Friday, April 30, 2010

Are You Living in a Former Meth Lab?

April 28, 2010 - Jaimee Alkinani and her husband had just bought their first home in a quiet suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. The house was nice: three bedrooms, tree-lined street, kids riding bikes down the sidewalk, and friendly neighbors who waved when they passed. The family was on their way — they’d also just opened a small business near their home, had an eleven-month-old child, and Jaimee was eight months pregnant. Life had officially started for the Alkinanis. But soon things turned for the worse.

A few days after they had moved in, a neighbor welcomed them with disturbing news. “Your house used to be a meth lab,” he said — a fact that the seller had never disclosed. So they called their realtor. He told them not to worry, that the house had been decontaminated. He even produced a certificate from the local health department to prove it.

Then the family started getting sick. Within five months, Jaimee and her husband developed sinus problems that required surgery. When their baby was born, he had serious lung issues that caused him to stop breathing a few times. He also wasn’t gaining weight, and was in and out of the hospital.

So the Alkinanis had their house tested for methamphetamine. The results made Jaimee put her kids in the car and immediately abandon her new home, with all the family’s possessions still inside.


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