6 Nov 2013

Toxin study says no big health risk

9:03 pm on 6 November 2013

Residents in Mapua near Nelson were not exposed to toxic chemicals which could pose a significant health risk, according to new research.

The University of Otago study around the formerly contaminated site found no evidence that remediation work led to exposure to levels of dioxins or other dangerous substances.

The former Fruitgrowers Chemical Company site in Mapua had been classified as New Zealand's most contaminated. Soil remediation work began in 2004 and was completed in 2008.

Previous testing had indicated that dioxins were released into the environment during the remediation work, but no evidence of elevated exposure or physical ill-health in Mapua has been found.

However, the study does suggest that there were social health effects such as residents' frustration at not being properly consulted.