New Zealand Law Society - New meth contamination and testing standard released

New meth contamination and testing standard released

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A new standard, NZS8510:2017 Testing and decontamination of methamphetamine contaminated properties, has been released.

The standard addresses properties used as make-shift laboratories for the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine, as well as properties contaminated by the use of methamphetamine. It is available free of charge.

Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith says the major gain from the new standard is having clear methods for sampling and testing, and competency requirements for samplers and decontamination contractors.

"The most significant change is the new 1.5μg/100cm2 limit, as compared to 0.5μg/100cm2 under the old guidelines. These were focused solely on the risks of a clan lab, whereas the new standard results from a better understanding of the health risks," he says.

“This new standard will form an important part of new legislation I introduced to Parliament last month. The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2) gives landlords the right to test for meth and enables tenancy agreements to be terminated when levels are unsafe. The new standard will be referenced in the regulations and will become legally enforceable when the Bill is passed later this year.”

Standards New Zealand says the development of the standard followed a robust process in accordance with the Standards and Accreditation Act 2015,

“The standard is a culmination of the work of 21 committee members with expertise from the public and private sector, whose combined experience offered a wealth of knowledge on methods of testing and decontamination of methamphetamine-contaminated properties,” says Standards New Zealand Manager Carmen Mak.