FAQ

Validity Test

Instant meth test kit VS Laboratory based test kit

Instant meth test kit accuracy is 97% and only test for methamphetamine, Laboratory based test (100& accuracy) for Methamphetamine, Amphetamine, Ephedrine & Pseudoephedrine so therefore its more accurate as its also testing the ingredient that makes Methamphetamine & will give you the exact level of contamination.

How does meth contaminate a surface?

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 duct system leaving a residue of meth. The amount of meth residue depends on the amount and frequency of smoking. Because of the increased 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 spilled and worked into carpets, furniture and upholstery.

What are the different contamination effects between smoking P versus its manufacture?

Both the manufacture and smoking of methamphetamine will leave residue on the property.

For smoking the levels of residue tends to increase as more smoking occurs. Some surface areas may have a higher concentration than others due to the proximity of smoking as well accumulation associated with air flows. There are potential harmful effects of exposure to these residues, especially to infants and young children.

Some forms of methamphetamine manufacture involve hazardous chemicals which are potentially explosive as well as toxic. Residues of these chemicals can remain long after a clandestine lab has been shut down, causing a range of possible health problems for people living in the vicinity.

Along with its health hazards, manufacturing this drug creates a profound environmental impact. For every kilogram of meth manufactured produces 7-10 kilograms of toxic by-product, when disposed of generally effects the following areas:

  • Indoor areas; include sinks, toilets, bathtubs, crawl spaces, plumbing traps and floor drains, vents, vent fans and chimney flues.
  • Outdoor areas; may include soil, surface water, groundwater, sewer or storm water systems [and on-site effluent treatment systems].
  • Outdoor cooking areas could include camping stoves or other outdoor areas where cooking could occur.

Environmental contamination may be caused by spills, boil-overs, explosions, or by chemical fumes and gases created during the heating and distilling portions of the ‘cooking’ process. Indoor areas affected may include floors, walls and ceilings, working surfaces, furniture, carpeting, draperies and other textile products, plumbing fixtures and drains, or heating and air-conditioning vents.

I don't use meth, so why is it so dangerous

A property contaminated with meth is a serious health risk to the occupants.

Contamination of a property due to use and manufacture can occur in a matter of hours and will remain for many years until the property is properly decontaminated. The property may look no different to any other property and recent drug busts indicate even affluent suburbs are not immune to meth problems.

How can meth contamination affect my family?

A property contaminated by the manufacture or use of methamphetamine will affect:

  • Your property’s value
  • Your health
  • Your bank balance
  • Your emotional well-being

The chemicals used to produce methamphetamine are highly toxic and can cause serious health problems to anyone exposed.

People who are exposed to low level meth contamination often suffer from nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion and breathing difficulties.

Babies and young children are especially venerable 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.

However, there may be no obvious signs that meth has been used or manufactured. Only a Meth Testing kit alerts you to potential contamination.

However, there may be no obvious signs that meth has been used or manufactured. Only a Meth Testing kit will alert you to potential contamination.

What are the common signs of a meth lab?

Meth is made of a number of easily accessible ingredients; these include:

Sulphuric acid – found in household drain cleaners, lithium batteries, and pseudoephedrine often contained in over the counter cold and flu tablets, acetone and red phosphorus – the red substance on matchsticks, along with a number of other ingredients.

These ingredients, among others are normally found stored together or in the house where you wouldn’t expect them. Production of meth causes metal surfaces, such as light fittings and door knobs to rust. Often you may find the light bulbs have been removed and smoke alarms disabled, as turning on a light can cause a spark to ignite the flammable gases produced. The walls may be stained slightly red or brown, other areas of the house may have white powdery residue present – even a small amount can be quite dangerous.

If the tenants or residents are paying rents/mortgages with cash, this can also be a tell-tale sign.

  • 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

However, there may be no obvious signs that meth has been used or manufactured. Only a Meth Testing Kit will alert you to potential contamination.

Besides houses, where else is meth contamination being found?

Meth labs are fairly quick to set up and dismantle and therefore can be found in the most unexpected of places.

However, the risk is not just from manufacturing labs but anywhere that meth is used.

Meth contamination is being discovered in:

  • Used cars
  • Charter boats
  • Rental storage units
  • Rental vehicles, including cars, trucks, campers and vans
  • Hotels & Motel units
  • Holiday homes

Purchaser testing at an open home

  • If you have a potential purch​aser bring along a meth testing kit at an open home – advice that any testing requires the vendors consent and that they are not permitted to use the tests until that consent has been granted. Current guidance from the Tribunal (Barfoot & Thompson Ltd v CAC302 & Ors [2016] NZREADT 22​) says that in the absence of a positive contamination result for a property or suspicion about the property being contaminated then your client’s interests come first. Your client will want to retain control over what happens on their property before it is sold.

What is the next step if a result is positive?

There are 4 stages in the process of testing, cleaning, and/or remediating a property suspected of being contaminated by methamphetamine use or manufacture.

Stage 1 – Preliminary testing of surfaces throughout the property, using a presumptive testing product such as Meth Testing Kit. This will determine whether or not there is contamination present, and which areas of the property are contaminated.

The first thing to understand is that a very tiny amount of methamphetamine will obtain a positive result. It is quite possible that the amount detected could be well under any local authority’s guideline limit. That said, some people will have a zero tolerance policy regardless of guidance levels. If a positive result is obtained for any particular area, we suggest laboratory tests are completed to provide actual levels for any given area tested or try 1.5ug/100cm2  (NZ8510)2017 Current Standard.

