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Kedgley Supports Call For Soil Dioxin Testing

Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today called on the Health Minister to begin a comprehensive investigation of dioxin levels in soil in residential areas around the Dow plant in New Plymouth, as requested by the Taranaki Regional Council.

Ms Kedgley said she agreed with the Taranaki Regional Council that blood serum testing of residents alone should not be relied upon as the sole measure to ascertain the health risks to residents.

She said soil testing was essential to assess past and present exposure of residents to dioxin and to ascertain the health risks to residents.

"This is a crucial environmental health issue. We need to be sure that residents are not being exposed to levels of dioxin which would put their health at risk," she said.

"We also need to establish whether the high rates of cancers and reproductive problems in the area are linked to high levels of dioxin contamination.

"I agree with the Taranaki Regional Council that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to ensure these tests are carried out, given that the dioxins were discharged from the plant at a time when the Ministry was resposnsible for those discharges," said Ms Kedgley.


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