Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Toxic timber review ignores environment

Toxic timber review ignores environment

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she was concerned the ERMA review of CCA treated timber confirmed today does not include an assessment of the environmental impacts of the toxic timber.

The timber posed significant risks, not just to human health, but also to the environment, Ms Fitzsimons said. "And the fact is, these environmental risks end up being risks to human health," Ms Fitzsimons said. "We simply do not know, until we have a done full review, the extent to which arsenic and chromium have entered the food chain."

Ms Fitzsimons pointed out that ERMA was the Environmental Risk Management Authority.

Ms Fitzsimons said the review's focus on a single report by United States scientist Dr Rick Maas suggested the intent of the review was simply to discredit his research, rather than taking a wider view of "what everyone must acknowledge is a very toxic substance".

Dr Maas' research revealed significant carcinogenic and other health risks of the timber, particularly to young children.

Ms Fitzsimons said it was essential that ERMA's review include all environmental impacts of CCA timber if it was to be credible.

"It has been known for many years that CCA timber contaminates soil and water runoff at treatment sites, where the chemical is applied to the timber in pressure vessels and left to drip dry. These contaminated sites are a shocking legacy for future generations," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"Recent research has shown that CCA timber also leaches poisons into the soil and stormwater when it is stacked outside in the rain, in storage areas and awaiting sale outside timber outlets. This occurs even when the timber has been properly dried after treatment. The leached arsenic and chromium ends up in streams, beaches and estuaries - and is potentially taken up by fish, seafood and other organisms," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"There is also the question of disposing of unwanted treated timber. Offcuts from construction are sometimes burned in domestic fires, leading to arsenic in the air and in the ash, which is often put on gardens. Old fence posts and CCA-treated timber from demolitions are also an environmental hazard if they are burned, and we do not know the level of arsenic and chromium in farm soils which have had treated fenceposts for many years."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sending An Orion P-3 To Tonga

Because the undersea volcanic eruption in Tonga cut communications with the more remote parts of the country, it wasn’t at all surprising that as a good Pacific neighbour, New Zealand sent a reconnaissance aircraft up there to gather information about the extent and location of the damage. The more interesting thing was which plane we sent. It was an old P-3K Orion. It wasn’t one of the four fancy P-8 Poseidons that the New Zealand taxpayer spent north of $3 billion to purchase and to equip, only a few years ago...


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>

Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>

Crown: Duke Of York’s NZ Military Patronage Appointment Ends
Buckingham Palace has recently announced that, with the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>

Financial Advice NZ: Law Changes Locking Out Home Seekers, Urgent Meeting Sought With Government

Recent changes in consumer finance law on top of Government policy changes are locking many home seekers out of finance options they would have qualified for just six weeks ago, says Financial Advice New Zealand... More>>

Energy: Powering NZ’s Future With Biofuels
The Government will introduce a Sustainable Biofuels Mandate to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector, Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods said today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels