Inside the world of a drug house cleaner
TWO Caboolture women "don't meth around" when it comes to their cleaning business.
As the number of Queensland property owners testing their homes for methamphetamine residue skyrockets, bond cleaners for more than five years Amie Bloomfield and Tamika Turner have started servicing the whole Moreton Bay region to offer the service.
"We continue to be exposed to abandoned homes with children's toys and evidence of drug use and production," Ms Bloomfield said.
"So we decided to investigate the drug epidemic and a whole new world opened up for us.
"We started to hear horror stories from other cleaners about new tenants and home buyers getting seriously ill.
"That's when we decided to train in rapid testing on homes."
The two young women can now immediately test for methamphetamine (meth) residue in homes and remove toxic chemicals left behind.
Their business Don't Meth Around uses the slogan "it's priceless to be iceless" and Ms Bloomfield warned moving into a home where drugs had been used or manufactured can be harmful.
"The residue of the drugs can react with cleaning products and create toxic gases that make you sick," she said.
"It also seeps into the walls of the house and if they're manufacturing it can seep into the actual structure of the property."
Another Queensland company performing the tests, Meth Screen, performed more than 400 tests in seven months, with 35 per cent of properties testing positive for the illicit drug.
Their results found 36 per cent of properties on the Gold Coast and 26 per cent of properties tested in Brisbane recorded a positive reading. Six of the 14 properties tested on the Sunshine Coast had disturbing levels of ice and methamphetamine residue.
The Courier-Mail has previously reported that lax regulations mean thousands of Queenslanders could be living in dangerous houses riddled with toxic methamphetamine and not even know.
Ms Turner said after testing the levels it could be determined whether the toxins could be managed with a clean or the home needed to be stripped down.
"There is one situation we're aware of where a couple bought a home and had it bond cleaned, but later they were rushed to hospital," she said.
"They had the house tested and it tested positive for methamphetamine.
"The whole house had to be stripped, but that is a very extreme case."
Some homeowners end up spending as much as $700,000 to decontaminate their properties from the invisible methamphetamine residue.
Crime and Trauma Cleaning managing director Mark Ellis has previously told The Courier-Mail that Australia lacked regulations used in other countries to ensure toxic premises were registered and properly decontaminated.
"In the US and New Zealand you can see a complete register of all the meth houses," he said.
"Here every time a meth lab is found by police they contact the owner and the local council. "The real story is that the councils have done nothing, there's thousands and thousands of people living in places used as meth labs and they're getting sick and they don't know why because the councils have done nothing," he said.