Q1. What is Methamphetamine (meth/Ice/P)?
A1. Methamphetamine (ICE) is a dangerous and highly addictive drug which is “cooked” in illegal laboratories and is known to cause many serious health problems in users. ICE labs leave toxic chemical residue within properties and those who may be exposed to second hand use by breathing, touching or being around contaminants may also suffer many health issues.
ICE usage within a property, the most popular being smoking, leaves the same toxic residue, and subsequently results in the same health issues being experienced by those exposed.
Q2. When should I test? What assets should I test?
A2. You should test every asset BEFORE purchasing. This includes houses, cars, caravans, boats, campervans, trucks, commercial properties, hotels, motels, relocatable homes to name a few. If you can avoid purchasing and asset with ICE contamination you should! It can be a big problem and very costly if you purchase without testing! It is far more wide spread than you would think in Australia.
Q3. Are there any signs I can look for that may assist in determining if ICE has been manufactured or used in my property?
A3. * Burning or dry eyes, nose, mouth and/or throat when inside the building/structure.
* Yellow discolouration may be visible in sinks, toilets, drains and on walls
* Rusting of drain cover
* An unexplained powder residue which may be white, tan, pink, blue, green, orange, red or yellow
* Red staining on carpets
* Charring or burn/scorch marks on grass or soil areas.
* Vents have been disconnected.
* Ducting has been disconnected
* Signs that security cameras and/or surveillance equipment have been installed.
* Smoke detectors have been removed or taped.
* Breathing issues, itching, sinus problems and headaches while inside the property are some of the signs of possible exposure.
* Unusual odors inside the property.
NB - ICE/Methamphetamine contamination is invisible you often do not see any signs what so ever if is a property contaminated with use. It also has no residual smell so you can not detect contamination that way.
Q4. How many levels of testing are required once it has been determined by an initial test that the property or asset is contaminated?
A4. It is usually a 3 stage process. The first screen or test is either completed by the owner or an experienced company. If you have tested with a Property Ice Test kit and had positive results you will be quite sure it is contaminated providing you have followed the instructions. The stage 2 test will be required in order to proceed with determining the actual levels by lab tests. These will help both the insurance company or decontamination/remediation company to work out a plan required for decontamination of the property. Once the decontamination company has completed their job a 3rd and final Laboratory test is required to issue a certificate of clearance and re occupancy. This 3rd test is important to obtain, this enables insurance companies if involved to pay for services completed, it also enables any properties being sold to return to market with a clearance for Real Estate Agents to enable them to sell the property.
Q5. What are some of the possible health effects from exposure to ICE Contaminants?
A5. * Burning or dry eyes and/or throat
* Breathing issues
* Sinus problems
* Irregular or rapid heartbeat
* Increased body temperature
* Decreased appetite
If you think a household member has been affected by ICE contamination please seek medical advice immediately.
The very young and very old are most at risk due to their developing immune systems in the young and weakening immune systems in the old.
Q6. I am concerned that my property has been used as an illegal “ICE house”! What do I do now?
A6. You can purchase a Property Ice Testing kit online and follow instructions to identify if you need to move forward to do the following
* Contact a certified ICE/Methtester who will come to your home and using an immediate result test, for example MMC Forensic Narcotic testing, these experienced testers know exactly what to look for and where to test.
You can obtain a listing by searching the internet or you can contact www.independentdrugscreening.com.au who is an independent testing company and has experienced testers
* Ensure that the company you contract to conduct the testing is not in any way affiliated with your chosen remediation/decontamination company.
Q7. The testing came back positive for ICE contamination! What do I do now?
A7. Should initial testing reveal a positive result for ICE/methamphetamine contamination, further testing will be necessary. On receipt of all results you will be provided with a report on the findings, levels and recommendations via a RAP (Remediation Action Plan). If the levels are above the Ministry of Health guidelines, the property will require remediation/decontamination, and you may provide the RAP to your chosen remediation/decontamination company.
If levels are below the Ministry of Health guidelines you will be provided with a report confirming the findings.
Q8. How do I choose a remediation/decontamination company?
A8. You can obtain a listing by searching the internet, or perhaps contact
* your Local Council.
* Always ensure the remediator/decontaminator is certified and fully insured. You may ask to site documentation as proof.
Ask about experience and references they can provide for previous jobs they have successfully complete.
Also make sure the product they use (if chemical clean method) is fit for purpose and specifically designed for Methamphetamine/ICE decontamination.
Q9. What is the cost for decontamination?
A9. The cost varies and is determined by the property size and materials, the level of contamination, and the work required to clear the property of contamination. A Chemical clean will be less expensive than a deconstruct/reconstruct. Chemical cleaning can now decontaminate reasonably high levels of contamination successfully.
Q10. How long does decontamination take?
A10. This also depends on the property size and materials, the level of contamination and the work required to eliminate the contamination. You may wish to ask the remediation/decontamination specialist for an approximate timeframe for completion.
Q11. How can I be sure the contamination is gone?
A11. You must obtain re-occupancy clearance, and to do so you must arrange to have post remediation testing carried out after the remediation/decontamination process is complete. This testing, as in the further initial testing you had carried out, will be sent to an approved qualified laboratory, and the certified tester will provide you with a report detailing findings and levels to confirm whether the remediation/decontamination process (RAP) has been successful, and/ or provide further recommendations.
Q12. Will I need to move out?
A12. If the tester finds a positive reading for ICE/methamphetamine contamination which exceeds the Ministry of Health guidelines you will need to move out of the property immediately. You will not be allowed entry to the property until re-occupancy clearance is given and you will not be permitted to take any items with you as they may also be contaminated.
Q13. What about my pets?
A13. You will need to remove pets from the property. Pet’s health may be affected by meth contamination. You may choose to leave your pets with a relative or friends, or board them until the property has been cleared.
Please remember pets sniff and lick odd scents to determine what they are, and like people they are affected by toxic chemicals in and around the property. Symptoms may include a runny nose, vomiting, rashes or burns on the skin or possibly seizures. If you have any concerns please seek veterinary advice.
Q14. What do I do with the food in my cupboard?
A14. Do not remove any items from the property. Your certified remediation/decontamination company will dispose of these items correctly to comply with requirements.
Q15. What about my clothes, shoes, furnishings and expensive or beloved pieces?
A15. You would need to discuss this with your remediation/decontamination company. You may elect to have the remediation/decontamination
company quote to attempt to decontaminate items, but success cannot be guaranteed, and it can be quite costly.
Q16. Can I claim from my insurance company?
A16. Policies differ, as do insurance companies. You would need to contact your insurance company to make this type of enquiry. In order to proceed with an insurance claim they will require the Laboratory results of a Stage 2 test to assess the level of contamination and also decide on correct remediation.
Q17. What type of assets should I be concerned maybe ICE/Methamphetamine contaminated?
Q17. The following can easily be at risk from contamination Private Houses, Rented apartments, houses, cars, trucks, Camper Vans, Caravans, Hotels, Motels, Batches, Donga, Boats, Commercial Properties
NB Any short term accommodation or rental option is highly at risk for contamination.
Vehicles are particularly at risk and in most cases can not be remediated – so usually crushed and buried.
Should you require any further information please contact