She signed the lease on her Federal Way apartment, but started coughing the day she moved in. Now a mom is trying to expose the dangers of meth contamination to other prospective tenants.
FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- Jade Winslow says her family got sick after moving into an apartment that tested positive for meth contamination.
Winslow had her suspicions the day she moved in, and talking to a neighbor made it worse.
"She said that people were coming and going all the time, that there would be 20 or 30 of them in there at a time and that they would be smoking cigarettes and meth," Winslow said.
Winslow wants to alert people to potential dangers when they move into new units at any complex, because she believes the meth residue left in her home made her family ill.
"We started coughing," she said. "I started coughing the day after we moved in."
Winslow ordered a testing kit online and the samples came back positive. Then she hired Theresa Borst of BioClean, Inc., to get further proof.
"We pulled some samples and all of them came back well above Washington state clean-up levels," Borst said.
Winslow also shared a series of photos she says she took in the apartment that shows corrosion on metal surfaces. Borst says that is often a tell-tale sign that methamphetamine might have been cooked in the apartment at some point.
As of Wednesday, the apartment remains vacant. In an email, the property manager for Enchanted Woods Apartments said they conducted separate tests, which "came back negative for the presence of meth residue in the unit."
The email went on to say that they interviewed neighbors "who denied every having witnessed or suspected illegal drug activity. Finally, the turn-over process and move-in inspection by the housing authority did not disclose any evidence of illegal drug use."
Darren McDonald, the senior portfolio manager for Guardian Management LLC, the property management company, added that "in light of the new allegation of a second positive test by an inspector hired by the resident, Guardian has scheduled another, state approved, testing service to inspect and test the unit. If evidence of illegal drug use is found, Guardian will comply with all legal requirements related to clean-up."
As for Winslow, she feels she fought this fight alone, and it cost her thousands of dollars in moving and storage expenses. She wants future tenants to know the risks going in, no matter what complex they are considering.
"It's hard to explain because they put my whole family at risk," she said. "I mean we're all asthmatic. Living there could have killed us."