The Department of Health in Tasmania is not being responsible nor truthful if it is claiming that there is “very little contamination” by pesticides in the water.
I have been keeping track of the contamination stories (and professional reports) for some years now and have detailed a long history of such incidents in my submission on the proposed Gunns Ltd pulp mill.
[Go to the Appendices in the sub under the ‘forestry’ link at www.members.iinet.com.au/~rkildar1
The document and the associated Powerpoint presentation can be downloaded by clicking on their names.]
There are two chemicals (at least) used by the forest industry in Tasmania that are toxic at levels below detection. They are alpha-cypermethrin and Haloxyfop Methyl (‘Verdict).
In addition, 2,4-D – used in agriculture – can only be measured to 0.2ppb. This is twice the level of contamination required for action to be taken under the Australian Drinking Water guidelines to prevent further contamination.
It’s interesting to note that Verdict is not registered for use in the US because of its danger to human health and the environment yet the APVMA have registered it here. They won’t take responsibility for the label issued, however.
Mr Roscoe Taylor should inform the Tasmanian public that no testing is being carried out on rainwater tanks and provide the Department’s reasons for not doing so.
The fact is that anyone collecting rainwater is extremely vulnerable to drift from chemicals sprayed at high altitude and well above the ground – current practice in the forest industry.
Chemicals in rainwater tanks are not subject to the dilution effects that those in creeks and rivers experience. Nor is there sunlight to hasten their breakdown. So it’s not surprising the the level of contamination in our tanks were well above that experienced in town water supplies such as Derby and Orford.
Yet no testing!!
Come clean DPIWE and DHHS! Risk cannot always be quantified but it is markedly accelerated for the people of Tasmania by our Government allowing the unfettered dissemination of a multitude of dangerous chemicals over huge portions of our land. In fact, the widespread nature of their dissemination alone ensures that drift into our water is guaranteed. But they also take a long time to breakdown and build up in the food chain!
It is nonsense to claim that pesticides applied almost everywhere disappear into the ether once they leave the helicopter.
We are, in my humble but informed opinion, looking at thousands of deaths and many more suffering long term chronic illness in Tasmania. Is that the price we want to accept for the already heavily subsidised jobs in the forest devastation industry?
We should be asked the question, at least.
Brenda Rosser lives on a small holding on the North West Coast of Tasmania.
This is her story:
A Cry From The Heart: Our Nightmare