HOMES at Claremont, Cygnet, Hobart, Prospect, Ravenswood and Sorell have tested positive for methamphetamine residue in the past year.
And an expert in the testing field suggests as many as one in 10 Tasmanian homes could be contaminated.
Meth Screen chief executive Ryan Matthews said that in Tasmania the majority (93 per cent) of properties screened for ice returned readings above safe levels.
He said one of the worst readings for the illicit residue was found in a Launceston house, which was at 300 times the safe Australian guideline level.
Mr Matthews said homeowners and tenants usually screened for methamphetamine if they suspected a previous occupant was using the property to smoke or cook the drug.
He said with 93 per cent of tests coming back positive, Tasmanian properties were contaminated more often than those tested in Western Australia (76 per cent), Victoria
(70 per cent) South Australia (70 per cent), New South Wales (64 per cent) and Queensland (54 per cent).
A property that returns a reading above 0.5ug (micrograms) is considered unacceptable and not fit for occupancy.
Dr Jackie Wright developed the health-based criteria within the Clandestine Drug Laboratory Remediation Guidelines, which provide guidance on the assessment and remediation of former clandestine drug laboratories in Australia.
She called exposure to methamphetamine residue a growing problem.
“Prolonged exposure to methamphetamine residue by living in a contaminated property can cause many short-term health effects, including headaches, skin rashes, eye irritation, persistent coughs and other respiratory problems, sleeplessness and behavioural issues,” Dr Wright said.
Mr Matthews said without physical evidence it was almost impossible to determine if drugs were being cooked or smoked in a property.
“Suspicion of methamphetamine use is driving up the current figures,” he said.
“But conservatively, 10 per cent of all properties in Tasmania contain methamphetamine residue.
“This means one house in every street is possibly contaminated and potentially uninhabitable.”
A basic Meth Screen test starts at about $300 for a one-bedroom to three-bedroom home.
Meth Screen has found that homeowners don’t often report positive tests to police, unless drug paraphernalia is found at a property.
In the first instance they tend to investigate ways to have their property cleaned.
POSITIVE TESTS IN 2018
Bridport, Claremont, Cygnet, Gagebrook, Herdmans Cove, Hobart, Launceston, Maydena, Prospect, Ravenswood, Rocherlea, Sorell and Summerhill.
Source: Tasmanian towns where Meth Screen recorded positive tests for methamphetamine residue since January last year.