14 Dec 2004

More research on causes of health irritants at Titikaveka in Cook Islands

9:15 pm on 14 December 2004

Titikaveka locals in the Cook Islands will have to wait until the end of summer to find out what was behind mystery health problems in the district.

A series of disorders struck people in Titikaveka from November last year, but there have been no reported problems since May.

There have been a series of investigations but no definitive explanation for the sore watery eyes, respiratory problems, and nose irritations that people suffered.

A project has now been set up to conduct research and locals who were, or are still affected, are being asked to used a newly installed hotline.

The coordinator, Jaqui Evans, says investigators need to conduct more research.

"We're still investigating, we really don't have any conclusions yet, we can't really say at this point in time. But I think that we'd be able to come up with a conclusion early next year."

Jaqui Evans says some possibilities include ground level ozone from the burning of leaves, car exhausts or air-borne toxic algal blooms.