Understanding Third Hand Exposure of Australian People to Methamphetamine

ARC Linkage Project

In Australia, there is high community concern around inadvertent exposure to methamphetamine residues in contaminated houses. In this proposal, an interdisciplinary research team aims to engage with public health authorities and the public housing industry to conduct collaborative research on total exposure to methamphetamine in contaminated indoor environments. The project will assess exposure pathways (via air, dust, and surfaces) and link them with methamphetamine levels in samples from occupants' urine and hair. The project is expected to significantly enhance our understanding of how third-hand exposure leads to internal exposure in humans. This will provide evidence used in creating policies on residential indoor exposures and remediation strategies. 


The state of residential contamination of methamphetamine in Australia was reviewed and the results have been published as a paper. Additionally, this project has contributed data on various aspects of remediation to the WA Health Team who lead the establishment of new guidelines for Testing and Remediation of Methylamphetamine and Illicit Drug Contamination in Australia. 

Research Outputs

Gao, J., Culshaw, P., Ngo, H.K., Howell, J., Le, H.H., Yang, M. and Thai, P.K., 2023. Methamphetamine contamination in residential properties and their remediation in Queensland, Australia. Forensic Science International: Reports7, p.100311.

Research Impact

After several discussions with the Western Australian Government Department of Health, the data from this project was utilised to support their position regarding the public health risks of residues from smoking methamphetamines in homes. 

Project members

A/Prof Phong Thai

Co-Theme Leader, Environmental Health Risk Assessment

Dr Xianyu (Fisher) Wang

Senior Research Fellow