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Science Media Centre


Fire-fighting foams – Expert Q&A

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on March 23rd, 2018.

As a formal investigation continues into the use of certain fire-fighting foams in New Zealand, airports are being identified as still having stocks of the foams, use of which has been restricted since 2006. Fire-fighting foams manufactured with the chemicals PFOS and PFOA were the standard from the 1970s until the early 2000s. Since 2011, no import, manufacture or use of the […]

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Water inquiry resumes – In the News

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on January 30th, 2017.

An inquiry examining the Havelock North water contamination that left more than 5000 people ill will begin hearing from witnesses today. The campylobacter outbreak in August 2016 affected a third of the Hawke’s Bay town when the water supply was contaminated with suspected animal faeces. Twenty people were hospitalised and two people died during the […]

Meth contaminated homes, what’s the risk? – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on March 24th, 2016.

Costly clean-ups for ‘P’-contaminated homes have been grabbing headlines, but what are the real risks facing a family moving in? Media have reported on figures released that  show the number of state houses testing positive for methamphetamine contamination (from use or manufacturing) is increasing. There have also been a number of media reports of other homes […]

Fonterra cream products contaminated with E.coli

Peter Griffin posted in on January 14th, 2014.

Milk producer Fonterra has  recalled 8,700 bottles of its Anchor fresh cream after testing revealed a batch of the cream was contaminated with E. coli bacteria, some strains of which can cause nausea, diarrhea. Fonterra is yet to confirm which strain of E.coli that was confirmed in an independent lab, after regular testing of fresh […]

‘How safe is our food?’ – Sunday Star Times

John Kerr posted in on August 12th, 2013.

In the wake of Fonterra’s contamination scare, Adam Dudding takes a big picture look at food safety in New Zealand for the Sunday Star Times. An excerpt (read in full here): How safe is our food really? We eat food that could have been grown almost anywhere on the planet, by people we’ll never meet, […]

Contaminated sites revealed

Peter Griffin posted in on October 13th, 2009.

The Greater Wellington regional council has released a list of some 1700 contaminated, or at-risk, sites in the Wellington area, including some notable landmarks. The list of potential contaminants include heavy metals, chemicals, fertilisers, solvents and even munitions.  The move marks the upcoming release by many regional councils around the country to release their equivalent […]

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Should we put biowaste on our agricultural land?

Peter Griffin posted in on October 12th, 2009.

Biowaste is the unavoidable end-point of our civilisation.  It’s made up of all of our waste, including biosolids (sewage sludge) and biodegradable material that is nutrient-rich.  Many countries use a large proportion of treated biosolids on their agricultural land, and it’s a strategy to which New Zealand is giving increasing thought. While countries such as […]

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