US

Growing cottage industry on cleaning meth homes, but many not cleaned, limited oversight

  • This Nov. 25, 2013 photo shows certified industrial hygienist Gary Siebenschuh, left, and assistant Courtney Van Stolk preparing to enter a house that was once used as a clandestine methamphetamine lab in Memphis, Tenn. The house was placed under quarantine after a Nov. 6 fire that police said was caused by a meth lab that exploded in the attic of the house. Siebenschuh and Van Stolk were hired by the homeowner to test the home for meth residue. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).

    This Nov. 25, 2013 photo shows certified industrial hygienist Gary Siebenschuh, left, and assistant Courtney Van Stolk preparing to enter a house that was once used as a clandestine methamphetamine lab in Memphis, Tenn. The house was placed under quarantine after a Nov. 6 fire that police said was caused by a meth lab that exploded in the attic of the house. Siebenschuh and Van Stolk were hired by the homeowner to test the home for meth residue. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).  (The Associated Press)

  • This Nov. 25, 2013 photo shows certified industrial hygienist Gary Siebenschuh, center, and his assistant Courtney Van Stolk, left, speaking with homeowner Dick Cochran after searching for  methamphetamine residue in the house he rents in Memphis, Tenn. The house was placed under quarantine after a Nov. 6 fire that police said was caused by a renter who was making meth in a clandestine lab that exploded in the attic of the house. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).

    This Nov. 25, 2013 photo shows certified industrial hygienist Gary Siebenschuh, center, and his assistant Courtney Van Stolk, left, speaking with homeowner Dick Cochran after searching for methamphetamine residue in the house he rents in Memphis, Tenn. The house was placed under quarantine after a Nov. 6 fire that police said was caused by a renter who was making meth in a clandestine lab that exploded in the attic of the house. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).  (The Associated Press)

  • This Nov. 25, 2013 photo shows certified industrial hygienist assistant Courtney Van Stolk inspecting a house that was once used as a clandestine methamphetamine lab in Memphis, Tenn. The house was placed under quarantine after a Nov. 6 fire that police said was caused by a meth lab that exploded in the attic of the house. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).

    This Nov. 25, 2013 photo shows certified industrial hygienist assistant Courtney Van Stolk inspecting a house that was once used as a clandestine methamphetamine lab in Memphis, Tenn. The house was placed under quarantine after a Nov. 6 fire that police said was caused by a meth lab that exploded in the attic of the house. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz).  (The Associated Press)

Tens of thousands of houses around the country have been used as clandestine methamphetamine labs the last decade, and a cottage industry is developing around cleaning them up.

Many Americans are more aware of the production of the highly addictive drug thanks to AMC's hit show "Breaking Bad," which featured a high school chemistry teacher who turned into a meth cook and dealer.

In real life, industrial hygienists and cleanup contractors deal with a property when a batch explodes or police raid an operation and shut it down.

However, there is little oversight of the growing industry in most states, opening the door for potential malfeasance. And some homeowners are reluctant to pay thousands of dollars to make a property safe, so many houses don't get cleaned for years.