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Health status of the community located in the environs of the Whakatane Sawmill

18 months
Approved budget:
Mr Joe Harawira
Health issue:
Wellbeing (autonomy self-determination)
Proposal type:
Ngā Kanohi Kitea Project Grant
Lay summary
There continues to be public concern over the effects of historical exposure to pentachlorophenol (PCP) and other hazardous substances on the health of populations living in areas around the Whakatane sawmill and wood-waste sites. The proposed research will compare the health status of populations living around the sawmill and wood-waste sites (ie. the 'case' areas) to New Zealand and to populations in a 'control' area (ie. without a sawmill). We will link the addresses of the population living in the 'case' areas to the national health data systems to determine changes in the cause of death and hospitalisation, cancer, pharmaceutical use, and rates of birth defect since the 1990s. A similar methodology will be used to determine the health status of populations living adjacent to similar large sawmills in New Zealand. We will establish a framework for the ongoing monitoring of the health status of the populations living around the former Whakatane sawmill.