What Is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine (Meth) is a member of the amphetamine group of synthetic drugs that have a stimulant effect on the central nervous system. Exposure to the drug, even in very small amounts, can cause serious health risks.
Meth labs have dramatically increased over the past several years because meth recipes are more readily available and meth is relatively easy and cheap to make from materials bought over the counter.
Why should you check for Meth?
Methamphetamine manufacture and use can contaminate properties causing serious health risks to its inhabitants.
Decontamination can be extremely costly, so it is important to be aware of any potential contamination prior to making a purchase.
Which Houses are Most at Risk?
Although most houses that test positive for the presence of meth are rental properties, some owner occupied houses also test positive.
Testing for the Presence of Meth (indicative test)
An area of 100 square centimetres (usually of wall lining) is swabbed in each room. The composited (group of) samples are then analysed by an independent accredited laboratory that also supplies the kits.
The result will show a figure, being the total amount of micro-grams per 100 square centimetres that was accumulated on the samples. The total could be from one, all or a number of rooms. This is the most economical method of testing.
How Long Does it Take to Get the Analysis Result?
The standard time to receive the analysis result is one to two working days.
What is Considered a Safe Level of Contamination
The current recommended safe standard in New Zealand, is that there should be no more than 1.5 micro-grams per 100 square centimeters inside any living spaces of a dwelling.
Who Is At Risk?
Not only are those who produce or smoke meth at risk of health issues but those who live in houses with unsafe levels of contamination. Small children due to their size and that they put numerous things into their mouths are likely to be more at risk.
Signs Of Meth Contamination
Apart from missing light bulbs, smoking and lab paraphernalia there is not often any obvious sign of meth contamination. The only certain way to tell is testing.
What Happens When the Indicative Test Returns a Positive Result?
If the analysis result is above 1.5 micro-grams per 100 square centimetres, a separate kit is used to swab an area of each room.
This is done to establish which rooms are contaminated and to what levels.
Tests of this type are usually carried out on behalf of the owner.
Whether an area can be cleaned by specialists or needs to have the electrical appliances, soft furnishings, wall linings and ceiling linings replaced etc. will depend on the level of contamination and needs to be discussed with the decontamination company.
The cost can be extremely high.
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