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Hazardous Substances

Effective management of hazardous substances throughout their lifecycle is necessary to avoid adverse health effects from either direct exposure or environmental contamination.

Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service is involved in the prevention of injuries from exposures to hazardous substances. Designated Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act Enforcement Officers enforce the Act in respect of hazardous substances in public places.

Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service role also relates to situations where, not withstanding other agencies' responsibilities, there is a need to protect public health. Health Protection Officers provide information and advice to the public on hazardous substances including:

  • Lead and lead poisoning

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

  • Mercury

If you believe you have been affected, either directly or indirectly by a hazardous substance or chemical you should:

1.    For treatment

  • Ring the Poison centre hotline on 0800 POISON (0800 764 766).

  • Go and see your GP – they may report your incident to the Medical Officer of Health via a system known as the Hazardous Substances Disease and Injury Reporting Tool (HSDIRT) as a result of this notification you may receive a phone call from a Health Protection Officer seeking further information.

2.    For prevention or investigation

There are a variety of Government agencies that are involved with hazardous substances – it is best if you speak to the lead agency for your area of concern.

If appropriate the lead agency will notify the Public Health service and it will be recorded in HSDIRT.

This table gives some guidance:

Location/type of issue

Lead agency

Hazardous substances in a workplace

WorkSafe NZ
Ph: 0800 030 040

Hazardous substances in air, on water or land, e.g. spray drift

Bay of Plenty Regional Council
Ph: 0800 884 880

Waikato Regional Council
Ph: 0800 800 401

Hazardous substances on roads

NZ Police
Ph: *555

Hazardous substances in buildings that are not workplaces

Local councils

Hazardous substances in food or imported items

Ministry for Primary Industries
Ph: 0800 693 721

Other

Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service
Ph: 0800 221 555

 

Resources

 

Further information

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