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Date published: 04th July 2019

People who live in a house where methamphetamine is being smoked can be harmed, especially children. In particular, home manufacture of methamphetamine can damage the health of inhabitants due to the toxic chemicals used. But third-hand methamphetamine exposure is a completely different story.

A 2018 report by the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor found no data showing any health risk from living in a place where meth was previously smoked. The Chief Science Advisor's report concluded previous 'contamination' standards were set far too low at 1.5 micrograms per 100 cm2. The report suggested a new level of 15 micrograms per 100 cm2 be used and stated that at this level a health effect is thought to be extremely unlikely.

When to meth test your property

Based on the report, we recommend testing a property only if the Police advise that it was used to manufacture methamphetamine, or you have good reason to suspect extremely heavy smoking occurred in the property. If you’re a landlord, find out if your insurance company has a policy on testing and follow their advice to limit your liability.

Newshub image of a man in a hazmat suit wiping the top ledge of a window frame in the kitchen of a home.
It is estimated that over NZD $100 million was wasted prior to 2019 on remediating properties which posed little or no health risk to occupants.

A scam exposed

The NZ Drug Foundation helped expose the meth 'contamination' scam which saw 2 400 people evicted from Housing NZ tenancies. Here are two of the submissions we presented to Parliament and Standards NZ.

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