Meth Testing FAQ
Firstly, we don't do instant tests. Instant tests are for cowboys and are not recommended or compliant with the new standards.
When sampling for methamphetamine and its precursors on surfaces using methanol moistened wipes, there are a number of sampling techniques that have been developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the industry:
- Individual sample technique (Discreet Sample)
- Multi-wipe field composite technique
- Laboratory composite technique
Meth Testing Hawkes Bay offer all options and use them depending on what is required and balanced with cost to the client.
For more detailed technical information on each sampling technique see here.
Yes, we are very discreet. We know you don't want big banners which scream METH in and around your property. This is why none of our vehicles are sign written and our uniforms don't have over-the-top labels or logos. We don't walk around in boiler suit with gas masks on, so you don't have to worry. If we do need to use this gear we try and put it on away from prying eyes or nosey neighbours.
In the Hawkes Bay, your local council is responsible for enforcing laws around meth contamination. However, even with the new standards, there is still currently no legal requirement to test a property and councils generally don't find out about it unless notified by the Police. Councils do have powers under the Building Act 2004 and Health Act 1956 to force actions, which can include: >>> recording the contamination on the property’s Project Information Memorandum (PIM) or Land Information Memorandum (LIM); >>> requiring the building owner to clean and/or close the building; >>> requiring the building owner to re-test the building; >>> requiring the building owner to demolish the building. The new standards released; NZS 8510:2017 have set one contamination level for all livable areas in properties. Deprecating the previous three-tiered levels. The new level is: 1.5 µg/100cm². Anything at or above this level is deemed to be contaminated. The new standards also have very specific testing, reporting and decontamination requirements. For more info check here first.
Yes. This includes the laundry, bathrooms and separate toilets. According to the new standards, any area with its own door has to have its own test done. If the house has any extra rooms such as a separate toilet, extra living area or bedroom, this will require additional samples to be taken. For more details about pricing and tests click here. Garages also count as high-use areas under the new standards and should be tested.
See pricing and a brief description of each test here.
Screening AssessmentThis test involves combining samples taken from up to 10 rooms. You can add extra blocks of five rooms for $100 each. You'll get a result which will tell you if there is meth present along with an indication of the level of contamination. The new NZS 8510:2017 level of contamination is 1.5µg/100cm². To carry out a screening assessment, two single swabs are used to take samples from up to 5 areas for each swab. It's called a composite swab because the swabs from each of the five areas are combined together into one lab tested sample. The disadvantage of doing the screening assessment is that if you do get a positive reading for meth, there is no way of telling whereabouts in the house the contamination is. To do this you'd have to test again with a detailed assessment. This is why the screening assessment is highly recommended for house hunters and landlords ONLY. If you're in the market for a house, this test will either warn you away, or give you some serious leverage in the negotiations.
Detailed AssessmentThe easiest to explain, this is the room-by-room test. A completely separate individual test is performed in each room. Rooms larger than 10m² will require one additional sample per 10m². Each room will get it's own contamination level reading within your report. If you have had a positive screening assessment or suspect your property may be contaminated, this is the test for you. To book a screening assessment or detailed assessment click here.
It depends what you want to know and why. Our different testing options are detailed on our pricing page. Here are some further guidelines with examples to help you decide. Generally, if you're looking to buy or rent a house and just want to find out if a property is meth contaminated or not the Screening Assessment is the most cost effective option. If you're a home owner and have any suspicion there may be meth present, you need to do the Detailed Assessment right off the bat. Decontamination is a long process and you need to know exactly where the meth is and how bad to start working on it.
Meth Testing Hawkes Bay provides methamphetamine testing for properties in the following areas:
- Havelock North
- Bridge Pa
- *Esk View
- *Paki Paki
- *Te Awanga
- *Te Pohue
- *Tuki Tuki
Something new that appears on meth test reports since the release of NZS 8510:2017, is the term theoretical maximum. A lot of people bawk at these results and don't understand what it means, which is understandable since its a new term and has literally just been thrown out there. You'll find theoretical max results on screening assessments reports which used composite sampling techniques. What it basically indicates is the worse case scenario for any one area which is sampled. For example if your report has a theoretical max of 5.5µg/sample then it's possible one area could have a reading as high as 5.5µg, but this assumes all other sampled areas are zero, which is highly unlikely. When field composite and lab composite techniques are used in the same screening assessment the theoretical max reading can be really high. This can freak people out a lot, however if you understand how these calculation are made then this can usually put you at ease.
A field composite is used in a screening assessment. It is a sampling technique in which multiple swipes are taken different areas and combined into a single tube (sample). Field composites are usually used in conjunction with lab composite techniques because they save considerable cost to the client and offer the best value if you just want to check for meth.
The $199 laboratory composite meth testing technique offers the best value for clients and is the most used type of test for pre-purchase inspections and baseline tests for rental properties. Ten samples (maximum) can be taken for this test. One sample per room is the required standard. This is usually enough for most New Zealand homes, but if there are more than ten rooms then an extra five-sample will have to be used at an additional cost of $100. The ten samples taken are separated into two field composites (receptacles) of five samples each. Both of these five-sample field composites are combined again in the lab to make one laboratory composite sample which is what is tested. In practice, all ten samples are tested in one mixed sample, giving a single result. This is what you see in your report. The original five-sample field composite samples are retained by the lab for up to thirty days and can be tested individually if the lab composite result indicates that this might be necessary. This is useful if you get a high result as it can save money doing detailed assessments if five of the areas are re-tested and come out under the limit.
If you need a test done quickly, no problem. We can usually get this done the same day. Even sooner if we're in your area. Give Neville a call now on 021 0876 7132.