Another Colorado Library Shuts Due to Meth Levels

Contamination found mostly in public restrooms
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2023 4:30 AM CST
Updated Jan 21, 2023 4:50 PM CST
Methamphetamine Contamination Forces Colorado Library to Close
Signs are placed on the outside doors of city hall to advise visitors that the library as well as a restroom are closed because of meth contamination Thursday, Jan. 12, 2022, in the south Denver suburb of Englewood, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
UPDATE Jan 17, 2023 3:00 AM CST

For the second time in a month, a Colorado library has been forced to close due to meth contamination. This time it was in the Denver suburb of Englewood, the AP reports. Contamination in the city library's restrooms was found to exceed state thresholds last week, and the library was shut down for remediation. Lower levels of the drug were also found in other areas, including countertops, which will receive specialized cleaning. "The use of the library has changed. More people are coming to use it as a shelter area," the library director says. "We’re very accommodating," but "there are some individuals who abuse this space and unfortunately put us in this position."

Jan 2, 2023 4:30 AM CST

So much methamphetamine was found in the air ducts of a Colorado library that it had to temporarily shut down. The city of Boulder says that after two library employees got sick, "higher than acceptable" levels of meth were found in the air ducts of the Boulder Public Library's public bathrooms, causing the library to close on Dec. 20 for further environmental testing, CNN reports. It will be gradually reopened starting Wednesday, but will not return to full capacity until, tentatively, Jan. 9, CBS News reports. And, the city says, "It is not yet clear if, and when, public restrooms will be brought back." Testing also found "a limited amount of surface contamination in a few discrete locations in highly trafficked seating areas in the south portion of the building," the city says.

"Professional remediation" is underway on the bathrooms and the affected seating areas, and officials say the furniture in the seating areas may be changed to something that can be cleaned regularly. The full remediation process could take weeks. “This is truly a sad situation and represents the impact of a widespread epidemic in our country,” says the library director. “The city is consulting with Boulder County Public Health officials and will take all steps necessary to prioritize safety. We are committed to transparency and appropriate remediation.” The two employees were medically cleared, and officials say there is no ongoing health threat to the public. (Read more Colorado stories.)

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