take the safety and privacy of our residents very seriously and it is our policy to comply with the state, county, and local rules and regulations regarding methamphetamine contamination.  When we become aware that a property has been used as an illegal drug laboratory, we take steps to investigate the situation and act accordingly.  We expect and want people to report suspicious people and activities on the property, we even require it in our leases.  We strive to ensure our community is a safe and enjoyable place to live.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.