So, You Accidentally Bought A Meth Lab

Imagine finding your dream home – then finding out that the home was used as a meth lab by its previous owners. No, this isn’t an idea for Breaking Bad to live on after its series finale in 2013; it actually happened to Jonathan Hankins.

Jonathan Hankins started a campaign on Change.org after learning that the home he purchased in Oregon from Freddie Mac was used as a clandestine meth lab by previous owners. Hankins says within days of moving in, he, his wife and two-year-old child developed symptoms ranging from mouth sores to nosebleeds just weeks after moving in.

Since he started the campaign, more than 190,000 people in all 50 states have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on housing lender Freddie Mac to test each home it sells for contamination with meth.

Are You Living in a Former Meth Lab?
Scarily, apparently this is a “nationwide issue,’ according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency. Meth lab remediation experts estimate that as many as 2.5 million homes across the United States may be contaminated with methamphetamine and its precursors and byproducts.

Hankins says he hopes to prevent others from suffering the same fate by bringing similar awareness to the dangers of meth contamination as there is around lead contamination.

“Now that almost 200,000 people have signed my Change.org petition, I’m hoping for justice for my family, but I also want to help make sure this doesn’t happen to others buying Freddie Mac homes,” Hankins said.

“Jonathan Hankins is taking a personal trauma and turning it into an opportunity for action for thousands of people across the country,” said William Winters, senior campaigner at Change.org. “His campaign is a stunning example of how awareness of an issue like methamphetamine contamination can spread quickly through sites like Change.org.”

To view or sign Hankins’ petition, visit www.change.org/methlabhome.

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  • fb_avatar

    Like Lead, Asbestos, Radon, and other hidden dangers, meth contamination is a potential risk to home buyers.

    But like the others, unless the seller has awareness of their presence, how can they be disclosed? The responsibility for due diligence lies with the buyer.

    The call here should be for increased education of buyers, similar to our approach to other contaminates.

  • My Mom encountered a similar situation, but without the medical implications. Her home was across the street from a Christmas Tree Farm. The farm had been there for decades, but while my Mom was living across the street, it changed hands. A family from a nearby town had bought it from the retiring owner as an investment business....My Mom was telling me for weeks about all the black Lincolns suddenly frequenting a small, country town, and she came to the conclusion that these had to be investigators of sorts.....Sure enough, some enterprising souls had gone into the middle of this forest of Christmas trees at some point, and had a wonderful stand of high grade marijuana growing. Whether the previous owner was aware or not, nobody could ascertain, but it came as a totally unholy surprise to the new owner as he and his grown son were taken into custody because of their investment property. They had a more lucrative cash crop than they thought or knew. And as it takes several years for the Christmas trees to reach salable maturity, it is understandable that they might not actually walk ever single row and acre of a property regularly.....easy enough to be hidden. Imagine if something similar were to happen in the basement storage area of a rental building, or perhaps a garage or tool shed behind a rental building-something that people might only access a couple times of year? I know elderly folks, who no longer drive, and they may not visit their garages at all, and are hard pressed to even specify what might actually be stored out there.

  • fb_avatar

    Contamination is total bs from the DEA.

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