Methamphetamine Testing & Consulting Services

What do you need to know about meth ?

  • The Use of Meth is growing
  • Availability is at an all-time high while price is dropping
  • We are in a state of transition – the recommendations in the Gluckman report must be Independently reviewed by a panel of Toxicologists.
  • The outcome of which should be included in an updated Standard and incorporated in Tenancy law changes

NZS8510:2017 vs The Gluckman Report  – Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor (PMCSA)

  • Massively conflicting Advice
  • Gluckman Report – Exposure to levels below 15 micrograms “would be highly unlikely to have any adverse effects”
  • Representatives at the PMCSA have stated the Gluckman “report was never intended to be a de facto standard but has been adopted as such by some agencies”
    • Yet the Tenancy Tribunal, REA and some Councils  have effectively adopted is as a de-facto standard – we can only assume this is a result of political pressure
  • ESR – Helped develop the current standard (NZS8510:2017) and set 1.5μg – still stand by these levels and continue to recommended levels of 1.5 μg
  • Dr Jeff Fowles, an internationally regarded toxicologist  with California Department of Public Health, was the lead author on the ESR report
    • Not only does Dr Fowles disagree with the Gluckman’s recommendations, In his view using Gluckman as a substitute standard is politically motivated.
    • Staff at the PMCSA have written to him to express their displeasure that he doesn’t support their finding, seemingly to want unanimous consent
  • In a refreshing example of due process, the Insurance industry are holding the line on  NZS8510:2017, and will update their polices and processes once due process (and updated standard) is completed

Methamphetamine testing – Is it still required?

  • There continues to be no legal requirement to test
  • The two key questions remain
    • What does your insurance policy require to protect your entitlements?
    • What is your appetite for risk and ability to cover remediation costs in a worst-case scenario?
  • The Accountability & deterrence aspects should never be overlooked or underestimated, having a baseline test at a point in time establishes the property was free from contamination when the tenancy begins, and an expectation is set that it should remain that way.

What Does Best Practice Look like?

  • The right to test (regardless of whether you plan to or not) must be included in your Tenancy Agreement
  • Pre-Tenancy Baseline Testing (Using Lab Composite Methodology) is still the most effective way to help protect your investment. It is the only way to identify any drug presence prior to a tenancy beginning or at the conclusion of any tenancy
  • A “no presence detected” baseline test is still the best way for landlords to ensure they are positioned correctly to help place liability onto those who caused any contamination, should it occur.

All Clear is well placed to help you manage this often complex issue.

Who should consider using our Market leading services & why ?

Anyone who has an interest in ensuring their environment or assets are free of Methamphetamine contamination. Landlords, tenants, vendors and prospective buyers of property should all consider undertaking testing on properties.

The cost associated with undertaking a test is nothing compared to the costs of remediation, or potential costs of being held accountable for a contaminated property let alone the health effects associated with exposure – it makes sense to test first.

In our considerable experience, a clear commitment around screening, especially proactively – can be a strong deterrent to those considering using these facilities for illegal activities.

  • Landlords & Property managers – At the start and end of a tenancy (one test per tenancy) or high risk Holiday homes between usage or on a scheduled basis
  • Tenants – Before moving into a property, ensuring there is no pre-existing issues. Safeguard your health and protect yourself from being held accountable for previous tenants’ behaviours.
  • Prospective buyers –As part of the due-diligence process undertake a test as part of the “toxicology” clause
  • Lawyers – Recommend as part of your clients’ due-diligence process undertaking a test as part of the “toxicology” clause.
  • Vendors – Rule out any issues before putting your property on the market and undertaking a marketing campaign, ruling out any issues
  • Employers – Testing company motor vehicles as part of your PCBU obligations to employees

The Facts & Options with Lab Testing

Scientific Terminology

Our Service

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Field Composite
All Clear Screening – From $199.95 including GST
Individual samples are collected and combined in groups of five samples in one tube and sent to lab.
Result is a combined total for each group of five.
  • Lower Upfront Cost for the Tester.
  • As a cumulative result, can be misleading and alarmist
  • All further testing requires subsequent site visits
  • Result CANNOT be compared against NZS8510:2017
  • Landlord incurs unnecessary cost & time delay.
  • Remediation activities are delayed
Lab Composite
All Clear Advantage
From $279.95 Including GST
Swabs are individually collected in field and sent to lab in their individual tubes.
Lab will take sample from each tube and test create a new sample showing  an average reading.
If presence is detected, further analysis on individual samples can be readily undertaken.
  • Samples can be separated and analysed individually without ANYONE returning to site.
  • Lower costs to undertake further analysis on samples
  • Faster turn-around time to have clear view of the problem and its location enabling quicker remediation plan.
  • Higher Upfront Cost for the Tester.
Discrete/Individual Analysis
All Clear Detailed Site Assessment
Phone For Pricing
Swabs are individually collected in field and sent to lab in their individual tubes.
Lab processes each sample individually and these are reported on accordingly
  • All Samples are processed individually and reported on accordingly
  • Faster turn-around time to have clear view of the problem and its location enabling quicker remediation plan.
  • Significantly Higher Upfront Costs .

Frequently Asked Questions

Methamphetamine (‘meth’) is an illegal Class A controlled substance regulated under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 because of its high risk of harm.

Meth and the contamination associated with its production and consumption has quickly become New Zealand’s dirty little secret. With estimates of over 40,000 (and growing) regular users, its impact is widespread reaching every in suburb across New Zealand.

