ENVIRONMENT

Mapua toxic site

Saturday 12 June 2010, 9:00AM
By New Zealand Police
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MAPUA

The Ministry of Health continues to spin the findings of a study which could have serious health implications for Mapua and the rest of New Zealand, the Green Party said today.

In March the Ministry of Health published a paper called the Assessment of Public Health Risk from the Remediation of the former Fruitgrowers Chemical Company site, Mapua, Nelson, which mapped out a guide line for remediation of any public health problems.

“The report acknowledged there may be health problems, but, due to no records being kept and shoddy reporting practises, the Ministry continues to spin the evidence,” Green Party Toxics spokesperson Catherine Delahunty said.

“It is wrong for the Ministry of Health to say it is unlikely there will be any long term health effects—we don't know because of ineffective and non-existent monitoring of the Mapua site.

“What we do know is that toxins are present in Mapua—dioxins, organochlorines, heavy metals and mercury—all pose massive public health risks in any concentration.”

“Mapua is probably the most toxic site in New Zealand, with the worst attempt at clean up.”

Ms Delahunty said the health support offered by the Ministry was a good step in the right direction, but that it did not address the real issue of public health or wider issues of decontamination of toxic sites around New Zealand.

“Given the lack understanding about these dangerous chemicals what help are GPs going to be?,” Ms Delahunty said.

“We need to be transparent and honest about what happened in Mapua.

“The Ministry of Health could be taking more positive steps to ensure the health of New Zealanders,” Ms Delahunty said.

LINKS
MOH Report
http://www.moh.govt.nz/moh.nsf/indexmh/assessment-of-publichealth-risk-mapua-mar2010