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Meth labs found in Canberra Homes

businesswoman at home doing paperwork

businesswoman at home doing paperwork

The news of a rise in the number of homes testing positive for methamphetamine should concern authorities and the wider community.

The increase in the use of the drug ice has been well publicised nationally and Canberra is not immune to the scourge.

Across Australia, the number of methamphetamine seizures has increased by 22.2 per cent over the past financial year. There are an estimated 268,000 users across the country.

In the ACT, there were 342 cases of methamphetamine seizures between January and October, and 67 people were charged with dealing and supplying the drug – up from 43 last year.

The fact that national clean-up companies are getting more work in the capital is a concern as it points to a potential rise in drug use.

While it could be that greater awareness about the dangers of the drug is leading to more requests for testing, this is unlikely to be the sole reason for the increase.

That people receive positive test results and then opt not to pay for decontamination because of the huge cost is another concern.

The dangers of ice are well documented – both using and producing it.

Chemicals such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acid, and ingredients similar to nail-polish remover and drain cleaner used to make it, are extremely hazardous to inhale.

These chemicals leach into homes and stay there, possibly continuing to affect the people living in them for years.

The traces of the drug have been found in so many Canberra homes should be a warning to home owners and renters.

The territory is still reeling from the Mr Fluffy loose-fill asbestos scandal but at least the homes affected by that were known.

This evidence points to another issue that Canberrans need to be aware about as we are not immune to the ramifications of an ice problem.

ACT Policing is rightly targeting those producing and dealing the drug within our borders but the ACT government must now examine the risks of living in these homes.

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