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P-lab risk vastly exaggerated

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  • P-lab risk vastly exaggerated

    Mike Butler: P-lab risk vastly exaggerated

    Details of the number of clan-lab busts and information on the harm likely to occur from living in a property where methamphetamine has been produced shows that the scale of the problem has been substantially overstated.

    Methamphetamine, or crystal methamphetamine hydrochloride, which is also known as “P”, is a powerful and highly addictive drug that is synthesised or “cooked” in makeshift laboratories, using precursor substances such as ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as key ingredients.

    1. Guidelines for the Remediation of Meth Lab Sites, Ministry of Health. http://www.health.govt.nz/publicatio...boratory-sites
    2. Ibid, p84
    Last edited by donna; 29-05-2014, 12:04 PM. Reason: Please add a couple of sentences then the source link - do not paste full content on PropertyTalk

  • #2
    Interesting stuff.
    So once more, making the landlords pay so that they can look good in the public's perception. Where have I heard that before?
    My blog. From personal experience.


    • #3
      Very interesting article, thanks for posting it Viking.
      Squadly dinky do!


      • #4
        The article is interesting - Viking we need the 'source' link - you can add it in a new post and I will add it to your original post.

        All information posted on PropertyTalk.com scrapped from other source must be added in part (just a couple of sentences) and the source link to read more.....unless you own the copyright


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        • #5
          yup one of the biggest scams going around. Meth was a prescription drug in the old days to treat narcalepsy, just too often abused. Not buying a house because traces of meth are located (yes inspectors check for meth presence alone, not just for lab related chems), makes as much sense as not buying a house due to the presence of traces of panadiene. Cig smoke likely to contain more badies.


          • #6
            Seems that the firms doing the assessment of Meth contamination are also the ones doing the clean ups. Hmmmm is this a conflict of interest or what. Perhaps the assessment should be double checked & the cleanup tendered.


            • #7
              Well many businesses operate like this. They come and give you a 'no obligation' free quote.

              A quote which often involves more work than really needed.

              Or even worse, they quote really low, and then when you get them in to do the work, they start saying "Oh this is a much bigger job than we thought..."
              Squadly dinky do!


              • #8
                this is just one of those issue though, that if understated or minimised, the govt/police etc come under huge fire from the media. Its a no-win for them.


                • #9
                  Mike Butler's piece contains some facts I don't argue with: the number of labs busted is (now) less than some of the exaggerated claims, though I note that a bust every 45 hours would mean 195 busts in a year - less than the 211 reported in 2005, but rather more than the 77 and 94 in 2013 and 2014 respectively. So if the "bust every 45 hours" was based on earlier data, it may not have been such an exaggeration.

                  However, he displays little to no understanding of the harms of methamphetamine exposure. First, he compares apples with pears: millionths of a gram per square metre is not the same as "parts per million" of concentration, so his comparison between meth and hydrochloric acid is meaningless. Second, even if he compared parts per million (ppm) between meth and hydrochloric acid, the toxicity of different chemicals varies hugely from chemical to chemical, and from where the ppm are measured. For hydrochloric acid it may well be 50 ppm (in what context I don't know, and nor does he). For cyanide, you get health effects breathing air with 6-10 ppm; but if you're measuring it in blood, you see harmful effects at 0.05 ppm. I don't know what the ppm danger levels are from surface exposure to meth, but nor again does he. I have experienced dizzyness and racing heart from spending half an hour in a meth contaminated house (and I didn't know it was meth contaminated at the time, so it wasn't a case of expectation bias), but I don't know what the surface ppm was there. I didn't get any problems after decontamination.
                  Second, he doesn't seem to be aware that the main risks from meth contaminated houses come from long-term rather than single exposure. So it's not "a visit to the doctor". It's repeated visits to the doctor. If it's a child or baby (many of whom live in rental properties), it could mean permanent lung or other damage.

                  I certainly agree that the real risks of residual meth exposure in the home are unclear. But given what is known, I don't think a precautionary approach is unreasonable.

                  Should the "meth house" label stay on a LIM forever? I think it should, unless there's new research showing the exposure does no harm. I would want to know if a house I was buying had ever had a lab in it, ever.

                  The one thing I'm not sure about is whether decontamination costs should be borne by the property owners. Does insurance cover decontamination of rental properties? If so, fine. If not, then so long as the landlord can show they carried out regular inspections, I don't see why the individual landlord should have to bear the cost of what is really a societal failure.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jaxy View Post
                    Seems that the firms doing the assessment of Meth contamination are also the ones doing the clean ups. Hmmmm is this a conflict of interest or what. Perhaps the assessment should be double checked & the cleanup tendered.
                    It wasn't when we had ours done: the testing was done by an entirely separate company. Once the contamination was found, they gave us a list of the companies that could decontaminate. They didn't do that work themselves.