Colorado Library Closes After Discovering Meth in the Air Ducts

  • A library in Boulder, Colorado, has closed after tests revealed methamphetamine contamination in its bathrooms.
  • Several employees became ill after a spike in reports of people smoking in restrooms.
  • Contaminated areas need professional cleaning, and bathrooms may never reopen, the city said.

A public library in Boulder, Colorado has closed after methamphetamine contamination was detected in the bathroom and seating areas.

The library was originally closed on December 20, 2022. In an update Wednesday, the city of Boulder said further inspections identified “nearly all” contamination on public-facing bathroom surfaces and air ducts. Stimulants were also found in a busy seating area, the statement said.

The city said these areas require professional cleaning, and the seating area furniture may be replaced with something that can be cleaned regularly.

“It is not yet clear if or when public restrooms will return,” Update said.

Library buildings could reopen as early as Tuesday.

“This is a truly sad situation and shows the impact of the epidemic spreading in our country,” said David Farnan, the city’s librarian, in a statement.

Crystal Methamphetamine (Crystal Meth).

Reuters/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

The city first ordered testing after a spike in reports of people smoking in public restrooms at the library.

Symptoms of stimulant exposure include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, and respiratory irritation.

“Stimulant contamination is not primarily transmitted through the air. The problem is residue on surfaces that an individual may come into direct contact with, which is then transmitted from skin or clothing to other surfaces by contact,” he said. The latest information says

The risk of serious health effects from a one-time exposure is low, according to the city.

“Nevertheless, the results in the affected areas are troubling,” the update said.

The city said it is waiting for a full report and results from the contractor it hired for the environmental tests. Based on that information, the city said it would consult with the health department to plan a cleanup and reopening, and announce the results within a week.

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