Was the home you’re considering buying a meth house? There are ways to find out

at home test kits can help spot old meth labs breaking bad photo
There’s a long list of things you want to check when buying a house: How sturdy is the roof, whether the furnace is ancient, if the pipes look like they’re about to blow. But there’s something else you might want to check, and it takes more than a visual inspection: Was this home once a meth house?

The problem with occupying a space where someone once made the drug is that the chemicals don’t disappear with the former tenants. Some of the short-term symptoms associated with living in a meth lab include shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, dizziness; and burns to skin, eyes, nose and, mouth, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. People who have unwittingly bought former labs report experiencing headaches, breathing problems, sinus troubles, and kidney ailments. These symptoms are often worst in children.

But there are a few ways to determine if a property in question had a sinister previous life. CNN has an interactive map showing where police have found these labs between 2004 and 2012. Dark spots with large concentrations show up in Washington, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan, and more states. In 2013 alone, authorities busted 1,797 labs in Indiana and 1,545 in Tennessee.

The DEA’s website houses the National Clandestine Laboratory Register. The problem is that those are only the places the agency knows contained labs. Indiana, Illinois, California, Texas and many other states have laws that say homeowners have to disclose whether or not the property was used to manufacture drugs. Considering cleaning up can cost thousands of dollars and be quite a process, not everyone might be forthcoming with that information.

“I field a lot of calls from Realtors wanting to know if a property has been cleaned or cleared because people aren’t wanting to tell the truth,” Lori Endris, head of an Indiana drug-testing lab, tells NPR.

Recognizing a former meth lab isn’t always as easy as spotting lots of empty antifreeze containers or stained surfaces and being assaulted with strong odors when you enter the house. There are at-home testing kits, though the results may not be as accurate as hiring a professional. However, as the Minnesota Department of Health notes, the state doesn’t license or regulate contractors who specialize in testing and cleaning up meth labs.


Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.

‘Mortal Kombat 11’ is even gorier and crazier than we expected

NetherRealm Studios unveiled Mortal Kombat 11 on January 17 and the game looks to be just as gory and over the top as fans have come to expect. Former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will appear as Sonya Blade.

Omron HeartGuide brings blood pressure monitoring to your wrist

High blood pressure leads to heart attacks, strokes, and many other health problems, so it's important to keep an eye on. Omron's HeartGuide is a fitness tracking watch that can also monitor your blood pressure from your wrist.
Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.
Smart Home

Airbnb says sorry to guest for how it dealt with undisclosed security camera

An Airbnb guest recently found a surveillance camera in his rental apartment that hadn't been properly disclosed in the listing. The firm admits its initial response to the guest's complaint was poor, but has since made amends.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.