It’s estimated there could be as many as 2000 P labs in New Zealand. And, on average, the police find 200 homes being used to manufacture P every year.

At Pink Bins, we dispose of many kinds of materials, including metals, e-waste and asbestos. P-lab waste is something we are also often called on to dispose of. In fact, there have been times when we have disposed as much as one P-lab a week.

The cost of decontamination

The damage that P labs can do is huge. You see, the toxins spread to every nook and cranny — and beyond — in a room. Nothing is safe: carpets, walls, curtains, furniture — even the air becomes poisonous.

And the usually innocent building owners can be hit with a bill of as large as $50,000 to get a building decontaminated.

Criminals posing as holiday makers have been known to book baches to set up makeshift P-labs in. Within the criminal world this is known as a “cook-a-batch” holiday.

Health costs

Of course, it’s not just buildings that are affected. Exposure to P-lab chemicals is devastating to your health.  During the manufacturing process, metals and salts are used — mercury and lead are particularly dangerous and can cause the following:

  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Neurological problems
  • An increased risk of cancer.
Symptoms

If you have been exposed to P-lab fumes, you may experience the following:

  • Coughing
  • Poor coordination
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation to your skin, nose, mouth and eyes.

In Auckland, a woman suffered chronic fatigue for several months. It was eventually discovered that she had been exposed to P-lab waste that her neighbours had flushed down the drain.

Decontamination

We at Pink Bins are not involved in the decontamination of buildings used to host P labs. This is a highly dangerous and is carried out by qualified restoration teams in conjunction with independent testing laboratories. Using internationally recommended procedures, these teams will remove all contaminated areas, including carpets, curtains, furniture and soil.

P-lab disposal procedure

Our part in the process is the transportation of the waste to landfill. We ask our customers to place all P-lab waste in plastic-lined bins. This waste doesn’t come back to our depot — we take it directly to landfill.

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