DID YOU KNOW THAT SOUTH AUSTRALIA HAS THE HIGHEST ESTIMATED AVERAGE CONSUMPTION OF METHAMPHETMAINE WITHIN AUSTRALIA ACCORDING TO 2020 GOVERNMENT STUDIES?
METHAMPHETAMINE CONTAMINATION CAN CAUSE AN ARRAY OF ISSUES SUCH AS RESPIRATORY ISSUES, SKIN AND EYE IRRITATIONS AND NAUSEA AND HEADACHES SPEAK TO US TODAY TO FIND OUT IF YOUR PROPERTY IS CONTAMINATED AND HOW WE CAN HELP REMEDIATE.
Sadly, Methamphetamine contamination in homes has become a much more prominent issue in the world and particularly within Australia in recent years due to increases in both the illicit manufacture as well as the smoking of the drug within properties. It is a common misconception that a property can only be contaminated through the manufacture stage but just from smoking and usage of the substance can cause contamination. This is caused by the methamphetamine becoming a vapour when being smoked where airborne residues and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) then can settle on surfaces, such as walls, benchtops and flooring, where they can then be transported throughout the premises via air or dermal transfer (Kuhn et al., 2019)
Fortunately, we have the means to give you peace of mind regarding your property’s possible contamination levels and if detected, a remediation action plan to ensure your house is restored and once again safe for occupation. We can provide instant testing for presence if you are looking at purchasing or renting, or lab testing if you believe there is an issue. Remediation of methamphetamine affected properties is our speciality.
WHAT WE CAN DO
The vapours that are produced from either the use or production of meth leach into any porous materials including gyprock where its expected life, if left untreated, is well beyond the life of the material itself. Although generally low levels of contamination are harmless, elevated levels can cause an array of issues especially to those more susceptible i.e. children and the elderly.
If it is discovered that your property is affected by an elevated level of contamination, our company has the means to remediate most materials bringing them back to an acceptable level, allowing you to return to your property with confidence that it is contaminate free.
What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that is made from common household chemicals. If meth has been cooked or smoked inside a structure, it will saturate walls, floors, ceilings and fittings making it unsafe for occupants.
How can Meth contamination affect my family?
A property contaminated by the manufacture or use of methamphetamine will affect:
- Your health
- Your emotional well-being
- Your property’s value
- Your bank balance
The chemicals used to produce methamphetamine are highly toxic and can cause serious health problems to anyone exposed.
Not everyone reacts to meth contamination in the same way, and the severity of the reaction will depend on the level and length of time of the exposure.
People who are exposed to low-level meth contamination often suffer from nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, insomnia, vomiting, confusion and breathing difficulties.
Babies and young children are especially vulnerable as they often spend more time playing on the floor. As well as that, any contact with meth or the chemicals used in its manufacture will have an impact on their developing body and brain.
How does Meth contaminate surfaces?
Smoking is the most common form of meth use. When meth is smoked, the drug is heated and turned into a vapour. The vapour that is not inhaled by the smoker is then deposited on the walls, floors, furnishings, and ducting system, leaving a residue of meth.
The amount of meth residue depends on the amount and frequency of smoking. Because of the increasing trend in smoking meth, homes that were never used to produce meth are still testing positive for meth contamination putting families at risk.
The larger concern relates to the manufacture of the drug in dwellings. The process of manufacturing methamphetamine can include heavy metals, carcinogenic hydrocarbons, and other toxic chemicals. Some of these will ‘air out’ eventually, but many will persist in the air, on surfaces and inside porous materials.
Solid forms of methamphetamine can be spilt and worked into carpets, furniture and upholstery.
What are the common signs of a Meth Lab?
- Strong odours similar to fingernail polish, cat urine, or ammonia
- Iodine or chemical-stained fixtures in kitchen and bathroom.
- Excessive rubbish that includes large amounts of discarded containers/packaging for cold medicine containing ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, drain cleaner, antifreeze, denatured alcohol, lantern fuel, and red-stained coffee filters.
- Bottles or jars with glass tubing
- Stained soil or dead vegetation
- Black plastic over windows
What type of testing options are there for property screening?
We offer three options when it comes to the testing of a property.
The first option is an instant test, providing a simple positive or negative result, similar to a pregnancy test. This is a quick and affordable way of determining whether contamination is present and whether lab testing is required. With its low cost and instant results, this testing method is ideal for tenant changeovers in rental properties or alongside a building inspection when purchasing.
The second option is Composite Lab Testing which consists of taking multiple swab samples from within the property but then lab testing as a combined batch which provides an overall contamination level against the entire property (not per room or per location). This is suitable if you would like to know more than a yes or no (e.g. your theoretical maximum contamination level within the house) without the cost of individually testing each swab.
The third option is Discrete Lab Testing which is the individual sampling of each swab test taken throughout a property. This determines which rooms and locations will require remediation and the extent of contamination per test location. This testing is highly recommended for when use or manufacture is known to have occurred and is also required after remediation has taken place to ensure the clean has been successful.
What happens if the screening test comes back positive?
Prospective Home Purchaser
Depending on the level of contamination, you may choose to simply walk away. If you were still interested in purchasing the house, we would suggest a detailed lab swab of every room to establish the extent of the contamination and then seeking an estimate for any remediation work.
Unless the owner is willing to undertake necessary remediation and provide a clearance certificate from an accredited remediator and laboratory BEFORE moving into the property, it is recommended that you do not rent the property. If you are already living within the rental property, you will need to discuss remediation with the owner/landlord or the prospect of terminating the lease.
You will need to proceed to lab testing to establish the extent of the contamination. Remediation is then required (based on test results) before the property should be habited again.
Do you offer remediation for meth contamination?
Yes, as well as offering testing services we also offer remediation for affected properties.
All of our post-remediation testings are undertaken by a third party and independent Occupational Hygienist to make sure there is no conflict of interest and to ensure the remediation was performed correctly.