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Testing for contamination

When methamphetamine (also known as ‘meth’ or ‘P’) is used or manufactured inside a property, toxic and volatile chemicals are released resulting in harmful and dangerous contamination. It is estimated that for every kilogram of methamphetamine that is manufactured, there is 5-6 kilograms of toxic waste produced in the process. The toxins that are released during the manufacturing process can be found on walls, floors, ceilings, in drains, on carpets and on furnishings and personal items. In fact, no surface is left untouched by the toxins. In severe cases, in particular when methamphetamine is manufactured at the property, the affected areas have to be completely stripped and replaced in order to rid the premises of all contaminated surfaces – everything inside the property that has been exposed to ‘P’ must be removed and destroyed. The fumes that are produced from methamphetamine production are highly toxic; even one meth ‘cook up’ is enough to render a property uninhabitable. Failure to effectively decontaminate a meth-contaminated property exposes any inhabitants to
dangerous health risks.

When buying or selling a property, or if you are a landlord, if the property has been affected by the production or use of methamphetamine, you are dealing with a liability. The property poses a serious health risk to any occupants, and there may be significant financial consequences to rectify the problem. Ultimately the onus is on the property owner to take responsibility for decontaminating the property.

Meth users are typically transient individuals by nature. Multiple properties may be affected by one individual or group of individuals, even over a relatively short period of time. Meth labs have been detected in New Zealand in suburbs of any and all socioeconomic brackets, and any type of property. Statistics for known ‘meth houses’ show that approximately 75% of meth-contaminated residences were rental properties. Meth is used by all types of people, and of any age, gender, race/cultural background. Meth use knows no boundaries.

NZ Police estimate that they find less than 10% of meth labs in operation in this country. On average, they detect around 200 meth-affected properties per year, and this number is climbing annually. If the Police confirm the presence of methamphetamine at a property, the local authority (City Council) are informed and the property is thereafter publically identified as having been contaminated by methamphetamine. There have also been reports of motor vehicles being used as mobile ‘P’ labs.

If you suspect your property has been contaminated by methamphetamine, or if you need reassurance that a property is not contaminated, we can help you. All of our meth-lab testing technicians are fully qualified, with international certification in meth lab screening. Our staff will undertake a series of screening tests at the property to detect the presence of methamphetamine. The process usually takes approximately 45-60 minutes and we can give immediate screening results, followed by a formal written report. Screening results are highly accurate, with 99.38% accuracy for negative results, and 97.45% accuracy in the case of any not-negative results. Reports provided are confidential between DSTNZ and the client. We do not pass on screening information or results to local authorities. In the event of a not-negative screening result, we recommend further confirmatory laboratory testing, which will incur additional costs.

When on site, our vehicles are unmarked, ensuring discretion.

Our typical client base is made up of:

Home buyers/sellers                                           
Landlords
Hotel and motel operators​      
Property managers ​                                  
Real estate agents

We also have the ability to test for other substances upon request.