Update on Methamphetamine (P) Testing Standards for Remediation

7 November 2016

A Ministry of Health-funded report prepared by ESR released on 26 October 2016 recommends that a different level for contamination be used to guide clean up where methamphetamine (P) has been used, compared to the level for houses where the drug has been manufactured.

The 2010 Ministry of Health guidelines on cleaning up a property that has been contaminated by meth require remediation where levels are greater than 0.5 micrograms/100 cm2. This figures relates to where there is evidence of a P lab having been used in the property.

There are now new guidelines where there is evidence of smoking of P but not of there being a P lab in the property.

The report recommends that the current contamination level that prompts a clean-up stays the same for houses where the drug has been manufactured but is four times higher for houses where the drug has only been used and where there isn't any carpet.

The level is three times higher for houses where only drug use is found, but where there is still carpet in the house or the carpet is removed.

The new levels are:

  • 0.5 µg/100cm2 for houses where the drug has been manufactured (unchanged)
  • 1.5 µg/100cm2 for houses where the drug has only been used - carpeted
  • 2.0 µg/100cm2 for houses where the drug has only been used - uncarpeted

The report recommendations will now be considered by the committee appointed by Standards NZ to develop a new standard re addressing P contamination. The new NZ Standard, once developed, will supersede the Ministry's existing Guidelines.

Further information can be found on the Ministry of Health website at https://www.health.govt.nz/news-media/media-releases/recommendations-methamphetamine-contamination-clean

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