There are many methamphetamine (P) contaminated houses, buildings and vehicles throughout New Zealand. Methamphetamine is a problematic contaminant in buildings as contamination is generated from its use and production and can pose a risk to inhabitants’ health. Forensic & Industrial Science Ltd has been testing for methamphetamine contamination and attending suspected clandestine methamphetamine laboratories since 2004.
We are accredited by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) for sampling during screening, detailed and post-decontamination assessments along with the analysis of methamphetamine in surface swabs in line with the New Zealand Standard 8510:2017 Testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties.
meth testing procedure
There are typically a few stages involved in testing for methamphetamine contamination. The first stage is the screening assessment which determines whether methamphetamine residue is present or absent within a property. If a screening assessment determines that methamphetamine is present or there is other evidence indicating a property is contaminated, a detailed assessment is conducted to determine the extent of methamphetamine contamination. The detailed assessment allows for accurate decontamination advice to be prepared based off of individual samples collected in each room/area. Once a property is decontaminated, a post-decontamination assessment will need to be conducted to ensure that methamphetamine contamination is below the levels set by the NZS 8510:2017.
Forensic & Industrial Science Ltd own and operate our own laboratory in which all methamphetamine surface samples are analysed, allowing for fast turnaround times for results and reports.
Our laboratory analysis of methamphetamine in surface swabs is accredited by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) and samples are analysed in accordance with the NZS 8510:2017.
Test results are issued in a comprehensive report. Our reports are in line with the NZS 8510:2017 Testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties and include:
• results from methamphetamine surface swabbing;
• sampling and analysis methodology;
• decontamination advice (if applicable) which includes cost-effective recommendations for how the premises can be decontaminated to below the NZS 8510:2017 levels.
Our standard turnaround time for analysis and reporting is three working days for screening assessments and five working days for detailed assessments. For urgent requests shorter turnaround times can be arranged with an additional surcharge. All reports and results are strictly confidential and are never disclosed to third parties without your permission.
Clandestine laboratory inspections
Additional services we can provide on site for suspected clandestine methamphetamine laboratories include:
• Air sampling for benzene, toluene, xylenes and iodine.
• Air screening to measure total volatile organic compounds present down to part per billion level.
• Surface swabbing for mercury and/or lead contamination.
• pH testing on surfaces to check for acidic or alkaline residues.
• Identifying corrosion or staining related to drugs manufacture.
• Inspecting the grounds for visual indicators of soil contamination.
• Screening for volatile organic compounds and pH in soil samples.
During the process of manufacturing illicit drugs such as methamphetamine a variety of chemicals can be heated, stored, spilled and released into the air. Some problematic chemicals can ‘soak’ into furnishings, soils and other porous materials and are re-emitted back into the air over long periods of time.