Hello again and welcome back to the second part of our series on reading your home meth test results. By way of review, we’re breaking down each part of a typical lab report from ALS Global. As we stated last week, this content should reflect the reporting style of most other labs, assuming your test is NIOSH compliant. If not, you can always contact a Certified Decontamination Specialist in your area with any questions.
Home Methamphetamine Test: Reading the Results
Last week we learned that “Sampling Parameter: Area 300cm²” totaled all the areas we swabbed within our sample. You may have guessed, then, that the μg/sample is the total amount of meth found within your test.
In this case, our lab reported that the total amount of meth was ‘ND’ (or non-detectable). That means that if any meth is present in our sample, it is so negligible that the lab’s sensitive instruments can’t find it. We like this reading since it’s as close as you can get to ‘zero meth.’
If there was a number here, it would indicate the lab could still detect traces of methamphetamine. Of course, the amount of meth (and your personal circumstances) will dictate whether or not there’s a problem. If you see a result other than non-detectable, we recommend discussing your results with a Certified Decontamination Specialist.
(And as a reminder from last week: interpreting your results depends on proper sampling and training. It is not uncommon for people who aren’t trained to unintentionally compromise their sample. This is part of why we generally recommend hiring a professional for the entire testing process. They know how and where to test to improve the accuracy of your results.)
The μg/100cm² column represents the solution to an important equation. By averaging the total amount of meth (μg/sample) by the area tested (area 300cm²) we generate a better idea of what your property might need.
Know that if this number was greater than 1.0/100cm²μg (one-millionth of a gram of meth per one hundred square centimeters), then the state of Utah considers the property contaminated. On the other hand, if it falls below 1.0/100cm²μg, then decontamination is not legally required. (We cannot overstress that this assumes proper sampling took place.)
However, even if decontamination isn’t a requirement, it may still be wise. In other words, there are some situations that justify decontaminating to a non-detectable standard rather than state standards alone. For instance, if the μg/100cm² metric satisfies the state, but the μg/sample is still high, it can indicate a problem. That is why we have to consider all of this information together.
Now, going back to our sample, you can see its results are less than 0.033 μg/100cm²μg. Written out this is .3% of one-millionth of a gram of meth per one hundred square centimeters. Ergo, this sample meets state standards and indicates the property does not require further treatment. (That’s not surprising since this result came from a home we had already decontaminated.)
However, you may wonder why we have numeric reading if our previous result said non-detect. Well, that’s a bit complicated and it might be best to talk it through with a professional. Just remember non-detect doesn’t necessarily mean ‘zero.’ It means that the amount of meth is either infinitesimal or non-existent.
This is the final piece of the lab report we’re going to look over. It simply represents the reporting limit of the lab (or how much meth they can detect). In most cases, it will be 0.10μg.
So, any results less than 0.10μg are non-detectable.
What If I Still Need Help With My Home Methamphetamine Test Result?
We hope this guide was helpful in better understanding your home meth test results. However, if you’re still confused about what your report or what you should do, you’re not alone. Meth testing is a specific and detailed process, and it’s not always easy to figure it out on your own.
For more assistance, you can either call the laboratory that processed your sample or a Certified Decontamination Specialist in your area. If you’re in Utah, feel free to give us a call at (801) 888-6698.