Drug houses unlivable

Thursday 28 October 2004

Houses operating methamphetamine laboratories are being declared uninhabitable by Manukau City Council.

By The Landlord

Police are notifying the council about properties they discover with methamphetamine or P labs.

The council is declaring them dangerous buildings, which means they cannot be entered or lived in until decontaminated.

Manukau City environmental health team leader Ian Milnes says P labs are biological hazards.

In the month since police began notifying the council, it has dealt with seven houses with P labs, Mr Milnes says.

Two were discovered when the Fire Service was called to an explosion, he says.

"No one can live there until it's clean. It's fairly draconian but we don't have an option. Advertisement Advertisement

"We've got to take a precautionary approach with these sorts of things because public safety is paramount."

The fumes from solvents and acids used to cook P are carcinogenic and enter every part of a room, Mr Milnes says.

"Those things cause big problems for health, not just immediately but quite a way down the track too."

He says if a house is not cleaned thoroughly it can cause problems for future tenants.

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