A Boulder Colorado library has been shut down after tests showed methamphetamine contamination in bathrooms.
After a spike in reports of people smoking in the bathrooms, several employees fell ill.
Contaminated areas need professional cleaning, and bathrooms may never reopen, the city said.
A public library in Boulder, Colorado, was closed after tests showed methamphetamine contamination in bathrooms and seating areas.
The library closed for the first time on December 20, 2022. In a Wednesday update, the City of Boulder said that further testing showed that “almost all” of the contaminants were found on the surfaces and air ducts of public bathrooms. Methamphetamine was also found in some high-traffic seating areas, according to the statement.
The city said these areas will need professional cleaning and the furniture in the lounge area could be replaced with something that can be cleaned on a regular basis.
“It is not yet clear if and when public restrooms will be restored,” the statement said.
The library building can reopen on Tuesday at the earliest.
“This is a truly sad situation and reflects the impact of the widespread epidemic in our country,” the city’s library director David Farnan said in a statement.
The city first commissioned the testing after a spike in reports of people smoking in the library’s public restrooms and two incidents where staff members reported symptoms consistent with methamphetamine exposure. Medical personnel assessed and cleared these workers, Farnan said.
Symptoms of methamphetamine exposure include nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, and respiratory irritation.
“Meth contamination is not primarily airborne. The problem is residues on surfaces that people can come into direct contact with by touch and then transfer them on skin and clothing to other surfaces.
According to the city, the risk of serious health effects from a single exposure is low.
“Nevertheless, the results in the affected areas are worrying,” the update reads.
The city said it was awaiting a full report and results from the contractor it hired for the environmental testing. With this information, the city said it would consult with the health department to schedule a cleanup and reopening, and release the results within a week.
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