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Why you should drug test your home?
Methamphetamine is an illegal drug which has risen in commonness. The drug possesses many health risks such as cognitive deficits, memory loss and paranoia. This increase in prevalence has also seen an increased number of properties being used as manufacturing sites for the drug which is also known as ‘ice’ or ‘meth’.
Family homeless after dangerous traces of meth discovered in rental home
A recent article in The West Australian highlights exactly how easy it is to be caught out. Between selling their own home and buying another, a Perth family moved into a rental home and within a day found evidence of ice use by previous owners. Two weeks later, the entire family had become unusually ill so they organised drug testing of the home to be carried out.
“My younger sons have stomach aches and my older son’s got a sore throat and had quite a severe cough, I get headaches every day and night,” mother-of-three Anna Rushton told Today Tonight.
When the test results returned readings exceeding 12 times above the level considered to be dangerous, they packed their bags and immediately departed the property. Further testing confirmed that the house was contaminated with an estimated clean-up bill of ten thousand dollars.
Not only that, but it is quite likely that many of the family’s possessions, including furniture, bedding, clothes, and kids toys may also have become contaminated and will need to be replaced.
Even low level traces of ice can be a health risk
Even relative low levels of meth contamination will be unsafe especially for young children who often spend a lot of time crawling on floors, and who tend to pick up toys which then go into their mouth. People who are ill or have a low immune system are also at increased risk from contamination from meth and the dangerous chemicals used in its manufacture.
Common exposure is through skin contact with surfaces containing meth residue or though
inhalation of chemicals and organic compounds. This can lead to serious health issues with side effects including disrupted sleep, anxiety, respiratory problems, rashes, children with inattention or ADHD-like behaviour psychosis and damage to the brain, liver and kidneys.
Meth test report may be a future requirement for mortgage or insurance
The huge uptake of meth use in New Zealand means that the property conveyancing and rental management industries have taken the lead when it comes to awareness and testing for
methamphetamine contamination. It’s now time for Australia to follow suit to help reduce the
number of innocent victims being caught out by the growing use of this drug in our communities. It is unlikely that testing for meth will become mandatory in Australia. However, in New Zealand, some lenders won’t approve a mortgage until a meth-clean report has been provided. Many NZ insurance companies are now including meth-specific clauses to their policies that call for regular testing of rental properties to ensure they are covered against damage from tenants.
You can be certain that Australian banks and insurers will be watching these moves with interest.
Presumptive testing using the D4D Multiple Drug Detection and Identification Narcotic Screening Test Kits which identify the following narcotics:
Buying a property? Building and Pest, tick and meth test, tick yes.
If you are planning to buy a property (or move into a rental home) a simple, inexpensive presumptive meth test could save you from making a costly mistake.
Have questions about this article?
Australian Government, Guidelines for Environmental Investigations Remediation and Validation of former Clandestine Drug Laboratory Sites (Guidelines) 2011; Australian Crime Commission Derivation of Risk-based Investigation Levels, Clandestine Drug Laboratory, Site Investigation Guidelines, 2009.