METH TESTING FAQ’s

WHAT IS METH?
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Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug.  It is usually smoked, but can also be snorted or injected after being dissolved in liquid. The drug affects the central nervous system and can be addictive from the very first try. Meth is relatively easy to make and many of the ingredients are found in common household products.  Meth can also be referred to as ICE.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A METH LAB AND A USER SITE?
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Some sites are occupied by meth users who smoke the drug while living at the property. Other sites may be set up as meth labs by the people who manufacture the drug either for their own use or to sell to others. During manufacture meth precursor ingredients are combined to make the drug. Many of these precursors are easily obtained.

As meth labs are easy to set up, they can be found in any type of property and in any suburb. If a site has been used as a meth lab, levels of contamination are likely to be much higher than if it has been occupied by meth users and especially so, where manufacture has been on a large scale.

DOES LIVING IN A METH CONTAMINATED HOUSE CAUSE HEALTH ISSUES?
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Living in a property that has been used for smoking or manufacture of meth can contribute to a wide range of health issues. In fact, these unexplained health problems may be the first indication that occupants are residing in a contaminated house.

Health issues include dizziness, headaches, sleep disorders, behavioural issues, breathing problems and skin rashes. More serious long term issues are still being researched, but current studies suggest problems could include serious respiratory problems and possibly even cancers.

CAN I SEE CONTAMINATION?
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Meth vapours do not leave any visible indication or an odour.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO TELL IF MY PROPERTY HAS BEEN USED FOR METH USE OR MANUFACTURE?
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As a novice it is actually very difficult to tell whether you are in a meth contaminated house, especially if it was only occupied by meth users. Things to look for if a site has been used as a meth lab include:

  • Cat urine (ammonia) or chemical smells
  • Stains on the wall or evidence of recent cleaning above what you might usually expect
  • Evidence that windows have been blacked out
  • Rubbish around the property such as glassware, containers and chemical packaging
  • Burn piles.

Things to look for if a property has been a meth user site:

  • Missing lightbulbs
  • Property neglect – unclean, rubbish piles, unmaintained
  • Reports of lots of visitors to the property – day and night
  • Occupants may also experience unexplained symptoms of ill-health.

IS THERE ANY WAY TELL FOR SURE IF MY PROPERTY IS CONTAMINATED?
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The only way to know for sure if your house is contaminated is by testing for residual methamphetamine. We would use an Instant Result Test which will give a simple YES or NO result.  If a YES resulted from the initial test, we would then recommend a Lab Composite Individual Test of the property. A further option would be for us to conduct a Detailed Forensic Test.

HOW MUCH WORK IS INVOLVED IN DECONTAMINATION?
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The work needed to bring a property back up to a livable standard is dependent on the severity of the contamination and whether the site was used simply for smoking the drug or as a lab to manufacture meth.

Meth labs require more remediation work than properties where the drug has simply been present at a user site. The chemicals and toxins involved in the manufacturing process may remain in-situ and the detectable levels of meth and precursors are higher in these properties than in most user sites.

In most cases soft furnishings including curtains and carpets will need to be removed and replaced. In more extreme cases the kitchen, bathroom and laundry work surfaces plus other fixtures and fittings may need to be removed and disposed of. There is the possibility that even parts of the property may require demolition in order to ensure the contamination has been completely eradicated.

WHO SHOULD GET A METH TEST?
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Considering buying a house, investment property or have a tenanted property, a Meth Test will give you certainty there is not a meth issue with the property. Don’t let you, your family or tenants suffer the side effects from a meth contaminated house.

WHAT TYPE OF TEST DO I NEED?
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1) Instant Result Test for an immediate POSITIVE or NEGATIVE answer to use or manufacture.

2) Lab Composite Individual Test where there is a POSITIVE result  giving an average contamination reading for the entire property.

3) Detailed Forensic Test where Test 2 average contamination level is above 0.5μg/100cm²  to determine the areas to be decontaminated. No need to revisit property.

WHAT AREAS DO YOU TEST?
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Samples will be taken from internal walls.  Carpets and fabric are not tested.

IS THE TEST GUARANTEED?
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Test Kit manufacturer states accuracy of screening test is:

Negative 99.38%, Positive 97.45%.

All sampling is conducted by a trained sampling  Technician using NIOSH Method 9111 and a supporting Lab (where necessary).

If you have any further questions not covered above, please do not hesitate to contact us using this form:

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