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Dioxin measures don't go nearly far enough

11 October 2001

Attention Health / Environment Reporter

Dioxin measures don't go nearly far enough - Kedgley

The Green Party today said the Government's decision to develop a national environmental standard to control dioxin emissions is a good first step, but does not go nearly far enough in reducing dioxin contamination of New Zealand.

"The Government needs to develop a comprehensive strategy to eliminate the sources of dioxin in New Zealand as it promised to do by signing the Stockholm Convention earlier this year," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said.

"While the Green Party support Government proposals to ban backyard burning of rubbish such as plastics and treated timber, we believe the focus of the strategy should be on phasing out all industrial processes and products that produce dioxins in the first place, such as medical waste incinerators, chlorine bleaching of pulp and paper and the use of PVC's in industry," she said.

There are alternative technologies available and industry should be required to convert to these, she said.

"Otherwise there is a danger that the standard could be used to legitimise the continued use of dioxin emitting products and processes," she said. Ms Kedgley said that as part of the strategy, all dioxin-contaminated sites around New Zealand should be publicly identified on a national register, and remedial action taken to clean them up.

"New Zealanders have a right to know whether they live near a dioxin contaminated site," she said.

"Government should lead by example and only purchase chlorine free paper and refuse to use building materials that contain PVC's."

ENDS


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