​If you have obtained a POSITIVE test result for some areas or not completely sure of the result, e-mail us at methtestingkit@gmail.com send us the photo of the cassette or ring us MOB 022 0245 3682 for free advice.

If you have property or landlord insurance, a call to your provider will determine whether further lab testing and clean-up costs are covered under your policy.

Stage 2 – Samples are taken and analysed by a certified testing facility or laboratory to confirm the results of preliminary testing, and determine the level of contamination present. We can provide this service.

Stage 3 – Preparation of a clean-up/remediation action plan based on the results of the lab verified test report. Meth testing kit does not do this service but would recommend cleaning it with Sugar Soap and testing it after cleaning.  Please use disposable gloves. This is only possible for a low level contamination.

Stage 4 – Re-testing and validation that the clean-up/remediation has been carried out correctly, in accordance with the action plan, and that the property is verified safe for re-occupancy.

Dealing with a contaminated property can be a complex and potentially dangerous process depending on the level of toxic residue present.

Tenancy Tribunal & Methamphetamine testing clauses

The Tribunal looks at the accuracy and soundness of the information presented to it when determining cases. With this in mind, the following are some steps you could take to enhance having the Tribunal accept your self-test kit as evidence before the previously mentioned aspects of the standard are available.

  • Name and describe the test kit you have used. Provide all evidence you have of the kit’s efficiency and accuracy, preferably evidence independent from the manufacturer.
  • State how you have minimised the potential to introduce meth into your sample by wearing protective gear such as rubber gloves.
  • State what rooms you tested
  • State exactly where in the room you took your sample. If you were able to take samples from high potential exposure areas (near extractor fans, above door and window sills, ceiling cabinets and kitchen or bathroom cabinets) note that you did this.
  • Describe the process you took to conduct the test showing how you minimised the opportunity for cross contamination.
  • Take a video & photo while testing.
  • Conduct the test in front of the tenant and both sign to show that you were present. (Probably a good idea to test the property before doing so with the tenant so you are completely sure it is complies with the new standard).

https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/starting-a-tenancy/renting-affected-properties/renting-a-property-affected-by-methamphetamine-p

Landlord Methamphetamine testing clauses:

At the commencement of a tenancy, a Landlord could consider including clauses or extra conditions in the tenancy agreement to clearly explain the understanding of the rights and responsibilities for both the Landlord and the Tenant/s in relation to meth.

The below clauses are suggestions only and their inclusion in a tenancy agreement should not be taken as guaranteeing a successful application or defence of an application at the Tenancy Tribunal.

Methamphetamine testing clauses:

  1. The Tenant/s acknowledges that the Landlord has had a professional methamphetamine test carried out at the premises by [name of professional provider] on the ____day of___________________20XX, prior to the commencement of this tenancy agreement. The professional testing results provided to me shows a negative result throughout the premises for methamphetamine or chemicals involved in the manufacture or use of methamphetamine
    b) The Tenant/s acknowledges and agrees that methamphetamine testing may be carried out during the course of the tenancy as a part of the property inspection process (refer to Section 48 of the RTA).
    c) The Tenant/s understands that methamphetamine testing may be carried out at the premises upon the termination of this tenancy within a reasonable timeframe and prior to a new tenancy commencing.
    d) The Tenant/s understands that the Landlord reserves the right to claim any costs connected with the manufacture or use of methamphetamine at the premises via a Tenancy Tribunal application.

Can you paint a meth contaminated house?

Always meth test before you paint

We always recommend meth testing before Painting. If a positive result is returned, the risk of a positive result in the future is likely to happen. We can give you free advice how to decontaminate your property on a low residue contamination & you can easily source it from your local hardware stores. However, these options are only available before painting of the property.

 Cleaning meth contamination under the paint

The only way is to remove and replace painted surfaces.  The people involve need to have a full hazardous protection gear. All waste disposals for the entire dwelling need to be discard in hazardous bin. Repainting of the surfaces can end up in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Relevant law and considerations

All conditions added to a tenancy agreement must comply with the law. If something’s been written down as an extra condition in a tenancy agreement that is inconsistent with the Residential Tenancies Act it can’t be enforced.

Adding conditions has more information about conditions that can be added to the tenancy agreement.

Landlords cannot terminate a tenancy agreement for the purpose of entering into a new agreement that includes additional terms and conditions that they are unable to enforce with their current agreement. If you attempt to terminate a tenancy agreement so that you can put another one in place that allows you to do this sort of testing, you may be committing an unlawful act under the Residential Tenancies Act and could receive a financial penalty up to $2000.

Where does the responsibility fall - Landlord or tenant?

It is extremely important that landlords and homeowners have their properties tested for meth contamination before buying and in between tenants. Particularly as landlords can be liable for any issues that face future tenants of the property.

One landlord in the Waikato was forced to pay out $7,500 to tenants after they became sick from methamphetamine contamination.

One landlord in the Waikato was forced to pay out $7,500 to tenants after they became sick from methamphetamine contamination. Even though the landlord had just bought the property and had no dealings with the previous drug related tenants, the Tenancy Tribunal found the landlord culpable, and this result should serve as a warning for all landlords to have their properties tested.

If your property does test positive for P contamination and the police are involved, then the council is legally obliged to record this against the Property’s LIM report.

 

What can landlords do to protect their investment?

Before confirming new tenants, check and double check their references to make sure they have a good rental history before signing a tenancy agreement. Make regular inspections and do a meth test every 3 months. While you must give 48 hours’ notice, it’s more difficult to ‘cook meth’ if they have to keep moving equipment. Tenancy Services says a landlord can make inspections every four weeks with 48 hours’ notice. So, take a camera with you and photograph anything that looks suspicious.

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