Meth and P-Lab Testing Before you Purchase!

Meth and P Contamination Testing  

Don’t get caught up in the excitement of buying a new home before you have checked the property for traces of Meth or P.  It is easy to fall into the trap of letting emotions cloud good judgement. It is important to find out what faults the house may have such as meth or P contamination, that are perhaps not apparent in a casual house inspection.

Obtaining a Methamphetamine inspection from A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections is the best way to be sure you are aware of the condition of the property you intend to buy. Our fully trained and qualified Meth Inspectors offer a cost effective and confidential Meth testing and reporting Auckland wide and throughout New Zealand.

There are many components in a home that need inspecting. The roof, floors, walls, windows, doors, plumbing, electrical, drainage, heating and ventilating, dampness, mould and weathertightness are all inspected and addressed in a pre-purchase house inspection from A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections.

Because of the potential health risks and the effect it can have on the value of a property Methamphetamine – “Meth” or “P” contamination is a major concern when buying a property. All A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspectors are qualified to test for Methamphetamine contamination.

Our testing is done in accordance with NZS8510:2017. This means that all reports are independent of any companies that engage in cleaning or decontamination of Meth or “P” contaminated properties. Properties with unsafe levels of Methamphetamine contamination cannot be legally occupied until decontamination has taken place.

What is Meth or P?

Meth or Methamphetamine is a member of the amphetamine group of synthetic drugs that have a stimulant effect on a persons central nervous system. It is highly addictive. In New Zealand the nicknames for the drug are Meth or P.

It would be wise to have rental properties tested at least at the start and end of the tenancy and for long term tenancies periodically during that tenancy.

Buildings or dwellings where Meth has been used or made can become contaminated with harmful chemicals that pose a health risk to occupiers.

Meth or P is a health risk and acute effects can include:

Short term exposure

  • Watery or burning eyes
  • Burning Skin
  • Headaches
  • Coughing and choking feeling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Convulsions
  • Sleep disorders

Long term exposure

  • Tremors
  • Reproductive problems
  • Birth defects
  • Nervous disorders
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Cancer
  • Death
  • And others…

New Standards and What You Should Be On The Look Out For

In June 2017 Standards New Zealand released a new standard for the testing and decontamination of Methamphetamine contaminated properties (NZ8510:2017).

A minimum of one sample is to be taken from every high use area. There are training requirements for sample takers and no sampling to done by companies that do remediation work to avoid conflict of interest.

A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections do not undertake any cleaning or remediation work and our inspectors have been trained to comply with the standard NZ8510.

The recommended levels for decontamination are:

  • 1.5 micro grams / 100cm2 this is for high use and limited use areas.
  • 3.8 micro grams / 100cm2 this is for a limited use area of a property.

A limited use area of a property is an area that is likely to be accessed for short periods of time by adults. Areas such as crawl spaces and wall cavities are examples. Above these levels remediation decontamination and re-testing will be required.

What to look for: Tell-tale signs that Meth or P has been manufactured in a house.

Clandestine labs used to manufacture P can be set up anywhere from an apartment to a house in a family neighbourhood to a country cottage. It is known that 1kg of crystal Meth produces around 6kgs of chemical type waste. Signs to look for:

  1. A lot of rubbish or garbage especially chemical type glass or plastic containers, plastic tubing and so on.
  2. A lot of brief visits by people to the property often at night hoping neighbours won’t see them.
  3. Covered over windows or continuously drawn curtains to hide what is happening inside.
  4. The occupier of a property used as a P lab would avoid meeting or speaking with the neighbours.
  5. P labs generate a strong unpleasant cat urine (ammonia) type smell.
  6. Excessive security – CCTV cameras etc.

ASK THE NEIGHBOURS – have they noticed any of the following things when the property was occupied?

Look at the surfaces in the property, especially in kitchens and bathrooms for strong chemical stains such as yellow or brown stains from iodine used in the manufacturing process. Look for dead vegetation or patches of dead grass on the lawn which may be from chemicals used to manufacture Methamphetamine.

Even though the property may look fine and has been freshly painted for example the contamination levels could still be very high. Don’t buy a contaminated house have it professionally tested, it’s the only safe way.

Contact us to book your appointment 0800 86 36 36.

The service was very prompt and the report was to us very quickly – a very comprehensive report that detailed a lot of things that I had looked over at the property. Will use again.

Terry Lum, Massey