The use of Methamphetamine (meth) in Australia has increased, in fact we have the highest number of meth users per capita in the English speaking world. Here in NSW, the number of meth labs has doubled over the past six years, surprisingly they are often found in quiet suburban streets. Experts suggest that there are around 7000 meth labs operating today, with police uncovering only 10% of those, councils, real estate agents and home buyers are usually unaware until someone becomes ill living in a contaminated home. That’s why Methamphetamine Property Testing is crucial before buying a new home.
Without the right equipment, it can be impossible to identify meth residue but consequences of meth contamination can be devastating for residents and costly for home owners. The threat comes not only from properties used as meth labs, but from people smoking meth inside a home. Contamination readings in properties with regular meth smoking are as high as those produced in a meth lab.
The damage from Methamphetamine contamination
The chemical residue from the vapour can seep into soft furnishing, carpets and even walls and ceilings, leaving residents exposed to serious health risks. Methamphetamine is chemical-based which means it isn’t biodegradable, so contamination can remain for years and years after the meth was smoked or manufactured. High decontamination costs mean many owners sell their contaminated properties leaving the issue for the buyer.
The high cost of decontamination
The clean-up bill can range from $10,000 to $150,000, there have even been cases where properties have been demolished. Contamination levels greater than 0.5mg (micrograms)/100cm² require a property to be decontaminated. This can require treating or ripping out carpet, curtains, wall linings, ceilings, electrical wiring, air conditioners as well as heating and insulation.
Discovering contamination as early as possible makes clean-up less expensive. Some landlords are deterring tenants from smoking meth in their property by making meth testing compulsory before a tenants bond can be returned.
What are the health risks?
While meth residue is odourless and invisible, exposure can cause a wide range of health problems for the property’s occupants, including:
– Respiratory problems – especially for those suffering from asthma
– Behaviour problems in young children
– Sleep pattern changes in children
– Increased susceptibility to illness
– Eye and skin irritation
Children are the most vulnerable to the remaining residue, due to their size and eagerness to roll around on carpets. When exposed to meth, breathing difficulties and asthma-type symptoms can occur. Pre-existing health conditions can also be made worse.
Methamphetamine Property Testing
When purchasing a new property to live in or for an investment, include a Methamphetamine Inspection into your pre-purchase building and pest inspection. At BPI Sydney South we use a laboratory-based screening method that will validate if the property you are about to purchase is safe & clean from meth contamination.