Eighty-seven Bay homes have tested positive for methamphetamine in just over three years.
Drug testing company Meth Solutions has revealed almost half of the 182 homes tested for P in the Western Bay since 2012 tested positive.
Director Miles Stratford said risks associated with living in a home where P had been used or cooked was high - including increased risk of cancer, heart disease, circulation issues, stroke and chemical poisoning.
Read more: Traces of drug found in Tauranga state homes
Methamphetamine contamination seemed to target areas of health that were already poor, he said.
"For example if your breathing is not quite as good as it should be, instead of having a few breathing difficulties you potentially get emphysema. It super charges all of these other things," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.
"If you are living in the meth lab, say as a meth cook, those guys do die early. They die of cancer and heart disease and all of the symptoms, but they don't report to the doctor and say what they do for a occupation."
Children were often the ones to suffer first with skin rashes, eye irritability, sleeplessness, headaches and generally feeling unwell, he said.
The cost of testing for methamphetamine was determined by the size of the property and how quickly the test was required.
For a three-bedroom property the company would use one kit which would allow it to sample eight areas. This would cost between $129 to $259 plus GST, he said.
Investors Association Lindsay Richards said he had bought a property in Rotorua where there had been knowledge of an alleged meth lab in the garage.
He bought the property at a good price and the suspicions turned out to be true.
"Landlords need to be aware of a couple of basics in the regards to their tenants like funny smells, containers with labels ripped off and if they are very secretive, you can smell the attitude," he said.
"It's not prolific but it's certainly something you should keep an eye on."
Ross Stanway, chief executive of Realty Services which operates Eves and Bayleys, said some potential buyers did request meth tests but they were not common.
"But there seems to be a difference in opinion on the level on what is dangerous, there are no clear guidelines in that respect."
Methamphetamine health effects
• Acute exposure to P chemicals can cause shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, dizziness, lack of co-ordination, chemical irritation, or burns to skin, eyes, nose and mouth.
• Acute exposures can occur in non-drug users during or immediately after "cooking".
• Less severe exposures can result in symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, and fatigue or lethargy. These symptoms have been known to occur in people exposed to active labs, but also in people who have entered a drug lab before the site has been cleaned or ventilated. These less severe symptoms usually go away after several hours of exposure to fresh air.
• Even at low levels, exposures for long periods by people living in a former clan meth lab site could result in serious health effects.
- Source: Ministry of Health