FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions relating to methamphetamine contamination, testing, and remediation.

Will I get in trouble with the police if I have methamphetamine residue in my home?

The police will only be interested if you are found using or manufacturing illicit drugs or materials. Methamphetamine residue lasts on surfaces for many years, it is near impossible to attribute the residue to a person, unless a lab grade test has been taken at the beginning of a tenancy.

Does it cost a lot to have residue cleaned from a property.

It can be expensive depending on the level of contamination. Its best to discuss your situation with an NAMC Decontamination member.

Does methamphetamine residue effect my health?

Yes, research suggests that methamphetamine residue can have serious ill health effects on those who come in contact with it. This is especially relevant for children. A 2020 study from Flinders University identified a range of health effects that occur while residing in contaminated properties. They described some of the ill health effects as: behavioural effects or issues, sleep issues, respiratory effects, skin and eye effects, and headaches.

Furthermore, the study found that methamphetamine was also detected in the analysis of hair samples collected from a number of individuals, including children exposed at these properties.

If a tenant contaminates my property and I have to pay to have it remediated, will my landlord insurance pay for the clean-up?

Some of the better insurance companies will pay out as tenant damage. Always check your PDS that comes with your insurance cover.

Can anyone be a member of NAMC?

No. Due to the experiences we have observed across the industry, we are very strict on who can join the organisation. The reasons we reject some companies and people from joining are:

  • If they own a testing company and a remediation company. This is a conflict of interest and companies should run independent.
  • If they are known to not comply with the 2019 Code of Practice and relevant state-based requirements. For example if operating in WA, then the WA Health guidelines supersede the 2019 Code of Practice.
  • If they are known to have undertaken incompetent services.
  • If they do not follow relevant industry standards, such NIOSH 9111 sampling, etc.
  • If they are causing undue damage to the client’s property.
  • If a service provider is not promoting positive actions or recommendations to clients.
If my property has methamphetamine contamination will I have to take all of the internal walls down?

No. It is extremely rare that a property is required to be stripped back to the framework. If someone is suggesting this call the NAMC and discuss.

What does NIOSH 9111 stand for?

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The 9111 is for the sampling method. These standards are produced by the CDC in the United States and are well known as industry standards throughout the world. If you’re interested you can read the specifications here:

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2003-154/pdfs/9111.pdf

How is the level of methamphetamine measured?

A qualified testing technician will place a 10cm x 10cm template on the area to be tested and then using NIOSH 9111 wipe standards will wipe the area with a alcohol swab, place it in a sample tube and send it to the lab. The lab will use a specialised equipment (liquid chromatography mass spectrometer) to analyse the sample. This will give a reading in Micro Grams (µg). If the reading is 0.5 or above it is considered above safe guidelines.

Please note - This is a very simplified version of the process.

How does a testing technician know where to take samples?

The 2019 Voluntary Code of Practice explains how to identify areas that are high recovery areas. A lot of contamination from methamphetamine is from users smoking meth. This smoke leaves meth residue on walls, doors etc. Like all smoke it will build up on areas such a doorway, window frame, etc. and more so on certain materials such as vanished timber and enamel paint. It is important to target these areas to identify the level of contamination.

Can I test a property myself?

Training and experience make for a well qualified tester. Trying to undertake sampling a property correctly will most likely result in misdiagnose contamination, either over or under the safe guidelines, when it may not be. Qualified testers are experienced to dealing with the contamination and to commercial risks. The NAMC only recommends qualified and experienced Methamphetamine companies’ sample for Meth residues. We urge you to engage one of the current NAMC testing members

Can I clean the methamphetamine residue myself?

Meth is a complex contaminant to clean. Ask any experienced decontamination company and they will gladly explain just how difficult it is to remove methamphetamine residue. Owners who have tried this usually find out that they have cost themselves time and money as the validation tests continue to fail, and costs start to mount up. Only to conclude they need a NAMC Decontamination Member to attend to the situation. The NAMC only recommends qualified and experienced decontamination companies clean meth residues. We urge you to engage a current NAMC Decontamination member.

I have just moved into a house and my kids are acting hyper and not sleeping well. Should I contact a testing?

Yes defiantly, if you have moved into a new dwelling and yourself or your children aren’t feeling quite right but can’t seem to identify the issue, engage a NAMC testing member to ensure the safety of your family.