Colorado library closes after finding meth in air ducts

  • A library in Boulder, Colorado has closed after tests revealed methamphetamine contamination in bathrooms.
  • After a spike in reports of people smoking in bathrooms, several employees fell ill.
  • Contaminated areas require professional cleaning and restrooms may never reopen, the city said.

A public library in Boulder, Colorado has closed after tests revealed methamphetamine contamination in bathrooms and seats.

The library first closed Dec. 20, 2022. In a Wednesday update, the City of Boulder said additional testing identified “almost all” of the contamination was on surfaces and in ductwork. ventilation of bathrooms facing the public. Methamphetamine was also found in some busy seating areas, the statement said.

The city said these areas would require professional cleaning, and furniture in rest areas could be replaced with something that can be cleaned regularly.

β€œIt is not yet clear if and when public restrooms will be reinstated,” the update read.

The library building could reopen on Tuesday at the earliest.

“This is truly a sad situation and represents the impact of a widespread epidemic in our country,” David Farnan, director of the city library, said in a statement.

Crystal Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth)

Crystal Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth).

REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo



The city first ordered testing after a spike in reports of people smoking in the library’s public restrooms and two incidents where employees reported symptoms consistent with methamphetamine exposure. Medical staff assessed and cleared these employees, Farnan said.

Symptoms of methamphetamine exposure include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, and respiratory irritation.

“Methamphetamine contamination is not primarily transmitted through the air. The problem is the residue on surfaces that individuals can come into direct contact with, through touch, and then transmit onto their skin and clothing to other people. other surfaces,” the update read.

According to the city, the risk of serious health effects from point-in-time exposures is low.

“Nevertheless, the results in the affected areas are troubling,” the update said.

The city said it was awaiting a full report and results from the contractor it hired for environmental testing. With that information, the city said it would consult with its health department to plan for cleaning and reopening, and release the results within a week.

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