6 - Environmental Contamination Page

Person in white hazmat suit taking a swab sample for IANZ accredited meth test in a house

Methamphetamine Sampling & Analysis

Methamphetamine contamination is generated either through the use or manufacture of the drug. This contamination can persist in buildings and may pose a risk to inhabitants’ health.

We have been testing for environmental methamphetamine (P) contamination and attending suspected clandestine laboratories since 2004. We are accredited by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) for sampling during screening, detailed and post-decontamination assessments along with the laboratory analysis of methamphetamine in surface swabs in line with the New Zealand Standard 8510:2017 Testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties.

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Post-Fire Residues & Site Investigations

A fire is a devastating event in itself, however after a fire occurs in a building many hazardous residues can be left behind which can cause long term health problems. A lot of these residues are volatile and will escape from the building over time. However other types of residues including carcinogens such as soot and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) persist until they are physically removed.

Although professional fire restoration companies often successfully remove problematic contaminants, some residues may still remain. If there is any doubt or concern about the success of fire remediation, we can independently assess a property and collect samples to determine whether fire-related residues remain. We can liaise with our clients and fire remediation specialists to ensure the building is successfully remediated to the state it was in before the fire.

Badly fire-damaged walls and ceilings that only show the timber framing of a house after a fire
Person in white hazmat suit taking asbestos notes on a clipboard while another person in a white hazmat suit points at a building material during an asbestos survey

Asbestos Surveying & Sampling

Asbestos and asbestos containing materials (ACM) can cause lung cancers and other disease when asbestos fibres are inhaled. New Zealand regulations have strict requirements for all workplaces (including homes not occupied by the owner) in relation to asbestos. To comply with these regulations, asbestos must be identified and controlled.

Asbestos can be identified during an asbestos survey. Forensic & Industrial Science Ltd have qualified asbestos surveyors on staff. We hold internationally recognised qualifications and are trained and experienced in identifying asbestos within a building. We provide asbestos management surveys and asbestos refurbishment and demolition surveys. Please contact us or refer to our documents for more information about these surveys.

We are conversant with New Zealand’s Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations (2016) and can help our clients to prepare documents to satisfy these Regulations.

Heavy Metals in Indoor Dust

Indoor dust may contain heavy metals from vehicle exhaust, cigarette smoke, and industrial activity. Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead may accumulate in indoor dust.

A major source of lead contamination in indoor dust is from lead-based paint. Lead-based paint in poor condition can shed flakes and contaminate the indoor environment.

Contaminated dust can then be inhaled or ingested by humans. Because heavy metals are not removed from our bodies naturally, concentrations may build up in the body over time.

We can test for heavy metals in indoor dust. We also have many years’ experience in investigating contamination problems due to lead-based paint. Our staff are experienced with lead surface sampling and are knowledgeable on lead remediation techniques as described in AS/NZS 4361.2:2017.

Flaking white lead-based paint on a wall

Additional Services

In addition to the above services, we undertake other consultancy services including searching for toxigenic mould, pesticides, and unidentified volatiles affecting indoor air quality.

At Forensic & Industrial Science Ltd, we specialise in solving out-of-the-ordinary problems. Contact us today with your queries and one of our knowledgeable staff will discuss your case with you. We can provide an obligation-free estimate of costs for whatever investigative work is required.