Shocked, scared, and unable to sleep in her own home. That's how Daisy Jackson felt when we revealed her family was living in a former meth lab. But on this night, the Jackson's will rest easier, thanks to a WLOX viewer and his meth cleanup company, Action Restoration.
You could find this home in any neighborhood, but for Major and Daisy Jackson, their Moss Point place is a former meth lab.
"It's been worry, stress, no sleep. Worry about what tomorrow is going to bring," Daisy Jackson said.
In November, a WLOX investigation revealed that hundreds of Jackson County residents are living in former meth labs. Families like the Jackson's had no idea about their home's toxic past.
"What is the stuff going to do to us while we sleep, or even when we take a bath. What are we washing with, drinking with, or walking on the floor with?" Jackson said.
But cleanup company Action Restoration is opening up new hope for the Jackson's. Charlie Ibele's Biloxi-based business specializes in meth decontamination.
"People don't need to be living in environments like this, it's very detrimental to their health with this type of chemical being in there. We know that we can come in there, and clean it, and give them a better place to live," Ibele said.
It's a big job, because our tests uncovered the Jackson's home had meth contamination levels 130 times the limit.
Action Restoration is equipped with Crystal Clean, a cutting-edge cleaning chemical that is being used in Mississippi for the first time.
As workers spread the solution across every air duct, cabinet, and porous surface in the home, they left no place for meth to hide.
"It will pull it through the paint, and just steadily activate it, and kill it on the outside of the paint," Ibele said.
The foam is so strong it's used by the military and government agencies to fight chemical and biological warfare. As the foam coats the walls, it's neutralizing the meth in the wood and sheetrock, so the Jackson's have a cleaner home.
"I inhaled some of that stuff awhile ago, and I know, they're cleaning my house," Jackson said.
Professionally wiping out meth has a hefty price tag; it costs about $4 per square foot. The Jackson's struggled with finding the money, but realized the value of their health is priceless.
"I know it's hard to get finances for some people, but after experiencing this, I pray that it can help someone else and maybe in the long run, it will help others get this done. I felt bad to know that my house was a meth house, but now, I'm happy," Jackson said.
As foamy chemicals are removed, Ibele hopes that the Jackson's worries, and their home's years of meth contamination, will all be wiped away.
We wanted to verify that the homes were properly cleaned, so I re-tested the same spots in both homes that I checked in my original investigation, from the fans to the air vents, the walls and the cabinets. Our results revealed a major reduction in the meth levels in each home.
At the Jackson's, before, the level was 13.1. After clean up, our tests found a dramatic drop to levels of 2.3. At the Johnson's home, tests before cleanup put the meth residue level at .7, and after, they dropped to .43.
Keep in mind that in both homes, the original ceiling fans were not removed, and because of the electrical wiring, those fans were not treated during the cleanup. Experts recommend that if your home is contaminated, you should replace things like ceiling fans, air vents, and furniture because they can all harbor meth. Our investigation's before and after results reveal just how persistent meth is, and how important it is that homeowners take the cleanup seriously.
Also, three state senators and several state representatives have proposed legislation regarding cleanup and disclosure of former meth labs. Those bills are in committee right now, and we'll keep you posted on their status as this legislative session continues.
House Bill on Meth Lab Disclosure - http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2008/pdf/history/HB/HB0321.xml
Senate Bill on Meth Lab Cleanup and Disclosure - http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2008/pdf/history/SB/SB2174.xml
You can contact Action Restoration at 228-354-9615 or visit their website at www.action-restoration.com