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4th damning report on Aerial Spray health effects

Fourth damning report on Aerial Spray health effects should halt the programme

Painted Apple Moth community representative Hana Blackmore, today called on the Government to halt the aerial spray programme in West Auckland, as a new survey detailing damning adverse health effects, is the fourth in as many months to be published.

Hana Blackmore, spokesperson for STOP (the Society Targeting Overuse of Pesticides) and member of the Painted Apple Moth Community Advisory Group, welcomed yesterday's publication by the New Zealand Educational Institute of their health survey of West Auckland schools.

"This independent survey of teaching staff and school principals confirms that adverse health effects of the spraying are at epidemic levels in schools", says Hana. "Teachers are some of the most vulnerable workers. How do they avoid personal exposure when it conflicts with their professionalism and dedication to their job of ensuring the wellbeing and safety of the children in their care?"

Hana believes that few people in New Zealand are even aware of the true situation in the schools in West Auckland.

"How many people or politicians know that when they read the health risk assessment of this programme and happily note there would only be eleven schools and early childcare centres in the drift zone of the spray, that MAF are now actually spraying 260 schools?"

Hana Blackmore who is author of the community's Interim Health Report published earlier this year, said the impact of the pesticide spraying programme was now overwhelming and undeniable. "How many more reports do we need before attention is paid to the deteriorating health and welfare of the community? This is the fourth report in as many months. Why is no-one listening?"

Hana says the recent announcement by the Ministry of Health of a new study into the health concerns of the residents, is too late, and the spraying should be halted now.

"By the time this study would be completed later this year, many in the community, both workers and residents, will have been subjected to two years continuous aerial spraying. Nowhere in the world has any community had to bear what this government and country is demanding they endure. It is too much".

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