Mother And Daughter-In-Law Tackle Most Dangerous Job - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Mother And Daughter-In-Law Tackle Most Dangerous Job

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by Nick Beres

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A mother and her daughter-in-law have formed a partnership to tackle the extremely dangerous job of cleaning up contaminated meth houses.

It is one of the most dangerous jobs anywhere and it comes after police bust up methamphetamine labs. The deadly chemicals are carted away, but the home remains a toxic death trap.

"Are these places dangerous? Well, would you take bleach and ammonia and pour it together and then breathe it?" asked Sandra Martin. "Of course not- it's our job to make sure that doesn't happen."

The police busts of the labs make news, but you do not see the clean-up process, which involves entering homes, filled with chemical residue.

Property owners do not want to tear down rental homes. They want them made safe again and that's where Martin's company Bio-Relief comes into play. She works with one other employee, her mother-in-law, Sandra Biggs. Martin acknowledged it was an odd pairing for such a job.

"It is very dangerous," said Martin, who said the two are licensed and have specialized training.

Martin said they use the same chemicals the military uses to clean up anthrax contamination.

The two invited NewsChannel 5 along for an up-close look at how the homes are salvaged. You need protection to enter the homes, including full body suits. Martin said she uses a simple swab test on a wall to confirm the presence of deadly fumes backed into the walls and furniture.

"See there's one line and it's starting another line," said Martin. "That means it's positive."

Positive readings indicate evidence of leftover chemicals from cooking the meth. It's a dirty business. Bio-Relief will clean the wall and then Martin and Biggs literally destroy the contaminated furniture before dumping it.

"We take bolt cutters and cut the strings and put it in the dumpster and that way people won't take it out of the dumpster and use it," said Martin.

Dumpster divers beware should beware. Sitting on a meth couch will make you sick, and so will trying to live in a home that is still contaminated.

Bio-Relief is one of a handful of companies that do this type of work. They charge property owners anywhere from seven to ten thousand dollars to clean an average sized home.

Email: nberes@newschannel5.com
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