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Question DetailsAsked on 4/25/2017

how canI prove my neighbor is making/smoking either crack or meth

the smell is strong. burns my chest and nose and leaves a odd taste in my mouth. can only smell a smoke scent for a few minutes and then a chemical like smell. this is ongoing morning noon and night. cops have been here in my apt but they claim they don't smell anything. it's like u have to be in my apt for a while to sense the burning feeling and the taste. I think i'm so sensitive to it now because this has been going on for 3 months and the landlord isn't helping any. who can I get to come and help me asap? this has been bothering my breathing and I'm having to use my inhaler more frequently

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1 Answer


Not addressing the personal safety issues if emergency personnel come to your house, and notnecessarily in the order you would choose to try them (perhaps last one first, for example):

1) there are commercial sample kits you can buy (drugstores, Amazon, etc) which you wipe household surfaces (like walls) or collect an air sample, then mail in for testing - for about $25-50 for multi-drug test kits or about $15-20 for single-drug ones.

2) talk to your local inter-agency drug team (usually contact through local district attorney's office) and see if they will test for residual drugs

3) when smell is real strong, especially if this is a chemical smell which you think could be a solvent or such which could be a fire/explosion hazard, call 911 and tell them you suspect a chemical spill or drug lab or such and ask for the fire department because you are afraid of an explosion - if you tell them a drug lab may be involved the police should come with them and make an arrest if they find a drug lab.

4) if your police will not do anything, call the DEA (US Drug Enforcement Administration) and tell them you suspect a drug lab next door and that your police say they don't smell anything - they may bring a "sniffer" which samples the air for common illegal drugs. It is possible your local police honestly did not smell it and you are just highly sensitive to it - or could be they are in cahoots and getting protection money from the drug dealers.

5) it could be you are sensitized to it with prolonged exposure, especially if you already have allergies or respiratory issues (assuming so because of the inhaler) - some drugs can cause sensitization with prolonged exposure. It might be if regular DIY kit testing does not turn anything up, you may need to contact an Environmental health company (one that deals in hazardous waste situations and building-induced respiratory issues) to come take air samples and then take back to the lab for GC/MS (gas chromotograph / mass spectrometer) or similar analysis - commonly about $500 though for the collection and the testing combined. They might pick up solvents used in drug processing, or if a company that also does drug testing for companies or government agencies might have the profiles and chemicals to test for specific illegal drugs too.

6) I am probably going to be jumped all over here for sexism, but if you have a friend (most likely male for this sort of thing) who has experience working around painting and workshops and such, ask for a visit and sniffing around to see if he (or she) can identify the chemical smell - home drug labs commonly use hexane or hydrogen peroxide and bleaches, and acetone or similar solvents, etc in the ddrug processing - someone with experience working with various solvents and cleaners might recognize the smell - which would then strengthen your complaint with the drug unit.

7) Other option - see if your landlord will let you out of your lease prematurley without a penalty and move out, especially if you think retribution is possible or that the landlord may be getting paid off by drug dealers/manufacturers to let them stay there.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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