Duration of Time in House: 3 years. Minimum contamination level: <0.02 ug/100cm2 Maximum contamination level: 0.13 ug/100cm2 Average Contamination level: 0.06 ug/100cm2
Likely Source of Contamination was Use
This case study involved a mother and child renting an urban community housing unit for approximately 3 years. The family had been living in community housing for a while and transferred to this property following a domestic violence incident. When moving into the unit she noticed that both she and her son’s health were impaired, and initially thought it may be the result of exposure to mould. Discussions with neighbours indicated that the police had arrested the previous tenant (6 months prior to her moving in) on drug-related charges (specifics unknown). The housing authority did not inform her of the previous drug and police history. After thoroughly cleaning the house, heightened awareness through media reports of the potential presence of methamphetamine contamination made her suspicious. Her son’s health was problematic, with significant asthma and constant respiratory infections resulting in him missing a lot of school. This, in turn, made it difficult for the mother to secure employment. She had the property tested, and while methamphetamine was detected, it was not above the relevant guideline. She insisted that the properly be remediated to remove the methamphetamine contamination. The property was remediated, and both her and her son’s health have improved since remediation was completed. The family remains living in the property.
22 of the 63 participants of this study reported health effects as indicated by levels of contamination reported in the green section of the below chart. This means that the adult and child residing in the contaminated property may have suffered: Behavioural Issues, Heachaches, Sleep Disruption, Immune related disorder, Respiratory Issues, Eye issues and Skin irritation.
Note that this case was meth use only and the child's health was problematic, with significant asthma and constant respiratory infections resulting in him missing a lot of school and these levels are significantly lower than the prescribed 1.5ug/100cm2 contained in NZS 8510:2017.
The study states; "In terms of health effects reported by participants exposed in contaminated properties, these were consistently reported regardless of the source of the methamphetamine contamination. The only key difference in the health effects reported was a higher prevalence of eye and respiratory issues in properties known or suspected to have been contaminated from manufacture."