There is more evidence of a worsening ice scourge, with a Newcastle biohazard cleaning service saying it now gets daily clean-up and testing requests relating to meth lab activity.
Health and government officials have been concerned about a so-called ice scourge for several years.
It has kept biohazard forensic cleaners such as Newcastle’s Josh Marsden busy.
Mr Marsden told the ABC he got hundreds of calls a year to either test for meth lab activity or to clean up after they have been dismantled.
“We get them every day from people who have bought properties and then found out from the neighbours that there was a drug lab in that house or tenants who are moving into houses and are getting side effects,” he said.
Labs can pop up anywhere
Mr Marsden said most people thought of drug labs operating in undesirable or out-of-the-way places, but nothing could be further from the truth.
He said the labs could appear in residential or commercial buildings in cities or in more isolated areas.
“We find them in million-dollar properties, we find them in sheds, we find them in the back of cars, we find them in caravans and campervans,” he said.
Mr Marsden said hundreds if not thousands of Australian properties were previously used as drug labs.
As a result he is urging families to buy meth testing kits to analyse homes before buying or renting.
He predicted meth tests may soon accompany building and pest reports, amid a growing number of homes being identified as former drug labs.
“They always say we have done our property checks, we have done our pest and building inspection but they haven’t done a meth inspection,” he said.
“I think it is something we are going to see in the future … and New Zealand is already doing that.”
Mr Marsden said many people were shocked to learn of their property’s shady past.
“Most of the people have no idea what a meth lab is or what they do until they start researching meth labs on the internet and find out how toxic they really are and then start finding out what steps are needed in remediating the property so it is safe to live in again,” he said.