We continue our series of meth contamination case studies – all of these have been collected by MethSolutions’ staff while out on testing and sampling jobs.

Example 1 – Northland

Post decontamination and redecoration, a property was Baseline tested at the time of installation of MethMinder (a globally unique air quality monitoring system used by landlords to monitor for manufacture). Meth readings were at unusually high levels despite sign off by forensic scientists on behalf of the insurer. Referral through to the parties responsible saw a defence of the work that was done. Subsequent individual tests revealed meth residues remaining in the property 5 and 6 times over the currently acceptable Guideline levels.

This has massive implications on the current status of the property and for future resale of the property. It also reflects poorly on the meth testing and remediation industry. Standards need to be developed, that reduce the reliance on the integrity of the people involved and hold those who fail to account.

Example 2 – West Auckland

Tenants had concerns about health of their children and received advice that the property they were renting had a meth history. The property had been repainted prior to moving in. Concerned, at risk to their family, they undertook a Baseline test. The Baseline test indicated levels of meth residues in the sleep out consistent with very high levels of use or low levels of manufacture. Fears for tenant health and wellbeing saw them relocate while detailed testing was done.

Follow up testing identified meth residues behind the freshly applied paint, but below currently acceptable Guideline levels.

Inconsistency between Baseline sample sites and detailed testing sample sites, lead to an apparent discrepancy between the two sets of test results, creating uncertainty for the owner.

Results suggest that the property had a significant, but undeclared meth history and that the air vent system in the bathroom in the sleep out, had not been cleaned properly or replaced.

Example 3 – South Auckland

Baseline meth test as part of a pre-purchase meth test identified very low levels of meth present, consistent with low levels of use. The presence of meth created uncertainty among prospective buyers.

In order to provide certainty to buyers, the owners were forced to commission follow up meth testing. The cost of testing was equivalent to several years MethManagement. Low levels of meth, combined with inconsistent site selection, meant detailed testing failed to identify meth present.

The detailed testing confirmed the Baseline indication of low levels of use related meth activity, but the apparent inconsistency created confusion for the owner.

Example 4 – Auckland North Shore

Property bought at auction. Enquiry through the sales process regarding previous occupants, failed to disclose an eviction. The nature of the eviction meant it was considered appropriate that a meth test was done. An infield/self-test presumptive kit was used as the agent believed that all meth tests were the same. This gave a negative result. This result was not disclosed to prospective purchasers.

The day before settlement, the prospective new owner was made aware of a drug history at the property. Our Baseline sample processed through the laboratory identified 8.1 µg of meth present. This is an average of 2 times over currently acceptable Guideline levels.

Detailed testing identified meth residues above the Ministry of Health Guidelines through the property. In areas declared negative by the person using the infield testing kit, they were 5 to 8 times above the Ministry of Health Guidelines.