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MTIANZ Welcomes Report From Flinders Uni On Ill Health Effects From Meth Contamination In Residences

MTIANZ welcomes the release of the report “Environmental Methamphetamine Exposures and Health Effects in 25 Case Studies” by Jackie Wright et al from Flinders University in Adelaide.

The 25 case studies referred to in the report collected data from 2013 till 2019 and investigated 63 individuals who “unwittingly suffered third-hand exposure to methamphetamine from former manufacture, use, or both”. The study includes data on environmental contamination, subject’s health effects and evidence of exposure using hair analysis. The study found a wide range of adverse health effects from a wide range of contamination levels and no discernible differences from being exposed to contamination from former manufacture or use.

The report concludes that “the study has identified a range of health effects that occur while residing in contaminated properties, which include behavioural effects or issues, sleep issues, respiratory effects, skin and eye effects and headaches.” These results came from methamphetamine contamination from properties with “levels close to the current Australian guideline of 0.5µG/100cm2”. MTIANZ notes that the acceptable level detailed in the New Zealand Standard NZS8510:2017 is 1.5µG/100cm2 and the report released by the Prime Minister’s Chief Scientific Adviser (the “Gluckman report”) recommended an acceptable level of 15.0µG/100cm2.

Disturbingly the report concludes that “This study has demonstrated that these properties have the potential to be a significant health risk”…and it urges that properties “are properly identified and cleaned up and….properties known to be contaminated but not cleaned up need to be disclosed to future occupants”.

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MTIANZ embraces every progression in our understanding of the effects of methamphetamine contamination in properties and notes that the results from this research fills the gap the Gluckman report highlighted on this subject in 2018.

This conclusions from this research conflicts with and contradicts the findings within the Gluckman report in several key areas.

MTIANZ has adopted the Jackie Wright report as the most up to date scientific research on the subject, and is urging Government agencies such as Kainga Ora, the Real Estate Authority, The Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health and The Department of Housing and Urban Development, to consider the research and question whether or not it is appropriate to continue to implement the recommendations of the Gluckman report, given the stated risk to Public Health.

Also MTIANZ strongly urges the Government, anyone buying or selling a property, the real estate industry, the Tenancy Tribunal, emergency and social housing providers, landlords, managers of rental properties, insurance companies and the legal profession to review this report and implement its finding as a matter of urgency to protect the health of New Zealanders.

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