Two Colorado libraries close for cleanup after meth residue found on surfaces

Two Colorado libraries – one in Boulder and one in the Denver suburb of Englewood — have had to temporarily close down within the last month to scrub away methamphetamine contamination. Meth residue "exceeded state thresholds," said a city spokesperson, and was found on surfaces in the libraries' restrooms and elsewhere, including in the ducts, on walls, and on countertops. Although secondary exposure doesn't seem to pose serious longterm health affects, according to NBC News, it can cause symptoms such as an "itchy throat, a runny nose and bloodshot eyes."

From NBC:

Officials in the Denver suburb of Englewood shut down the city library last week within a couple of hours of getting test results Wednesday showing that the contamination in the facility's restrooms exceeded state thresholds, city spokesman Chris Harguth said.

Other spaces such as countertops also tested positive for lower levels of the drug and will require specialized cleaning, he said. The larger-scale remediation work will include removing tainted surfaces, walls, ductwork and exhaust fan equipment.

The city of about 33,000 just south of Denver decided to test for the drug after officials in the nearby college town of Boulder closed its main library after finding meth contamination, Harguth said. …

Colorado's rules are "some of the most conservative in the nation, using an abundance of caution to protect infants and children from exposure," the city [of Boulder] said in a Dec. 28 statement.

The Boulder library has since reopened, but its bathrooms remain closed as crews do decontamination work including replacing fans and vents, spokesperson Annie Elliott said. Once that is done, the bathrooms will remain locked and anyone needing to use them will have to ask a staff member or security guard for access.