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What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine (“Meth”) is a Class A drug which is addictive, illegal and can pose a significant risk to both user and those who come into contact with the residue. It is also referred to as meth, P, crystal, chalk or ice. Meth is created or ‘cooked’ in makeshift labs that are often called meth, clandestine or P labs. Meth is a crystal that vaporizes when heated and is commonly ingested by smoking.


Methamphetamine contamination can occur both during cooking or smoking because of the vapor that is created. The vapor which is commonly seen as a haze or smoke rises and then settles on surfaces. Depending on the area of use, readings can vary throughout the house. Areas where there are porous surfaces such as timber window frames, soft furnishings and ledges collect the most vapor fallout.


Testing should be completed in compliance with the New Zealand Standard (NZS 8510:2017) Testing and Decontamination of Methamphetamine-Contaminated Properties). It is important to obtain a copy of the test results to review after comprehensive testing has been completed to determine methamphetamine contamination.


A house can test positive for methamphetamine but be below the national standard. If the results are low enough no work may be required. However, if the results are above a specified level (NZS 8510:2017) it is most likely the property needs to be decontaminated.


The types of testing results you are likely to receive from a testing company are Field Composite, Lab Composite or Comprehensive. Different costs and reasons for this depending on the level of contamination.

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