For the past decade, meth consumption and production have been on the rise in Australia. For this reason, meth testing is a necessary service for many people.
However, many companies promote their meth testing services by creating fear within their clients’ minds about the associated health risk of meth contamination. Likewise, others use incorrect testing methods that provide overly high readings.
Understanding the facts about meth testing and when it’s needed will help you to determine whether your property genuinely requires meth testing. It will also help you to find a quality meth residue inspector to ensure you are getting accurate results and peace of mind.
Reasons for meth testing
There are many reasons why you may consider getting meth testing for your home, such as:
- You are looking at buying a property that you suspect meth has been smoked or manufactured in the property.
- You suspect that your home has previously been used for meth production or there is someone currently using it for meth.
- You’re a landlord who suspects the property may contain meth residue and would like it tested prior to listing the property.
- You’re a renter who would like the property meth tested prior to renting or during your tenancy.
- You’re a property manager who would like to have the home tested at the end of a tenancy to ensure your duty of care is fulfilled before new tenants move in.
You can read more about your obligations as a property manager regarding meth testing here.
Ultimately, if you suspect meth has been used or manufactured in your home, it is recommended that you get meth testing done.
Know the facts
According to Australian Standards, meth contamination is considered dangerous to human and environmental health when positive readings are over 0.5μg/100cm². The level of risk to your health increases significantly if your property was used for meth production (a clandestine lab) as opposed to a meth smoking site.
If a positive reading over 0.5μg/100cm² is found, the property will require decontamination by a specialist cleaner.
Signs of meth contamination
Meth residue can be difficult to detect with the naked eye as it is colourless. In low dosages, it can also be difficult to smell. However, there are some common signs to look for, particularly if the home was used as a clandestine lab, such as:
- Overwhelming chemical smells like ammonia, acetone, varnish, cat urine or other sour smells
- Discarded equipment and rubbish such as plastic bottles, funnels, large plastic containers and propane gas tanks
- Boarded or covered up windows
- Evidence of land contamination or chemical dumping on the property
Likewise, if the location is known to have a history of police involvement, it may be worth investigating.
Don’t buy into scare tactics
Meth contamination can cause significant health issues. However, it is important to remember that the risk to your health is also relative to the levels of meth contamination found.
Low levels of meth contamination are unlikely to cause health issues unless it is directly ingested. For example, a toddler may accidentally ingest meth residue after crawling on carpet that contains meth residue and then touching their mouth.
Whereas high levels of meth contamination can cause serious health issues. The property is only likely to have high levels of meth residue if the property was used as a clandestine lab (makeshift meth labs). Known side effects of living with high levels of meth contamination are breathing problems, skin and eye irritation, respiratory irritation, headaches, nausea and dizziness.
Unfortunately, some companies pressure people into unnecessary meth testing services by implying these health risks are greater than they really are.
Do not buy into the scare tactics. Instead, be aware of the health risks of meth contamination in relation to recreational meth use and meth production.
Not all meth testing companies are the same
All industries have their pitfalls and the meth testing industry is no exception. Unfortunately, some companies in Brisbane use an incorrect method of testing called a combined rapid test.
This form of testing uses one swab throughout the entire house, rather than the recommended 4 swab technique. As meth residue gathers on the swab during testing it typically returns unusually high positive readings.
Falsely leading people to believe that their house contains more meth contamination than is present. In addition, this method cannot tell you which rooms in the property tested positive for meth contamination and thus requires subsequent cleaning.
Only use a trained and certified technician
All meth residue testing must be carried out by a trained and certified technician. The technician must be certified by recognised training agency, like MTK Testing Group, and follow correct testing techniques.
Likewise, any samples taken within a property for lab testing must be taken using the NIOSH technique and be sent to a certified lab.
Remember, only engage meth testing if you suspect meth was used or manufactured in the home.
For reliable meth testing services that you can trust, contact Dedant today! Fully trained and certified, we conduct meth testing in Brisbane, Logan, Redlands, Moreton Bay Region, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Scenic Rim and Ipswich.