Fentanyl Lab Cleanup & the Growing Need for Educated Remediators By Michelle Blevins W hen you hear the word fen-tanyl, what comes to mind? Perhaps Michael Jackson’s deadly overdose? Or Prince’s overdose death? According to the CDC, the death rate of synthetic (man-made) opioids increased more than 72 percent from 2014 to 2015. Those synthetic opioids include tramadol and fentanyl, but ex-clude methadone. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin, and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the CDC. While prescribed primarily to manage intense pain, fentanyl can also be made illegally, and is often mixed with heroin or cocaine, with or without the knowl-edge of the drug user. The CDC says adding fentanyl increases the drug’s ef-fect. There have been rapid increases in reported illegal fentanyl manufacturing and usage in the Northeast, Midwest, and parts of the Southern U.S. in the last three years. The U.S. isn’t the only place to see a major inﬂ ux in fentanyl-related over-doses and labs. North of the border, Alberta is in what their public health agency calls an opioid crisis. According to Alberta Health, 193 Albertans suf-fered fentanyl-related deaths between January and September of 2016. There were 205 fentanyl-related deaths during the same period in 2015. These numbers are signiﬁ cantly higher than just several years prior. For example, there were six fentanyl-related deaths in 2011 and 29 in 2012. However, they are making ma-jor strides to curb opioid use. In the meantime, there is a major need for skilled remediation contractors who understand how to properly clean Photos courtesy of Mayken Hazmat Solutions.