Do’s And Don’ts Of Meth-Testing Your Home
Stephanie Brookes, Director and Senior Environmental Scientist of Meth Wise Ltd let’s us in on some Do’s and Don’ts of the industry.
Buying a home or investment property will likely be the most expensive purchase you may ever make. Considering Auckland house prices are now averaging the $1M mark, the cost of a simple methamphetamine (meth) test, is a small price to pay to avoid purchasing a meth-impacted home, protecting your investment and potentially saving you thousands of dollars in remediation costs!
Living in a meth-impacted home may also have serious health implications for you and your children. Real Estate Agents have commonly included clauses protecting purchasers from buying a meth-impacted home. Your agent, lawyer or mortgage advisor may advise you to conduct a pre purchase meth test which should be included as part of your pre purchase investigation.
Why can’t I just buy an immediate-result testing kit off Trademe and DIY?
As with any method of scientific sampling, there are always limitations associated with the collection of data, methodologies used, analysis and interpretation of results.
Three major points are listed below:
➢ DIY kits often produce discrepancies such as false negatives, or false positives, which can be very confusing and misleading. You will likely end up calling in the professionals anyway!
➢ Most DIY kits are not yet sensitive enough to detect lower levels of methamphetamine in accordance with the current National Guideline value of 0.5ug/100cm2. You may discover after you purchased the property that you have a methamphetamine problem.
➢ DIY results will not hold up in a court of law.
So, how do I choose a reputable meth-testing company?
You want to be assured that the company you choose is capable of identifying and communicating any significant contamination issues within the property.
Be METH WISE and ensure the company you engage:
• Is Suitably Qualified and Experienced – Scientific background and proven industry experience.
• Is Independent & Reputable – – Is not associated with the decontamination, demolition, property management or real estate industry.
• Does not use DIY kits – explained above.
• Provides you with a Comprehensive Report – Stating methodologies used, summary of results, photo-log and conclusions/recommendations.
A committee is in the process of developing a new standard (NZS 8510) covering the testing and remediation of homes contaminated by the manufacture or use of methamphetamine. This will include guidance on best practice sampling methodologies and procedures. The standard will ensure a consistent and effective approach is in place to manage the testing and remediation of contaminated homes and their contents. Ensure your consultant is aware of these future changes.
*This article is intended to provide information only and should not be considered as comprehensive advice.
Be METH WISE – Test Before You Invest.
Senior Environmental Scientist (BSc)
Meth Wise Ltd
M | 022 134 1621