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Why test for meth?

Methamphetamine, or P as it is commonly known, is an illicit Class A drug that has widespread reach across New Zealand. It can be taken orally, smoked, injected and snorted. When smoked in a property, airborne methamphetamine deposits can be left on wall surfaces, carpets, counters and furniture. Solid forms of methamphetamine can be spilled and worked into carpets and upholstery. Unfortunately these deposits can linger in a house long after it's used or made.
The health effects around exposure to low levels of methamphetamine are still relatively unknown, however exposure to larger levels most likely when the house has been used as a lab can have devastating effects. Methamphetamine has a strong effect on a person's central nervous system (CNS), as such the side effects can be widespread.
Upon moving into a meth-infected house, people have experienced short-term health problems including:
Migraines, Respiratory difficulties, Skin irritation and burns. 
Long-term problems are less well known, and because children have small, developing bodies and a tendency to play on the ground and put things in their mouths, they are especially susceptible to adverse health effects from meth toxins. Studies around pregnant methamphetamine drug users drew connections between the use of the drug and birth defects in the children.
The larger concern relates to the manufacture of the drug in dwellings. The process of manufacturing methamphetamine can include heavy metals, carcinogenic hydrocarbons, and other toxic chemicals. Some of these will 'air out' eventually, but many will persist in the air, on surfaces and inside porous materials.

 

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