New standards create clarity in meth haze
What do property owners need to know?
- The standards prescribe a single level for decontamination of all high-use areas of a property where there is a significant risk of exposure to contamination due to producing or usage. The acceptable level of methamphetamine in high-use areas is at or below 1.5ug/100cm2.
- A less stringent level has been prescribed for limited-use areas of a property where the risk of exposure is less; however decontamination will still be necessary. The acceptable level of methamphetamine in limited-use areas is at or below 3.8ug/100cm2. A limited area is one that is likely to be accessed only by adults and for a short period of time.
Note: this is greater than the Ministry of Health acceptable level of 0.5ug/100cm2.
- More rigour has been placed around contamination assessments, with three phases to be adhered to: determining the presence of contamination, the extent and magnitude, and if required, input into the decontamination and waste management plan.
- All methamphetamine decontaminators need to produce a scope of work, decontamination report, clearance report and clearance certificate. There are also guidelines around ventilation, cleaning products/processes and disposing of hazardous items.
- To ensure the decontamination process has been completed according to the standards, accredited methamphetamine samplers will test the property to determine the decontamination’s effectiveness and prepare a post decontamination report. Samplers need to hold ISO accreditation and they must be independent of businesses or individuals that perform decontamination on the same property.
Those working in the decontamination field received welcome news as well, as there are now strict health and safety measures in place for these workers.
With the meth epidemic on the rise, and its huge impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and properties, the new standards are a much-needed step to assist a wide range of stakeholders in the industry, plus give comfort to homeowners affected by contamination.