Frequently asked questions
What is Methamphetamine, Crystal Meth, Meth or P?
It is a synthetic or cooked drug manufactured out of Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine, Acetone, Benzene, Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonium Nitrate among other industrial chemicals.
These industrial chemicals shouldn’t be kept in your home let alone manufactured into an extremely hazardous substance.
Meth can be snorted, injected, swallowed or smoked.
The Chemical Compound of Meth is?
Where is Meth made?
Normally in Clandestine drug labs (Clan Labs) or the ‘Shake n Bake’ method.
A clan lab can be in a house, apartment, garages, motel, sheds, camper vans, boats or even cars. ‘Shake and Bake’ is a quick and dirty method that can be made in the back of a car.
How does a house get contaminated?
During manufacture or consumption through smoking, chemical compounds become airborne, depositing into walls, ceilings, appliances, carpets and furniture.
How will I know if my house has been contaminated?
You will need to get a test done. The first step is normally a screen test. This is a cheap test that takes less than an hour and costs from $179.00 plus GST. This test tells you whether or not Meth has been detected in the property.
Should your home test positive the next step is to do a Lab Test to establish the extent of the contamination.
What does a positive test mean?
The current industry standards guideline provides an acceptable level of Meth in a home of 1.5 micrograms per 100sqcm. This is based on the NZS8510:2017 Standard.
The Gluckman Report in late May 2018 recommended a new level of 15.0 micrograms per 100sqcm.
A positive test means that Meth has either been smoked in the house or that it has been used as a clan lab in the past.
Less than 10% of properties we have tested returned a positive result and that has virtually always been from meth use. Clan labs are rare.
If the level is above 1.5 micrograms we recommend that you contact your Insurance company and get the house decontaminated.
What is a Screen Test? How is it done?
We can do either Composite Lab testing or use our Mobile-Lab. A composite test where we use 5 or 10 patches are combined to establish if meth is present.
A sample is taking a swab of an area of 10cm x 10cm being 100sqcm. Our technician evaluates/studies a room to pick the spot where a test will produce the highest probability of detecting meth. The combined swabs are then either analysed by our Mobile-Lab or couriered to an IANZ Lab.
To watch the process please see our video here
What happens if the Screen Test is positive?
Prospective Home Purchaser – you would probably walk away. If you were still interested in purchasing the house, we would suggest a lab swab of every room to establish the extent of the contamination and then seeking an estimate for any remediation work.
Tenants – you would probably walk away
Landlords – you will need to proceed to a Lab test to establish the extent of the contamination. Before seeking an estimate for any remediation work.
What is a Composite Test?
A composite test is where multiple samples are taken and are then combined to produce a result saying whether Meth is present or not.
We do Lab tests which are sent to an IANZ Accfredited lab and the result is reported as a Quantitive figure. The results take one-two days to come back.
We can also use our mobile-lab. This is a highly accurate but non-accredited option under NZS8510. It will detect Meth above a level of 0.125 mircrograms per 100 sqcm - which is well under the Stanard of 1.5 micrograms. It provides a Positive or Negative result.
What is the Global Standard?
There isn’t a Global Standard or level deemed safe when Meth is Detected. The NZS8510:2017 Standard is 1.5 µ per 100sqcm. This differs from the view of the Tenancy Tribunal, which has required a Landlord to repay rent and costs of $7,525 to a Tenant, when the contamination level was above 0.1 µ per 100sqcm. See report http://www.nzpif.org.nz/news/view/57925
The Gluckman Report recommends a proposed level of 15.0 micrograms.
Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii & Kentucky for instance all have a level of 0.1 µ per 100sqcm. Colorado has a level of 0.5 µ per 100sqcm. California has a level of 1.5 µ per 100sqcm. As you can see there is no consensus on a safe level.
What is a Comprehensive Lab Test?
A comprehensive lab test is required after Meth has been Detected in a baseline test. This is to establish the level of contamination in each area tested.
Our technician takes individual swabs of affected areas. These samples are then sent to a Laboratory which will then give an quantitive Contamination level. This level will determine what level of Remediation work will be required. A Lab Test result takes between 1 – 3 days to come back to us from the Lab.
What is the NZS:8510:2017 Standard?
In 2016 Standards New Zealand put together a group of Industry experts to provide a Standard and a new level for Meth Contamination.
Prior to 2017 the industry, insurance companies and the Tenancy Tribunal used the 2010 Ministry of Health Guidelines into the Remediation of Meth Labs.
The Standard came out rcommending a new level of 1.5 micrograms ber 10sqcm. At present the Insurance Industry is using the NZS8510:2017 Standard.
The Gluckman Report came out in May 2018. Housing New Zealand has odopted the Gluckman Reports proposed level of 15.0 micrograms.
See NZS8510:2017 Standard here https://www.standards.govt.nz/sponsored-standards/testing-and-decontamination-of-methamphetamine-contaminated-properties
What are the symptoms of contamination?
Symptoms can include:
- Skin Rashes
- Shortness of Breath
What else does our Draeger machine test for?
- Amphetamine (AMP)
- Benzodiazepines (BZD)
- Cannabis (CAN)
- Cocaine (COC)
- Methamphetamine (MET)
- Opioids (OPI)
What are these drugs?
- Amphetamine (AMP) – is a central nervous system Stimulant. Formula C9H13N
- Benzodiazepines (BZD) – are a sedative or muscle relaxant.
- Cannabis (CAN) – 10 ng/ml
- Cocaine (COC) – 20 ng/ml
- Methamphetamine (MET) – 35 ng/ml
- Opioids (OPI) – 20 ng/ml
What is the Gluckman Report?
The Gluckman Report is a contentious report written by Sir Peter Gluckman, formerly the Prime Ministers Chief Science Advisor. It is contentious as the report recommended moving the acceptable level of Meth from the current NZ Standard of 1.5 micrograms per 100sqcm to 15.0 micrograms per 100sqcm, this is a quantum leap. As a result of Glickman’s report Housing NZ and the Real Estate Authority (REA) have adopted the new level of 15.0 micrograms.
The issue here is that we have the NZS8510:2017 Standard and the new Gluckman level, the public are confused and no one is 100% sure what level to use. As a result of the report the Meth Testing Industry Association have been trying to get some concerns answered. After getting no-where we approached MP Simon O’Connor who asked the following written question of Megan Woods, the Minister of Research Science and Innovation.
22158 (2018). Simon O'Connor to the Research, Science and Innovation (Minister - Dr Megan Woods) (13 Sep 2018): Does the ESR stand by their report, "Review of Remediation Standards for Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratories” (07 October 2016) recommending that an acceptable level be 1.5ug/100cm2 for methamphetamine use, or do they agree with a level of 15ug/100cm2 as adopted by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor report?
Hon Dr Megan Woods (Research, Science and Innovation (Minister - Dr Megan Woods)) replied: I am advised that ESR stands by its report.
So ESR stands by it’s 2016 recommendation of 1.5 micrograms per 100 sqcm
What do we do now? Until there is a consensus on what the level will be we recommend that you follow the advice of your Insurance Company.