Meth users and manufacturers include people from the most affluent to poorest neighbourhoods. An extremely addictive man-made stimulant, meth produces an immediate, short-lasting and intense euphoria often preceding aggressive and violent psychotic behaviours.

Meth is a white, odourless, tasteless crystalline powder that can be inhaled, smoked and injected. One of the hardest drugs to treat, its negative effects include disturbed sleep patterns, hyperactivity, nausea, delusions of power, increased agitation, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia and convulsions that have led to death.

Long-term use causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, damage to blood vessels in the brain, strokes, irregular heartbeat and cardiovascular collapse or death; liver, kidney and lung damage; memory impairment, brain damage and extreme mood swings.

When meth is manufactured and/or smoked (in some cases even only once), a very toxic and hard-to-clean residue can contaminate surfaces and porous articles making the environment potentially dangerous to humans and animals. For each kilogram of meth produced, five to six kilograms of hazardous waste is generated.

The manufacturing process can be done in stages and each stage may occur at different times and in different locations. During any stage of the manufacturing process and prior to actually inhaling, smoking or injecting meth, toxic carcinogenic chemicals are released into the environment damaging and degrading impacted surfaces ultimately devaluing the asset.

These chemicals can saturate walls, carpets, curtains and other surfaces as well as all contents. Lead and mercury are common by-products. Chemicals such as solvents may be disposed of in plumbing or simply poured on the ground. If these chemicals are not removed properly they become a health hazard to humans and animals.

Recent Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) and Census data indicates there are:

  • Over 1.5M residential dwellings in New Zealand
  • Over 91,000 dwellings sold annually
  • Nearly 200,000 bonds lodged with the MBIE in the twelve months ended April 2016
  • Property “movements” are calculated at approximately 18% of the national stock or 284,870 properties per year. Currently, estimates are that 1% of the population (or 40,000) are active methamphetamine users. Government data suggests that more than 75% of property affected by Meth are (or have been) rental properties.

Conservatively, estimates of the number of properties that could be affected by the manufacture and use of methamphetamine sit between 40,000 and as many as 100,000 properties. This estimate does not include commercial property or assets such as motor homes, motels and hotels, where methamphetamine could be produced or used.

Given meth is odourless, tasteless, colourless and unable to be detected by touch, property owners should consider alternative signs in considering possible meth usage and/or clandestine lab operations. Meth labs may be hidden behind false walls or other building alterations. Suspicious signs could be alterations that make no sense should be suspect; exhaust fans mounted where there is no logical use, power supplies that have no obvious reason, rooms that are inexplicably small.

  • Yellow discolouration on walls, drains, sinks and showers
  • Red discolouration indicates iodine. This substance goes from solid to gas without becoming a liquid and can be spread across any surface that has been
  • Blue discolouration on valves of gas bottles and fire extinguishers
  • Fire detectors removed or taped off
  • Experiencing physical symptoms while inside the building including burning in eyes or throat, itching, metallic taste in your mouth and breathing problems
  • Unusual and strong odours such as solvents, paint thinner, cat urine, ammonia or vanilla
  • The use of security cameras and surveillance equipment
  • Dead vegetation & soil disturbance
  • Poor appearance including open sores, bad teeth, dilated pupils, extremely thin
  • Odd behaviours with paranoid dismantling of items such as remote controls, watches and electronic devices
  • Large amounts of rubbish including lithium batteries, matches, water bottles,  chemical bottles
  • Numerous household products stored in odd places
  • Discoloured coffee filters that are not brown
  • Other dark coloured cookware
  • Glass containers with two layered liquids and chemistry sets
  • Erratic and unpredictable financial patterns – rent in arrears, or cash payments.
  • The use of security cameras and surveillance equipment

MEDICAL

  • Symptoms for humans and animals will vary according to:
    • The level and type of contamination – chemicals, manufacturing stages, smoking and inhalation
    • Age, length of exposure and general health of those exposed
    • Common symptoms include but are not limited to: rashes, headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath

    FINANCIAL

    Meth contamination can have a devastating impact on your finances:

    • As a property owner, the worst case scenario could be a complete rebuild or significant remediation costs
    • As a landlord, you could face the prospect of a prolonged period without rental income and a large repair bill on-top
    • You might not be covered (or only partially covered) by your insurance policy depending on the circumstances
    • If the contamination results in Police involvement and the issue being listed on the LIM you may have difficulty selling the property, with disclosure or be forced to sell it for significantly less than you planned
    • As a tenant, you could be facing significant costs to decontaminate or replace your household goods & possessions, as well as the costs associated with moving properties

Properties identified as having levels of contamination requiring remediation (in excess of 1.5µg/100cm2 in isolated sample locations) currently have no statutory obligations in terms of notification of third parties. Some properties, identified as having been contaminated by the New Zealand Police will have the contamination noted on the property’s Land Information Memorandum (LIM). Once remediation has been undertaken and chemical residues are removed to within a safe level this will also be noted on the LIM once a report has been supplied to the Council stating that.

Important Note: This information does not constitute legal advice, we recommend that you engage a legal professional to review your circumstances in detail.

Our Service Categories – Click on any of the categories for details on the services provided

house-for-sale Meth screening tests for buying or selling a home
rental Meth screening tests for property managers or landlords
Meth Screening for apartments & Small dwellings in Auckland
Specialised Services
vehicle Meth screening tests for Vehicles

Expert help and advice is just a phone call away 093920000 or email contactus@allclear.nz