Report into meth contaminated homes released
A new report into methamphetamine smoking residue on household surfaces has found there is no evidence third-hand exposure causes adverse health effects, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford says.
The report was produced by the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor Professor Sir Peter Gluckman.
“In December 2017 I commissioned Sir Peter to assess all the available scientific and medical literature about the risks of exposure to meth residue,” Phil Twyford says.
“I was concerned at the time, and I remain so, that there has been some anxiety about meth contamination, and a testing and remediation industry has grown up around this.
“There has been a widely held perception that the presence of even low levels of meth residue in a house poses a health risk to occupants. As a result, remediation to eliminate contamination has been an extremely costly business for landlords and an upheaval for tenants being evicted at short notice.
“No one is underplaying the social damage caused by meth, but there should be a scientific basis for what are acceptable levels of meth in the current New Zealand context; and remediation of houses should be proportional to the established health risks.
“The report is a comprehensive, up-to-date and plain English understanding about the risks of meth exposure for people living in houses where meth was manufactured, and for those in which meth was smoked,” Phil Twyford says.
Sir Peter’s report found that remediation according to the NZS 8510: 2017 standard is appropriate only for identified former meth labs and properties where heavy meth use has been determined.
Along with NZS 8510: 2017, it will contribute to any regulations that may be made under the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2), soon to have its second reading in the House.
“I expect, pending Cabinet agreement, that there will be a public consultation document on meth regulations later this year,” Phil Twyford says.
The report can be found at: http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Methamphetamine-contamination-in-residential-properties.pdf