If my property tests positive, what are the residual methamphetamine health risks?
From a health perspective, there’s a big difference between living in a house where someone smoked methamphetamine, and living in a house that was used to manufacture the drug, National Poisons Centre toxicologist Dr Leo Schep says. There will still be residual methamphetamine health risks regardless, however:
“People living in a laboratory environment risk suffering adverse cardiovascular, respiratory and dermal effects following the exposure to organic solvents, acids, alkalis and other chemicals. However, people dwelling in a house where previous tenants had smoked methamphetamine, and there is some evidence of low concentrations on surfaces, have minimal risks of toxicity.”
Manufacturing chemicals are also explosive and permeate a range of surfaces, including carpet, wall linings, job, flooring and ceiling space. Thus a thorough decontamination is required to avoid the methamphetamine health risks.
There remains a risk to vulnerable persons in a use environment, hence the standards recommended by the committee are on the conservative end of the scale according to Mr Schep.
Once the standards become enforceable, the health debate will be a non-issue as the levels require observation anyway. As a landlord, you will not be able to provide a household in contravention of these standards and you will need to take away any risk of meth contamination to health in order to stay compliant with tenancy laws.