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How does the Meth (P) problem affect you?

We are asked all sorts of questions about Meths (P); anything from the scale of the problem in New Zealand to the specifics of how the residue remains within properties causing long term problems. On this page we have answered some of the more common questions we are asked.  If you want to know more please feel free to contact a member of our team.

What is Meth?

Methamphetamine is an extremely powerful man made psycho stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It goes by different names such as:

  • P (pure)
  • ICE

Its appearance can vary from powder to pills to crystalline form.

Methamphetamine is a class A drug under the “Misuse of Drugs Act“.

What ingredients are in Methamphetamine?

Many different carcinogenic poisonous and acidic chemicals can go into the manufacturing process. Some of the most commonly found of these are:

  • Acetone (nail polish remover)
  • Lithium (found in household batteries)
  • Toluene (paint thinners and octane boosters)
  • Sulphuric acid (vehicle battery acid)
  • Sodium Hydroxide (Drain cleaner)
  • Pseudoephedrine (cold & flu medication)

How is Methamphetamine used?

Methamphetamine can be taken in pill form, snorted and injected. However the most common way is for it to be “smoked”.

It is smoking Meth in properties that is arguably causing the most widespread contamination of property through out New Zealand. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of a house however – often the houses you would least expect test positive for Meth contamination.

How does a property become contaminated by Methamphetamine?

The manufacture or use of the Methamphetamine produces a residue which is left behind on and in a properties surface. This residue can contain the drug itself along with dangerous chemical elements that are used in the manufacturing of the drug.

Why screen for Methamphetamine?

For over fifteen years New Zealand has had a growing problem with Methamphetamine. It has been manufactured and used in every type of property you can imagine. See the implications of this here.

This use and manufacture leaves very harmful residue on and in property. Methamphetamine residue is more often than not invisible and can only be detected through sampling and testing.

This invisible residue can seriously affect the health of occupants who live in the property, sometimes years later. Detrimental health effects are known to be greater in young children and pets.

How can this contaimination affect my health?

The effects on your health from living or working in a contaminated property can be widespread, and are still largely unstudied. The level of contamination can vary in a property depending on whether manufacture or use has taken place. Manufacture of the drug can increase the contamination level which consequently can increase exposure to its harmful ingredients.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health guidelines for the Remediation of Clandestine Methamphetamine Laboratory  has a comprehensive list of potential health risks.

Known short term problems that may occur are:

  • Headaches
  • Watery or Burning eyes
  • Nausea
  • Burning or tingling skin
  • Coughing, Chest problems
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Asthma
  • Prolonged Cold & flu symptoms

Possible long term health problems:

  • Cancer
  • Nervous Disorders
  • Kidney and Liver Damage
  • Birth Defects
  • Reproductive Problems
  • Death

Exposure to contamination can increase greatly in children and pets due to their smaller body mass. Exposure to the contamination can occur through:

  • Inhalation
  • Absorption through the skin
  • Ingestion (swallowing)

There have been very few studies done into the long term health effects of living in a former Methamphetamine Laboratory. However the long term effects of the chemical ingredients that go into the production of Methamphetamine have been widely studied.

Why screen (test) for methamphetamine?

  1. First and foremost the health and safety of ourselves and our family.
  2. Personal and financial liability DO NOT BUY A METH PROBLEM. Have any prospective property purchase screened for Methamphetamine before you buy. Put a Meth test into your due diligence list.
  3. Methamphetamine contamination has been found in all types of property:
    • Multi Million dollar homes
    • Rental properties
    • Commercial Property
    • Cars, caravans, motor homes and boats
  4. Avoid renovating twice. Are you looking to “flip” or develop a property? Imagine spending thousands on the renovation, then when you come to sell the prospective buyers orders a Meth screen which may come back positive! You would be responsible for remediation of the property after the decontamination.
  5. To reassure prospective tenants
  6. Unfortunately Methamphetamine is in every corner of New Zealand.
  7. New Zealand is rated as being one of the highest users of Methamphetamine in the world

If you are unsure please give us a call on 03 545 1517 or 021 2032185. Our experienced and friendly team are on hand to help.

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