Why is checking for Methamphetamine in a House important

MethamphetamineWhy is it important to have a house you are buying or renting tested for Residues of Methamphetamine?

Meth/’P’, a common term for Methamphetamine in New Zealand, is the cause of many health issues, not just for those who use it but also for those who move into a home where it has been used or ‘cooked’.

Methamphetamine can leave a residue in the house when is being smoked and especially when it is ‘cooked’ on the premise. This Meth residue can linger for 10 years or even longer.
Producing Meth/P requires various chemicals, some of which are toxic.
Walls, appliances, carpets and furniture and more will be the place the toxic chemical get deposited and may require replacements costing thousands of dollar and can be time-consuming.
In severe cases a house contaminated with Meth/’P’ may need to be stripped right back to the frame-work to remove all residues.
It can be very expensive to de-contaminate a house with Methamphetamine residue, especially since the excess on insurance has been raised to $2.500 by some insurance companies like State, AMI, and NZI for meth claims.

When people moved into a house not knowing that it was contaminated they had to throw out a lot of their belongings.

Living in a house with residual Meth can cause many effects on people’s health even just from short-term exposure.
Very often children are affected by this because the ‘P’ has been cooked in  spare (now children’s) room.

“Many of the chemicals from both meth production and meth use are absorbable through the skin,” said Dr. Patrick Luedtke, senior public health officer with Lane County. they get right away into those blood vessels that are right beneath the surface of the skin.”

A baby crawling on the floor could potentially ingest enough to get high.” from Residue from smoking meth in homes: ‘It’s basically invisible’

Short term exposure

  • Convulsions
  • Sleep disorders
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Skin problems
  • Headaches
  • Coughing
  • Nausea
  • Watery or burning eyes
  • Dizziness

Long term exposure

  • Nervous/neurological disorders
  • Cancer
  • Liver damage
  • Reproductive problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Tremors
  • Birth defects
  • Death
  • And others…

For the safety and well being of anyone buying or renting the house it pays to have it tested, especially if it has been occupied by tenants.

A Buyer’s Choice‘ House Inspector tests for Methamphetamine according to the  latest New Zealand standard (NZ8510 ) of 2017.

“The recommended levels for decontamination are:

  • 1.5 micro grams / 100cm this is for high use and limited use areas.
  • 3.8 micro grams / 100cm this is for a limited use area of a property.

A limited use area of a property is an area that is likely to be accessed for short periods of time by adults. Areas such as crawl spaces and wall cavities are examples. Above these levels remediation decontamination and re-testing will be required. ” From  A Buyer’s Choice Meth Testing 

The article “How to stop Tenants from breaking bad” suggests that  landlords test the home for Meth/’P’ every four month.

Health Guidance on Clandestine Drug Laboratories and Public

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Author: Phil Yang

Phil Yang is a qualified 'A Buyer's Choice House Inspector for Auckland, North Shore and Rodney. A report covers all aspects of the house.

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