What is Methamphetamine?
Methamphetamine is an illegal synthetic (man made) drug of abuse, it has many nicknames – meth, crank, chalk, speed, ice, tweak, shabu, shards, glass and many more. Methamphetamine can come in the form of a crystalline white powder that is odourless, bitter-tasting and you can dissolve it easily in alcohol or water. It can be compressed into pill form, smoked, injected or snorted.
Crystal meth comes in clear chunky crystals resembling ice and is more commonly smoked. Crystal meth’s effect is highly concentrated and highly addictive. Users report getting “hooked” or “addicted” from the very first time they use it.
Meth is an extremely dangerous and potent chemical, and as with other man made drugs of abuse, a poison. It first acts as a stimulant making the user feel alive with energy to burn and able to perform and concentrate clearly, but then it begins to systematically destroy the body. It is associated with health conditions such as but not limited to:
- Memory Loss
- Psychotic Behaviour
- Heart and Brain Failure
It is not only the cook and the taker of Meth that are at risk. It is all those who are exposed to the toxic fumes of the cooking process and users 2nd hand smoke.
Meth in Rental Properties
A spokesperson for Mark McGowan referred to the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, particularly page 11 of the report, which says: “Meth-amphetamine use was higher in Western Australia (3.8%) than any other jurisdiction.”
The property owner is ultimately responsible to ensure a premise is safe for habitation, after the discovery of a Meth contamination above 0.5 micrograms in a space 10cm square, under Australian Laws (EPA & Local Govt).
Remediation Required – Where a test reveals contamination above 0.5 μg/100cm2 the Appropriate Authority issues a Pollution Control/Prohibition Order or other Environmental Order against the property (and owner).
Remediation cleaning will then be required to remove hazardous levels of Methamphetamine, after which an independent test is then completed to confirm if remediation has been successful.
If readings are below the 0.5 μg/100cm2 then a clearance will be issued, otherwise further remediation may be necessary.
According to researchers only one in ten Meth labs will actually be found.
There are different methods for making Meth. Anything from an elaborate lab set up, generally with filthy containers simmering over open flames, pills and many bottles of dangerous chemicals or, on a smaller scale, drug users are making their own Meth in small batches using a faster, cheaper and much simpler method called “shake and bake”. The ingredients of this method can be carried in a knapsack and mixed on the run.
It doesn’t matter if you are in the city or the country, north, west, east or south, your rental can be a clandestine drug lab.
Properties that have not been professionally remediated are a serious health problem to future residents. You can take the chemicals away, wipe the walls over, clean the bench top, repaint, have the carpets cleaned – and your property could still be contaminated and highly toxic to incoming tenants.
The Residue of Meth
What many people don’t realise is that the residues of cooking and smoking Meth can cause short term and long term health effects. You could be living in a
contaminated house, driving a contaminated vehicle or working in a contaminated office. Being in contact with surfaces, walls, curtains, carpets, furniture that is
contaminated could cause:
Short Term Effects
- Sleep Disorders
- Coldness or Weakness
- Burning Eyes
Long Term Effects
- Reproductive Problems
- Nervous Disorders