Healthy Homes NZ Ltd is currently working towards compliance to meet the new Methamphetamine Standard NZS-8510:2017
Methamphetamine in accordance with NZS-8510:2017
The level of methamphetamine is 1.5 µg/100 cm2 (1.5 micro-grams of methamphetamine per 100 square centimetres of surface sampled) in ‘high use areas’ of affected properties should be decontaminated to, regardless of whether the properties were involved in the production or use of methamphetamine. High use areas are defined as those areas that can be easily accessed and are regularly used by adults and children.
For ‘limited-use areas’, such as crawl spaces likely to be accessed only by adults for short periods of time, the level is 3.8 micro-grams per 100 cm2. (1.5 micro-grams of methamphetamine per 100 square centimeters of surface sampled) Limited-use areas are places where only adults can access and are rarely used, for example, roof cavities away from ducts or vents.
Methamphetamine testers now are to be totally independent of decontamination contractors. This is great and something that we’ve always pushed for. It is now a conflict of interest for decontamination companies to also do testing.
Two new qualifications to consider when selecting a tester
- Screening samplers are required to have done an applicable NZQA unit standard for screening sampling. Since these new titles have just been created, this unit standard doesn’t exist yet so no one is technically qualified. Screening samplers will be qualified to carry out screening assessments only. Commonly used terms for screening tests include field test or composite tests.
- Accredited samplers require a higher standard of qualification and are considered competent and authorised to take samples from an accredited body, by using either:
AS/NZS ISO/IEC 17020 – Conformity assessment – Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing the inspection.
AS/NZS ISO/IEC 17025 – Specifies the general requirements for the competence to carry out tests and/or calibrations including sampling.
Quality Control (QC) samples collected by Healthy Homes (NZ) Ltd provide evidence that the samples collected give results that can be used with confidence. Quality Control (QC) samples collected are called Field Blanks.
Why Are QC Samples Important?
QC samples provide confidence that test results have not been affected by contamination during the sampling process. By regularly collecting and testing QC samples, samplers have evidence that their sampling procedures are reliable. The results also identify any possible contamination, so that this can be taken into account when test results are used for decision making. NIOSH 9111 makes specific reference to submitting Field Blanks along with samples.
All QC sample results will be entered into a database or spreadsheet, to build up a picture of QC results collected over time.
In addition to QC samples collected by samplers, laboratories routinely run their own QC samples to confirm the performance and reliability of the testing process at the lab.
Field Blanks – a check on contamination in the sampling process
Field Blanks provide information about any cross-contamination which can occur during the process of collecting a set of samples. Most commonly this occurs because of the technique used by a sampler, but this can also come from background contamination in the area being sampled.
The number of Field Blank samples to be collected is 1 field blank taken during the first assessment where it is a Field or Lab Composite. Then field blanks are to be taken at a ratio of 1 per 20 samples taken at a Detailed Assessment
The Field Blank sample is submitted in the same way as other samples in the job. It may be identified as a Field Blank on the sample submission form or may be given a unique ID known only to the sampler for confidentiality purposes. The sample is tested in the same way as other samples.
If you have any further queries regarding Filed Blanks, please contact Head Office.