For the second time in a month, a Colorado library had to close its doors to clean up methamphetamine contamination.
City spokesman Chris Harguth said officials in the Denver suburb of Englewood closed the city library on Wednesday hours after receiving test results that showed contamination in the facility’s restrooms exceeded the state limit. Is.
Other places, such as countertops, also tested positive for lower levels of the drug and would require special cleaning, he said. Large-scale work will involve removal of contaminated surfaces, walls, ductwork and extraction equipment.
Harguth said the southern Denver city of about 33,000 decided to test for the drug after officials in the nearby college town of Boulder closed its main library after detecting methamphetamine contamination.
It’s the latest example of the balance that urban libraries must strike between making their facilities welcoming to all and keeping them clean and safe. When there was a surge of library overdoses in the mid-2010s as the opioid crisis spread across the United States, some libraries were stocked with the antidote naloxone, better known by the brand name Narcan.
So far, it appears that library closures due to methamphetamine contamination have been limited to Colorado, according to American Library Association spokesman Raymond Garcia, who hasn’t heard of them elsewhere in the country in recent years. The group declined to comment on whether drug use has increased in libraries, citing a lack of up-to-date data.
Officials say methamphetamine residues can be irritating, causing symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose and red eyes. But secondary exposure is not known to cause long-term chronic health problems, Hargarth said.