The Ministry of Health’s media around the Public Health Mapua Report is an attempt to whitewash a very serious situation, the Green Party said today.
“The Ministry of Health’s press statement bears little resemblance to the actual report,” said Green Party Toxics spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
“The report itself is a well thought out document. It establishes that the 60-70 households in the Mapua area were exposed to highly toxic chemicals such as dioxins and PCBs.
“There are no safe levels of human exposure to these chemicals.
“The press release from the Ministry minimises the issues and focuses on a small group of chemicals implying the risk to the public is negligible.
“The report actually confirms that the residents of Mapua were exposed to a range of very dangerous chemical of concern, mainly through dust, evaporated pesticides, and dioxins created in the experimental soil drier.
“The scariest thing is that there was an absence of monitoring both on and off the site for these dangerous chemicals and a corresponding lack of data to assess the risks to human health,” said Ms Delahunty.
“Environmental Decontamination Limited (EDL) and the Ministry for the Environment sacrificed public health to save money and time cleaning up the site.
“It is clear from the health report that groundwater and shellfish in the adjacent estuary are still contaminated. The report recommends further investigation into the levels of exposure to the chemical of concern.
“The Green Party supports the findings and recommendations of the report but are concerned the Ministry for the Environment has failed to protect public health and vindicated the concerns of local residents and former workers.
“It is high time the Government was honest about what happened at Mapua and, at the very least, they and the Tasman District Council should follow the recommendations of the report,” said Ms Delahunty.
Link to the report: