"The Ice Breaker"
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Meth Lab Facts.

Andrew Scipione (NSW Police Commissioner) has called it “creeping death”

Daniel Andrews (Victorian Premier) has conceded the “ice epidemic has absolutely got away from us”

Other Headlines in the media of late don’t make for encouraging reading:

  • “Australia in the grip of an Ice epidemic”.
  • “The new Ice age”.
  • “Ice use, devastating rural Victoria”.
  • “Ice epidemic giving regional NSW towns an unwanted reputation”
  • “Queensland home to largest number of meth labs”.

 

Queensland police are campaigning for national laws to protect residents from the toxic side effects of clandestine drug laboratories. (Courtesy of the ABC News, Sydney 22nd Dec 2014)

  • Enhealth have estimated 9 out of 10 meth labs proposedly are going undetected.
  • Over the past 5yrs there have been 3707 clan labs detected in Australia, using the analogy that only 1 in 10 are being found there are possibly 33,363 undetected labs within our communities.
  • Around 70% (23,354) of which, are in residential homes, and are continuing to omit poisonous gases and contaminate these premises even 5yrs after use.
  • Addict based and small scale labs accounted for 76.6% of the total 744 labs found in 2013-14.

It’s obvious we can’t rely on the authorities to locate every meth lab (active or not). These undetected meth contaminated properties are, according to the Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008, a “nuisance”.

Quotes from the “Clandestine Drug Laboratory Remediation Guidelines”.

  • “The Australian Government recognises that the residual contamination arising from illicit drug manufacture carried out in clandestine drug laboratories presents a serious risk of harm to human and environmental health”
  • “Studies have also established that smoking meth will contaminate the inside surfaces of buildings with meth”.

Health issues associated with meth contaminated homes include:

  • There are many documented cases in the USA and NZ where unsuspecting occupants of homes have become sick after a period of time in their new home.
  • Small amounts of methamphetamine can cause irritation to eyes, breathing difficulties, dizziness, headaches, irritability, irregular heartbeat, depression, paranoia, Confusion, Anxiety, nervousness, increased body temperature and rapid heartbeat to name a few.
  • Doctors are saying there’s an increase in people suffering from anxiety!

According to an Enhealth Position Statement on “Clandestine Drug Laboratories and Public Health” published 14th August 2013,

  • “It’s likely that many hundreds of children (about 10% toddlers) have/are being exposed to clan lab contamination and is likely to be in terms of thousands if undetected clan labs are included (assuming a 1:10 ratio)”.

A landlord must provide the residential premises in a reasonable state of cleanliness and fit for habitation by the tenant. Meth contamination greater than 0.5µm/100cm² in a property would render the property not fit for habitation. Homes have been found with contamination levels as high as 1600µm/100cm² . Would you subject your family to that level of contamination?

So where do we start?

With so many homes potentially contaminated by not only methamphetamine production, but also users smoking meth, there is possibly thousands to tens of thousands of people that have discovered that what they thought was the Australian dream — a nice home for the family — is actually an Australian nightmare, the potential cause of a range of health problems and a stack of medical bills. But is the issue receiving enough attention? No, not for people who have an unexplained illness. “States are really dragging their feet on this issue,”

Because there are no meth lab disclosure laws in Australia these undetected meth lab properties are being given a quick makeover before being sold to the unsuspecting purchaser.

Australia has one of the highest rates of illicit methamphetamine use in the world and the highest use among English-speaking countries. Around 2.5% of Australians over 14 years – around half a million people – have used methamphetamine in the last year. This rate is three- to five-times higher than the USA, Canada (0.5%) or the UK (1%). (courtesy of “The Conversation” 23rd April 2013) it’s now Nov 2015.

America is said to have nearly 10% of its homes, apartments and dwellings where people live contaminated with some sort of meth contamination from production or usage.

Remediation of homes is recommended where Meth Testing finds more than 0.5 micrograms in a space 10cm square.

How many homes in Australia are contaminated with levels above 0.5µm/100cm²?

The Ice Breaker is a way of being able to find meth labs as they are manufacturing ice.

Below is a graph showing the number of Meth Labs detected per year in Australia since 2001-02

(Figures courtecy of the 2013-14 Illicit Drug Data Report – Australian Crime Commission)

Meth Lab Graph2