Also known as a meth test or methamphetamine report a Toxicology Report in New Zealand is used for testing for the presence of drugs and drug substances specifically methamphetamine in a property.
Toxicology Testing for Methamphetamine Contamination
The extremely addictive and illegal drug methamphetamine also known as ice,’p’, crystal or speed is a serious health issue as it acts as a stimulant but then begins to shut down the central nervous system and begins to systematically destroy the body it’s use also leads to psychotic and antisocial behaviour. Methamphetamine is an illegal Class A controlled substance regulated under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 because of the health risk and harm it causes.
With an estimated 40,000 plus meth users in New Zealand across all suburbs and social strata, meth labs are being established in properties anywhere and everywhere. The process of ‘cooking’ meth-based drugs involves the use of a lot of dangerous chemicals, which will leave behind a highly toxic residue and a major headache for the property owner.
There are telltale signs of a property being used as a lab to watch out for, these include
- strong chemical smells, acrid odours associated with solvents ammonia etc
- stains and discolouration, including
- brown and yellow stains on the floor, ceiling, wall and appliance tops
- blue stains on fire extinguishers and gas valves
- discoloured coffee filters (not brown)
- yellow stains on sinks, drains and showers
- dark coloured cookware
- red discolouration across any surfaces
- dead vegetation & soil disturbance
- rust in unlikely places i.e door handles and window fittings
- excessive rubbish which comprises of water bottles, chemical containers and lithium batteries
- the general state of unhealthiness of the properties occupants, especially the more vulnerable children and elderly.
Once the suspect property has been identified you need to be aware of the implications of the property being used to produce substances for drug abuse. Every kilogram of meth produced generates 5 to 6 kg of hazardous waste.
The very toxic carcinogenic chemicals are released into the environment and their residue settles on every surface contaminating, degrading them and devaluing the asset. As well as saturating carpets, curtains, walls and home contents, the waste is often disposed of into the plumbing and/or ground leaching it with a host of nasties including lead and mercury. The health risk implications for innocent families are huge and cannot be underestimated.
The financial implications can also be enormous as well particularly for property owners, landlords, real estate agents and tenants. An owner may be faced with a rebuild or hefty remediation costs on his investment. A landlord may be faced with a prolonged period without income plus remediation costs, a tenant may have to decontaminate his property and relocate. If law enforcement has been involved the issue may be listed on the properties LIM affecting potential sale values. There are also insurance implications to consider.
Why get a Toxicology Drug Testing Report?
Toxicology testing will identify whether there is a meth issue with a property and is part of the due diligence process purchasers undertake before purchase. Swab testing collects specimens of substances across the home, these samples are then sent to the toxicology laboratory for toxicology tests.
The laboratory testing, tests for evidence of drug contamination (meth) with the results of the laboratory analysis data providing toxicology test results that are compiled into the toxicology reports which alert of the detection of drugs.
Toxicology reports can give peace of mind that a property is clean of meth contamination or if testing samples results in proof of contamination you are able to steer yourself or your clients away from it.
If you are the owner of the property you can speedily get on to remediation work that may be needed on the property or toxicology screening to ascertain health information for family and clients who may have been impacted. Toxicology tests are proving to be an effective way to protect your asset or investment funds with increasing numbers taking advantage of reporting services.