Screening for Meth: Types and cost of meth testing

August 23, 2018

The cost of a meth test in New Zealand may not be as high as you think. Since 2015, we've been implementing cost-saving screening techniques in order to give people access to information that used to be extremely costly. With some much variety in meth testing companies, the question is, what type of testing should I get, how much does a meth test cost, and what should it provide you?

First, you need to understand the different types of testing available and for which situations they are best applied.

 

Field Composite meth test: Starting from $189+ GST for 5 areas going up to 399+GST for 20 areas.
Called a field composite, because a composite of samples is created in the field. Put simply, this means that samples are taken from rooms (maximum of 5) and combined into a single tube. The samples that make up this tube cannot be separated and when analyzed, provide an accumulative result of all samples collected. Let's explore an example. A property has 5 bedrooms. Each bedroom has 1 microgram of methamphetamine present on their surfaces. A sample of each room is taken and combined in a field composite. The resulting analysis of this field composite would be 5 micrograms in total. This is a failed result because any result above 1.5 micrograms/sample is not considered compliant with the standard, even though we know each room is only 1 microgram. The main problem now is that a sampler must return to the site, usually to collect individual samples for analysis, which you bare of the cost of. The benefit of this type of testing is that it is usually much quicker to undertake and have analyzed and therefore those costs savings are passed onto you.

 

Laboratory composite meth test: Starting from $249+GST for 5 areas, going up to 439+GST for 20 areas.
Is a composite that is undertaken whilst in the laboratory, not the field. The main difference in this type of testing is that samples of each room are taken individually and not combined on site. This means that each room has its own unique cloth and sample tube. The composite comes into play when the samples are submitted to the laboratory. When this happens, the laboratory will undergo extraction of each of the samples individually but will combine these samples together into a separate tube to be analyzed as one sample. This all sounds very similar to field composite so what's the point? Well, the key difference here is that individual samples have been collected. These samples are now in the laboratory, being held. At any stage, should your accumulate result exceed 1.5 micrograms/result you can have these samples individually analyzed? It should be noted that these additional analyses are not free and each one has a cost of $70. Using the same example as field composite, 5 rooms with 1 microgram of methamphetamine each. A laboratory composite test is completed on the 5 rooms, each room with its own sample tube. These samples are taken to the lab and combined. The resulting analysis is 5 micrograms, a failed result. However, this time you can have these samples analyzed individually. The result of each sample is then produced which shows all samples are at 1 microgram per sample/result (below the standard). This individual testing comes at a significantly higher cost but benefits you in showing all areas as under the standard and therefore compliant. 

 

Screening reports, what should you get?

Reports are what you provide to your lawyers, insurance and keep for your own records as to what service you've undertaken, and what it involved. As a starting point, your report should include the following information.
Explanation and application of the current industry standard.

 

  1. The methodology for sampling.

  2. The methodology of lab testing.

  3. Limitations of the service.

  4. Sampler Credentials.

  5. Statement of interest of the sampler.

  6. Results summary.

  7. Interpretation of analysis in comparison to the standard.

  8. Final recommendations.

  9. The full copy of the laboratory analysis.

  10. Photos of each and every area sampled so they are clearly visible.

While this information may not seem important to you now, the question is will it have to reviewed by a lawyer, insurance or in the tenancy tribunal, and the details of what, when, how, why will definitely be important. In fact, it can be the difference purchase/sale, between a successful tribunal and a failed tribunal.

 

Rental Properties - High Risk / Low Risk 
MethSafe uses a high risk / low-risk property assessment to suggest the best test for your unique situation. This considers the type of property, the age of the property, the condition of the property, the locality and potential usage as a rental. All these factors help us point you toward the right kind of meth testing for your situation. As an example, a property that is in good condition, recently build and only had 1 set of tenants, is at lower risk of having meth contamination. This means that it is highly probable that methamphetamine doesn't exist in the property and therefore, the more economical field composite is the best choice for this situation. Alternatively, if the property is in poor condition, of considerable age 10+ years old, and had multiple sets of tenants in its tenancy lifespan there is a chance that meth exists within the property and as such, the more expensive laboratory composite would be the better option, giving a significantly higher chance of clearing the property without the need for additional return visits.

Low-risk tolerance to Meth

 

Low-risk tolerance to meth
The type of person you are and your natural tolerance to levels of risks is important also and is something we like to consider. For instance, an investor or buyer that is looking at a property and has "no tolerance" for meth in the building, is considered a low-risk tolerance investor. In this case, this person has no need for room by room testing of the property at increased expense. Instead, a simple economic field composite can meet the requirements of this person to determine the presence or absence of methamphetamine. 

 

High-risk tolerance to meth
Alternatively, some investors will be more tolerant to meth in their properties and as such, want to know more information about the concentrations and distribution (wherein the property meth may be). This means a laboratory composite is the best option, as it will allow them to accurately assess the level of risk and potentially what costs may be involved with this risk.

These are a few of the questions we ask when we engage when recommending the best type of testing and we try to balance them so you get the result you want. So, if you need a quote or just some help, feel free to get in touch with our team and we'll get you sorted.

 

Click here to get in touch with MethSafe

 

Meth testing Auckland, Hamilton, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Waikato, Tauranga & Bay of Plenty (BOP), Auckland, North Shore, South Auckland, West Auckland, Auckland City, Thames, Coromandel, Taupo, Turangi, Te Kuiti, King Country, Christchurch

 

 

 

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