One In Three Queensland Homes Test Positive To Ice
Damning new research has discovered how prevalent ice and methamphetamine residue is in Queensland homes.
In the past seven months, Meth Screen has conducted more than 400 tests, with 35 per cent of Queensland properties testing positive for the illicit drug.
The frightening results found 36 per cent of properties on the Gold Coast contain ice and methamphetamine residue. In contrast 26 per cent of properties in Brisbane recorded a positive reading, while six of the 14 properties (43 per cent) tested on the Sunshine Coast discovered disturbing levels of ice and methamphetamine residue.
Liz Unkles Redland’s rental property recently tested positive for ice, with the methamphetamine readings three times above the Australian guideline levels.
“We’re hopeful landlord insurance will pay for the house to be decontaminated, but at the moment the house is unrentable and we’re losing thousands of dollars in potential rent,” Mrs Unkles said.
“Fortunately, we had the property tested for ice when our previous tenants broke their lease.
“I’d hate to think of the repercussions if I had leased the property to a family with young children, without getting the property tested. I’d be putting their health and welfare at risk.”
Crystal methamphetamine is costing Australia an estimated $4.4 billion a year (1), with the number of regular addicts who use ice as their main form of methamphetamine soaring 35 per cent (to 57 per cent) in the past year (2).
To provide peace-of-mind, Smoke Alarm Solutions today launched its partnership with Meth Screen, so property owners and managers can safeguard their rental properties by screening for ice and methamphetamine residue.
The partnership will see Smoke Alarm Solutions screen properties for residual meth contaminants, absorbed by floorings, walls, ducting and any furnishings or fixtures and determine if a previous tenant or occupant used or manufactured ice.
Smoke Alarm Solutions CEO Cameron Davis said landlords and real estate agents who value their tenants will adopt meth screening.
“The use of ice is on the rise and a large number of illegal drug labs have been found all over the Queensland, especially in residential areas,” Mr Davis said.
“Together with Meth Screen, Smoke Alarm Solutions team will assist buyers, investors, property managers and home owners with the management of meth contamination in their properties.”
There are many short-term health effects associated with exposure to meth residue, including headaches, nausea, burning skin, dizziness, breathing difficulty, sleeplessness and behavioural issues.
Long term, prolonged exposure to meth residue also increases the risk of damage to kidneys and liver and birth defects.
Meth Screen Managing Director Ryan Matthews said Australians have been manufacturing and using meth for the past 20 years, with the nation one of the highest users of the drug globally.
“There are thousands of contaminated properties throughout the state, causing serious health issues for the countless Queenslanders,” Mr Matthews said.
“It’s essential post tenancy meth screening is carried out on all rental properties to guarantee the safety of the house or unit for future tenants, while protecting the owner’s asset.
Mr Matthews also said the community should be wary of using DIY - instant answer - testing kits, which have a history of providing incorrect readings for the presence of meth.
“Not all meth screening protocols are the same. Meth Screen uses lab-based testing to ensure accuracy and give buyers, investors, property managers and home owners peace of mind,” Mr Matthews said.
“Unfortunately, some operators use cheap, internet available options like the infield - instant answer - testing kits to screen for meth. In many instances, these kits have stated meth is both present when it is not and vice versa, raising serious questions as to the validity of this screening method.”
In extreme cases, decontamination can cost tens of thousands and require removal of carpet, curtains and plaster boards. Furniture and soft furnishings would also need to be destroyed.
In cases of mild contamination, a property may be decontaminated effectively and quickly, so levels are within the Australian Government guidelines.
Smoke Alarm Solutions is the largest provider of smoke alarm compliance and maintenance services to the Australian real estate industry.
Meth Screen offers a range of meth screening services, so buyers, investors, property managers and home owners can choose the type of screening that is most appropriate for their situation.
(1) Australian Institute of Criminology
(2) Cracks in the Ice / Australian Government
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*If more than 10 swabs are required to test a home, an additional swab kit will need to be purchased for $100.
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