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Record number of NSW homes testing positive for meth residue

17 July 2018

Damning new research has uncovered the prevalence of ice and methamphetamine residue in New South Wales homes. 

Since January this year, Meth Screen has screened more than 342 homes with 50 per cent of properties in New South Wales testing positive to ice and meth residue.

The data revealed Penrith, Campbelltown and Wollongong are the state’s meth contamination capitals. 
Meth Screen CEO Ryan Matthews said home owners and tenants traditionally screen for methamphetamine residue if they suspect a previous occupant was using the property to smoke or cook ice.   

“You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors or how a property was being used before you and your family moved in.” Mr Matthews said.

“Suspicion of meth use is driving the current figures, but conservatively 10 per cent of all properties in New South Wales contain meth and ice residue above the Australian guideline levels.

“This means at least one house in every street is contaminated and potentially uninhabitable.”

Meth residue the cause of health issues

There are many short-term health effects associated with exposure to meth residue, including headaches, nausea, burning skin, dizziness, breathing difficulty, sleeplessness and behavioural issues.

Long term, prolonged exposure to meth residue is associated with birth defects and increases the risk of damage to the kidneys and liver.

In extreme cases, decontamination costs tens of thousands and requires removal of carpet, curtains and plaster boards. Furniture and soft furnishings often also need to be destroyed.


Professional partnership equals better results

Smoke Alarm Solutions recently launched a screening partnership with Meth Screen that allows property managers and owners to safeguard their rental properties. 

Smoke Alarm Solutions CEO, Cameron Davis, said not all meth screening protocols are the same, with many DIY kits giving false readings.
“We lab-test our samples to ensure accuracy and give buyers, investors, property managers and home owners peace of mind,” said Davis.

“The community and property professionals should be wary of companies who use DIY testing kits, as they have a history of providing incorrect readings for the presence of meth.

“Unfortunately, some operators use cheap, internet available testing kits to screen for meth. In many instances, these kits have stated meth is both present when it is not and vice versa, raising serious questions as to the validity of this screening method.”

Smoke Alarm Solutions and Meth Screen use trained technicians to inspect a house and identify rooms and areas to test for traces of ice and meth residue. Templates are then positioned throughout the property and samples are sealed in tamper-safe tubes. The samples are then delivered to an independent laboratory for analysis.

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