There are four main types of testing, at IECL we only recommend Presumptive and discrete testing, Laboratory composite testing can be used depending on circumstances, IECL will discuss the situation on a case-by-case bases to decide the appropriate testing for your situation.

Presumptive Test

Instant – calibrated and validated at 0.5 micrograms, Swabs are taken using a 100cm2 template and mixed with a buffer solution that is dropped into a results cassette

  • This test will provide a Yes/Possible/No result within minutes

  • Because all samples are Yes/Possible/No result there is no way of knowing contamination levels, so there is a need to gather individual samples if the contamination levels are to be known. There are also risks of a False Negative result.

Discrete testing

This type of testing is where a sampler takes individual samples in adherence with NIOSH 9111. The individual samples are taken to the laboratory. The individual samples are then run individually to give you a breakdown of contamination in each area.

  • Individual analysis of each sample means you know which areas are affected and levels of contamination.

  • As each sample is analysed there is a laboratory cost for each sample, so it is the most expensive type of test.

Laboratory Composite

This type of testing is like Discrete testing where a sampler takes individual samples in adherence with NIOSH 9111. The individual samples are sent to the laboratory but instead of being analysed individually, they are run in batches of up to ten samples per batch. The laboratory then reports the analysis of each batch and an average result.

  • Because the samples are already individually at the laboratory, should the batch show contamination the laboratory can quickly re-run the samples individually to give you a breakdown of contamination on each sample without the need for a sampler to re-visit the property.

  • Composite sampling does not give you individual sample results, if the result shows higher reading than the Australian guideline even if only one area was contaminated all the individual samples would need to be run to determine the contamination levels in each area.

Field Composite (not recommended)

In a Field Composite test, the sampler takes multiple samples (up to 5 samples) from throughout the property and inserts the swabs into a single test tube. The purpose of the test is to advise the client whether there is any trace of methamphetamine present and if there is a need for further investigation.

  • Because all samples are inserted into the same sample test tube there is no way of knowing which area holds contamination so there is a need to re-visit the property to gather individual samples if the original test shows contamination. IECL believes there is no reason to use this type of testing as it would be the same price as a Lab composite and would only cost the landlord and the insurance company time and money.

    IECL does not recommend Field composite however it is very commonly used in the industry.

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