METHAMPHETAMINE SCREENING ASSESSMENT
WHAT IS METHAMPHETAMINE
Methamphetamine is a powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Also known as meth, chalk, ice and crystal it is a white, odorless, bitter tasting powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.
Meth is illegal, very dangerous and a steadily increasing community issue in Australia.
Smoking meth in your home can leave behind a residue which is highly toxic, not only to those who live in the property, but also to anyone who may access the property.
Actually manufacturing or cooking meth requires very little training or experience, chemicals or equipment. Which means meth labs can be found almost anywhere – in houses, apartments, cars, storage units and motorhomes.
As a result, landlords, agents, homeowners and tenants are discovering that their homes or places of residence have been or are being used for the production of meth.
UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS INVOLVED IN METH CONTAMINATION
Living in a house which has been previously used to manufacture or simply to consume meth can make you really sick and expose you to all kinds of risks:
THE HEALTH RISKS
Exposure to methamphetamine can cause a wide range of health problems including:
- Behavioural problems in children
- Respiratory issues
THE LEGAL RISKS
If you are a property manager, agent or landlord you are ultimately responsible for ensuring a property is safe to live in.
Legally, you face action from tenants who move into a meth contaminated home and also from clients who expect that you look after their property and prevent or manage contamination in the first instance.
THE FINANCIAL RISKS
Contamination levels greater than .50µg per 100cm2 are dangerous and require a property to be remediated which can be a very costly exercise. Remediation might involve treating or ripping out carpet, soft furnishings, removing furniture, wall linings, ceilings, electrical wiring, air conditioners, heating and insulation.
Warning signs that your property may have been used as a meth lab include:
- Strong odours (acrid, sour solvents, ammonia)
- Discolouration of structures, soil and pavement
- Burns, unusual stains, yellowed walls and rust in strange places such as on window fittings or door handles
- Lots of rubbish – bins, containers, plastic bags
WHAT’S INVOLVED IN A METH SCREENING ASSESSMENT?
Jim’s Building Inspections will test for the presence of methamphetamine on your property.
A swab like test is used to identify meth residue in quantities over .50µg per 100cm2 which is the point where contamination is considered unsafe. This test can single out contaminated areas and pinpoint any furnishings or materials too contaminated to be cleaned.
These safety recommendations are executed in accordance with the Australian Clandestine Remediation guidelines and are essential in:
- Confirming the conditions of the property
- To ensure the wellbeing and safety of any persons working onsite
- To meet sampling requirements needed by banks, insurance companies and property owners
- To help establish remediation costs
If the test returns unsafe levels of meth contamination in the property, Jim’s Building Inspections will hand the site over to Jim’s Hazardous Material Removal to implement a remediation plan and ensure the property is returned to a safe and hazard free state.