In the other kind of contamination, the meth residue itself would hardly seem to be the issue. It’s the fact that highly concentrated and toxic chemicals of all kinds have been used in there in large quantities.
Actually the guidelines suggest that the meth residue is very much the issue in the longer term:
Overseas studies indicate that the methamphetamine cooking process can release as much as 5,500 µg/m3 of methamphetamine into the air and deposit as much as 16,000 µg/100cm2 onto surfaces (Martyny et al 2004a). There are concerns that residual methamphetamine generated during the manufacturing process may indeed pose a risk to human health and render the property unsafe for human occupation until it has been decontaminated.
There's no doubt that the various flammable, corrosive, explosive etc chemicals used in the manufacture pose immediate hazards - most of these folks don't exactly have chemistry degrees. Apparently in the USA, one in five labs are discovered because of an explosion.
So the TLDR is that:
1. No one knows for sure, because no one has studied it, and it’s unlikely that a controlled study could be conducted
2. Given that, the overall impression of the scientists is that the risk is minimal.
Not exactly. It's important to differentiate between houses where meth was smoked to houses that were meth labs (as Russell said in the original post). In the first case, the expert opinion seems to be that health risks are minimal; in the second case, health risks are very substantial, hence the MoH's remediation guidelines. There's a lot of detail in these guidelines about hazard identification from the various substances, exposure pathways, human health risk assessment and so on.
Does anyone know what the list of specific chemicals are ; the nasty ones that can permeate houses to make them uninhabitable?
Some comments here from toxicologists:
Mike ought to read a compelling book called "The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills" by UK epidemiologists David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu. It is a case study and data driven book that shows over and over again, in many different contexts, how government spending on social protection is always worthwhile and has positive fiscal multipliers for economic recovery and growth, and austerity measures are always a bad idea. A couple of examples, from the Guardian's review of the book:
In Greece, cases of HIV infection leapt by 52% between January and May 2011 as the government slashed its budget for a needle-exchange programme targeting drug addicts. In Iceland, authorities rejected the IMF's calls for radical austerity, instead increasing "social protection" spending from 21% to 25% of GDP between 2007 and 2009. The result? Icelanders' health may even have improved during the crisis, while its economy grew by 3% last year.,
Photos, or it didn't happen.
Peer review isn't enough? ;-)
Congratulations to you, Russell, and also to my good friend Barbara Fountain. So very well deserved in both cases.
Also very happy to see The Wireless get the best website award. I'm not exactly the target demographic, but I love it. RNZ just get better and better. Wallace Chapman's Sunday morning programme yesterday was so good.
Gamesmanship is not governance.
Nicely put Ian.
I was about to commend Brent for his well chosen words too.
Back to the topic: quite cool to see these community-led developments towards a healthier Aotearoa.
Exactly, it's the 'informed' bit that is the problem.
Cheers for that Bart.. very interesting. I've found that starting the day with a bowl of oatmeal and yoghurt seems to be very beneficial for my overall digestive wellbeing (sorry, TMI). I think it's quite good to pay attention to how you feel after eating various foods.