Dr Alison Bleaney

From the time (Dec 2003) of the pesticide-spraying helicopter crash in the South George catchment,I have not heard of any pro-active actions taken by DPIW to protect water catchments and the people that live in them (not to mention all the animals) from the application of pesticides and other toxic chemicals. The Macquarie River has been continuously polluted by simazine from 7/07 to 1/08 (Letter from DPIW this month) and DPIW still seem unsure of its origins, although there seems to be some suggestion that it just might be coming from a plantation. I am not aware of any changes in spraying practices because of these results.
See Health– posted 9 July 2007
I have made reference to water contamination in the last paragraph:

“Minister Abbott and Giddings, I would like to see environmental toxins added to that list of agents that the public is informed about at the point of “use” by the individual – just as smoking is dealt with – eg THIS CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR and YOUR CHILDREN’S and THEIR CHILDREN’S HEALTH. This should appear on food labels produced with pesticides, products that release these chemicals, eg fly spray, stain protective furnishings, hard plastic bottles and dare I suggest, many of our drinking water supplies. It is information that allows an individual to make an informed decision as to their own and their family’s exposure to environmental toxins.

Why is this information not being given to consumers now? Why should we as consumers allow this state of affairs to continue?”

From the time (Dec 2003) of the pesticide-spraying helicopter crash in the South George catchment,I have not heard of any pro-active actions taken by DPIW to protect water catchments and the people that live in them (not to mention all the animals) from the application of pesticides and other toxic chemicals.

The Macquarie River has been continuously polluted by simazine from 7/07 to 1/08 (Letter from DPIW this month) and DPIW still seem unsure of its origins, although there seems to be some suggestion that it just might be coming from a plantation. I am not aware of any changes in spraying practices because of these results.

We all await with interest the routine quarterly (Januuary 08) results re river water monitoring.

Tasmanian’s cancer statistics are woeful considering our “clean and green” image – age-standardised incident rates are below –

all cancers – Tas is 2nd (427.1/1000,000persons) to Q’land(427.4)
prostate cancer – Tas is 2nd (139.6/100,000males)to ACT (143.8)
breast cancer – Tas is 7th (111.1/100,000females)with ACT 1st (126.5)
colorectal cancer – Tas is 1st (66.5/100,000 persons) with Q’land 2nd (65.7)
lung cancer – Tas is 2nd (49.8/100,000persons) with NT 1st 52.9)

There is already solid scientific research linking environmental toxins and pesticides to an increased incidence of cancers such as myeloma, melanoma, non-hodgkins lymphoma. The triazines eg atrazine and simazine are also linked to breast and prostate cancer. I would suggest the above figures demand immediate attention. All causative factors and the link between the diseases should be fully explored. Our Health Department constantly tells us to practice preventative medicine. Therefore, preventative action should immediately be instigated.