WHY TEST YOUR PROPERTY FOR METH?
Anyone can use meth.
Anyone can make meth.
1/20 Meth labs are detected by police and dealt with
A range of possible health effects from exposure to p labs and heavy use
Meth can stay in
properties for up to 10 years or more
The problem; meth (p) a highly addictive drug
Meth or p as it is commonly referred to, has been a problem in New Zealand for more than 15 years and it remains a serious social & health issue. While some believe it is only an issue for Auckland and other major cities like Hamilton, Tauranga & Christchurch, meth has shown strong trends of use in more rural areas of New Zealand such as greater Waikato, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Thames, Paeroa, and others. The meth testing nz industry is slowly uncovering the true extent to people use and make meth in NZ and the picture isn't pretty.
1/20 Properties used as meth or (P) labs are found by police
Even where meth has only been smoked, it is extremely difficult to rule out manufacture as the cause of detected concentrations of meth in houses where laboratory meth testing is used. Meth is used as a 'sentinel marker' for clandestine laboratory activity due to the rapid development of meth cooking recipes. This rapid development and ever-changing chemical ingredients lists mean that the only thing that doesn't change over time in a meth cook, is that meth is produced and deposited onto the surrounding surfaces during different stages of manufacture. Put simply, we test for meth, to rule out of historic clandestine meth lab activity.
Health effects of meth labs
Where meth or p has been manufactured, there are likely to be dangerous chemical residues which can cause serious health effects on the occupants. The effects of exposure to these residues may include asthma-like symptoms, breathing difficulty, skin rashes, eye irritations, headaches, and nausea. As some people are more sensitive than others, one member of a family may experience symptoms, while another may not. Meth itself will be present in these situations.
NZS8510:2017 New Zealand health standards for meth in housing
The New Zealand standard "NZS8510:2017 Testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties" allows for a maximum amount of meth in a property. This amount is 1.5 micrograms per 100cm2 of surface area and provides an important safety buffer that accounts for even the most susceptible among us, children and the elderly. It is important to note that the standard does not distinguish between meth use and manufacture due to the fact that meth labs are sometimes indistinguishable from meth usage.
As of May 2018, there is some contention around the amount of methamphetamine in micrograms that could be considered as having the potential to impart a health risk on person/s occupying the property resulting from meth use. The so-called "Gluckman report" has suggested that a level of 15 micrograms per 100cm2 is a more reasonable working level where usage is the most likely scenario. This report has since been used by Housing NZ, and adopted by some local councils and the tenancy tribunal as a whole.