Mandurah homes named hot spot for meth contamination

A company that tests properties for drug residue has named Mandurah a methamphetamine hot spot.

Meth Screen’s technicians determine if there is methamphetamine in a house by testing swab samples in a laboratory which are taken from furniture, surfaces and walls. 

Managing director Ryan Matthews said most clients of the Australia-wide business were located in Mandurah and Perth.

Mr Matthews said tenants can become sick from touching residue on household items – which can linger for years. 

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“When meth is cooked or smoked, it lets off a vapor – not a smoke,” he said.

“It will land on that hard surface and leave a residue. You have dermal contact which absorbs into the body and it will make you sick.”

Mr Matthews said children were most likely to present with visible side effects including rashes, irritated eyes, anxiety and respiratory problems. 

“Adults can’t sleep or feel anxious,’ he said.

Mr Matthews said properties should be tested regularly.

We haven’t got to the point where they are testing the property without suspicion, which is the ultimate goal.

Meth Screen managing director Ryan Matthews

“We haven’t got to the point where they are testing the property without suspicion, which is the ultimate goal,” he said. 

WA based real estate agent Phil Taylor said there should be legislation requiring properties to be tested for contamination before a contract is signed. 

“There’s only guidelines at the moment, with no one there to enforce them,” he said. 

Mr Taylor said dozens of homes were demolished in his homeland New Zealand due to contamination and the exorbitant costs of cleaning the property. 

“The same thing will happen here unless guidelines a put in place to ensure consumers are protected and tenants know it’s a meth free environment,” he said. 

Mr Matthews said Mandurah tenants, real estate agents and property managers were more aware of the drug problem, than other regions. 

“In my experience, Mandurah real estate agents are very proactive and are testing to make sure houses are safe,” he said.

“If there is a potential problem or contamination and someone gets sick, then that agent could be liable.”