Duration of Time in House: 4 weeks. Minimum contamination level: <0.02 ug/100cm2 Maximum contamination level: 2 ug/100cm2 Average Contamination level: 0.34 ug/100cm2
Likely Source of Contamination was Use
This case study involved the rental of an urban residential home by a family of 2 adults and 1 teenage child for a period of approximately 4 weeks. The property owners indicated that the previous tenants had broken the lease. When vacated by the previous tenant, the property was very messy and required a lot of cleaning of the yard, kitchen, walls, doors, and windows, as well as repair and painting of the walls by the owner. The property had carpet cleaning undertaken, however stains remained on the carpet. The family rented the property, and not long after living in the home they noted an odour and were concerned that the odour may affect their health. This was initially assumed to be mould or damp from recent storms. An inspection was undertaken and there was no evidence of mould or damp indoors, however the inspection noted that the odour increased when windows and doors were shut and was “overwhelming” in rooms with carpet. The source of the odour was unknown and a mould treatment (fogging) was undertaken on the property. The odour remained and the tenants requested further testing, in particular for evidence of illicit drugs. A presumptive test was positive for methamphetamine and they moved out without their possessions prior to further testing being undertaken due to health issues, particularly for the son. Detailed testing was undertaken and the property was found to be contaminated with methamphetamine, assumed to be resulting from use. The tenants went to a tenancy tribunal to attempt to get compensation, however the state in which they reside only requires “clean” premises to be provided to tenants, and the tribunal interpretation of “clean” does not include contamination that is not visible, such as methamphetamine.
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 who was intending to move into this contaminated property may have suffered: Behavioural Issues, Heachaches, Sleep Disruption, Immune related disorder, Respiratory Issues, Eye issues and Skin irritation.
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."