Safety and first aid

Testing or cleaning a house for drug contamination

If you suspect methamphetamine (meth) or drug manufacturing or meth smoking has occurred in your home, it is important to follow the Department of Health's guidance for testing or clean-up. This is because different sources or situations of contamination require varying management approaches as outlined in the guidance, and preferably the use of service providers listed by the Department of Health.

In simple terms, the main sources of contamination are:

Clan labs (meth labs)

A property or area used to manufacture or ‘cook’ meth or other illicit drugs is a clandestine laboratory (clan lab). They can generate high levels of persistent and invisible drug and chemical residues throughout a house and pose a substantial health risk. They are far less common than properties where drugs are smoked.

Meth smoke houses

A smoke house is typically a home used to smoke meth or other illicit drugs, but not manufacture them. The resulting house contamination may still be significant where heavy usage has occurred, but current evidence suggests the levels will be significantly lower than from a clan lab.

Cannabis grow houses

A grow house is typically a house used to grow a crop of cannabis (marijuana) for sale rather than smoking or manufacture. The structural alterations/damage to the house can be extensive and may require major repairs to comply with building standards.

Testing and cleaning contamination

The Department of Health's guidance for testing or clean-up (external site) should be followed in this regard.

Additional information on contamination responsibilities can also be found at Consumer Protection Guidance (external site).

Reporting illegal drug activities

Any suspected illicit drug activities should be reported to WA Police or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via Crime Stoppers (external site).

More information

For general information or advice on illicit drug residues in the home, contact the Environmental Health Directorate on 9222 2000 or by email to

Last reviewed: 15-01-2021

Environmental Health

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Information about a service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace professional advice. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified professional for answers to their questions.