Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service staff offer advice about contaminated land.

They also work with councils, often within the Resource Management Act framework, to address contaminated land issues.

Land becomes contaminated through the manufacture, use, storage and disposal of hazardous substances. While contamination is usually associated with industrial activities, the use of hazardous substances in agriculture and residential settings also leads to contamination.

People and animals are exposed to contaminants by:

  • handling soil
  • ingesting soil or eating produce grown on contaminated land
  • drinking contaminated ground- or surface-water
  • inhaling contaminated particles 

The health risk associated with contaminated soil will depend on the type of hazardous substance, the exposure route and the length of time a person is exposed.