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Residents Demand Masks

Residents Demand Masks

Contact: Rachel Wapenaar 021 1101 345

Time of action: 9.30am - Spray Day

Where: 131 Boundary Road, Blockhouse Bay (M.A.Fs new headquarters). Note: This is out of the spray zone. Spraying is scheduled for Wed. 14 May. Please phone 0800 969696 from 5am to hear if spraying is going ahead.

This protest will take place on the first day of spraying.

Action group No Way Spray will gather outside M.A.F Headquarters this coming spray day. They will be wearing masks and demanding M.A.F officials provide them with adequate masks to protect themselves from BTK foray 48B. M.A.F insist their ground sprayers wear full protective chemical suits and masks, therefore Aucklanders experiencing health effects as a result of the spray, must be entitled to such masks as well. Residents health must also be a priority. There is cause for concern as the pesticide BTK foray 48B is now known to include: - Propylene glycol is commonly found in brake and hydraulic fluids and in antifreeze formulations, and is also used as a solvent. Its health effects include irritation to the skin, damage to the intestines and depression of the central nervous system especially in children.

- Benzoic acid is a highly controversial food preservative that can trigger asthma, and irritation to the skin and eyes.

- Hydrochloric acid is used in hair bleaches and as a solvent. Inhalation of the fumes of hydrochloric acid can cause choking and inflammation of the respiratory tract. This explains the recent West Auckland New Zealand Education Institute survey that states 56% teachers are affected by this pesticide.

It also explains why so many Aucklanders are feeling ill effects resulting from the aerial spraying. For the majority their symptoms are not a result of pre-existing allergies. Rachel Wapenaar a "breakfast evacuee" from Point Chevalier says, "The Government isn't listening to our health concerns.

Many residents have been exposed to this spray 20 times, more if they live near a hot spot. Aerial spraying began 1.5 years ago, and now M.A.F is talking about a winter and possible summer programme.

Many people feel a bitterness towards M.A.F. and feel let down by this Government, but can you blame them? We've been ignored. There is no end in sight."

She is also concerned M.A.F figures suggest less than 1% of the population are affected by the spray. "This is grossly underestimated.

Few people use Aer Aqua - M.A.Fs health monitoring service - those that do are usually told their symptoms aren't spray related.

The few that "make it through" the evacuation process aren't even monitored! I've suffered a range of symptoms from nausea that lasted a week, to headaches, body aches, a sore chest. Notes were taken during my initial visit to the doctor, since then not one nurse has asked me how I am, let alone recorded anything! This is why their statistics are so low, why the Government continues to spray us. This is why the pesticide is called safe."

M.A.F, sensing BTK foray 48B wont eradicate all moths, have finally begun using the long awaited "alternatives", such as releasing sterilized moths and removing host vegetation. The latest recorded trap catch figures show just 3 moths were found.

Residents are left wondering with so few moths and winter months approaching, why concentrating on alternative methods isn't a viable means towards total eradication? One thing is clear, this problem wont go away.

24% of containers are checked on arrival into our country. M.A.F is at present spraying 3 moths species in the North Island.

Biosecurity is clearly failing & pesticides cannot continue to be the solution. We owe it to our children, the future generation of New Zealand.

The Government is to review the aerial spraying programme 26 May.

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