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Methamphetamine can be harmful to those who use it and potentially to others (especially children) who live with them while they are using. Manufacturing methamphetamine in a house can also be damaging to the health of inhabitants, due to the toxic chemicals that are sometimes used in the manufacturing process.

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 methamphetamine has previously been 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. Even at this level a health effect is thought to be extremely unlikely.

Based on the report, we recommend you only test your property if the police have advised you it was used to manufacture methamphetamine, or you have good reason to suspect very heavy use in the property. If you’re a landlord, you may also want to find out if your insurance company has a policy on testing and follow their advice to limit your liability.

Read the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor's report on methamphetamine contamination in residential properties.

Methamphetamine contamination in residential properties ( PDF 532kb )

The Drug Foundation was actively involved in exposing the meth "contamination" scam, which saw around 2,400 people evicted from Housing NZ tenancies. Here's two of the submissions we presented to parliament.

Submission on Residential Tenancies Ammendment Bill (No 2) – methamphetamine contamination ( PDF 615kb )

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