DENVER — Another Colorado library has shut its doors to the public after testing showed methamphetamine contamination.
This time, the Arvada Library closed Saturday after preliminary testing found meth residue in the building. The library will reopen upon completion of further testing.
This is the fourth library in Colorado forced to close for similar reasons. Libraries in Boulder, Englewood and Littleton closed earlier this month after meth residue was found at those locations.
The sudden closures of libraries across the state are likely due to increased testing being done at the facilities.
In a news release from Jefferson County Public Library announcing the Arvada closure, staff wrote that the library district had been closely following the recent closures and decided to test its building.
The release continues, “The results of the preliminary assessment conducted by EnviroSpec indicated there was presence of methamphetamine residue at the Arvada Library. The Arvada Library will be closed as of Sat., Jan. 28 until further testing can be conducted to determine the extent of the affected area. The duration of the closure is unknown at this time and next steps will be determined in consultation with our expert partners.”
Pikes Peak Library District in El Paso County announced last week it will proactively test the public restrooms at its 15 locations for meth contamination.
Mike Van Dyke, associate professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, told Denver7 last week that the state of Colorado established a residential cleanup level, which is based on a young child's exposure to meth in an entire home.
“So thinking about this young child or infant crawling through the house touching surfaces every day 24 hours a day,” he explained. "In terms of really applying that regulation to public space, it's kind of an inappropriate number to apply to those spaces because you don't have the same kind of exposure."
Van Dyke says this level is tricky for public facilities.
“They’re in a tough situation from a legal and risk management situation,” he said. “As soon as you sample it and find it, you have a responsibility to do something."
According to existing studies, health risks from casual secondary exposure to meth residue in public places are very low as compared to longer-term exposure in spaces where people live and where methamphetamine is or was manufactured or consumed regularly.