'The dose makes the poison' - are we overreacting when it comes to meth levels?

Are we hysterical about tiny levels of meth in New Zealand houses?

TVNZ 1's Breakfast presenter Hilary Barry spoke to Dr Nick Kim this morning about issue, after new guidelines for testing for the drug were released yesterday. 

Dr Kim is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry at Massey University and says that despite the official level of contamination being raised from 0.5 to 1.5 microgramms per 100cm2, we are still safe at that level.

Read more: Meth testing guidelines for properties finally released

Dr Kim says the level of P needed to have any reaction at all is hundreds of times higher than the new official guidelines.

Despite this, he says, people are still worried, for their health, and property value.

An Internal Affairs undercover operation at 120 venues across NZ revealed disappointing results. Source: 1 NEWS

When a house is certified as "decontaminated" on a LIM report it sells for an average five per cent less.

Dr Chris Kim says Kiwis don't need to be quite so worried about the issue. Source: Breakfast



'There are also risks' – specialist says medicinal cannabis not a wonder drug

Campaigners for medicinal cannabis recently celebrated a win, with the government making the drug more accessible.

Those on the other side of the debate say there can be harmful effects for some users. Source: Breakfast

But those on the other side of the debate say it's not a wonder drug, and just because using it may make people feel better, that's not a reason for it to be prescribed. 

Medical specialist Dr Stephen Childs said it was important to know both the risks and the benefits of medicinal cannabis.

"In a few conditions it has been found to be a benefit, but there are also risks."

He said among the risk factors were increased mental health, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, heart attacks, strokes and respiratory illnesses. 

Dr Childs said in some, but not all cases it is "very effective".

"There are things we can derive from the marijuana plant that probably will be a benefit."

But he said the current laws around the controlled medication enabled factors like addiction to be taken into account. 

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne announced recently he is lifting a restriction on the use of medicinal cannabis, meaning doctors will be able to prescribe it. 

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

'Would it be good for the tour if the All Blacks lost?' Hilary and Jack pose curly question to liven up Lions series

It's akin to heresy in New Zealand, but that didn't stop the Breakfast crew raising a very thorny issue - would it be good the British and Irish Lions tour if the All Blacks lost the second Test? 

It's akin to heresy in New Zealand, but that didn't stop the Breakfast crew raising a very thorny issue. Source: Breakfast