Causes of Contaminated Land Essay

Causes of Contaminated Land Essay

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The presence of hazardous substances in or on land which subsequently is expected to pose, as a threat to human health as well as to the environment itself is known as contaminated land (Ministry of the Environment, 2013). Compared to other developed countries in the world, New Zealand does not measure up to their numbers of sites that are contaminated (Ministry of the Environment, n.d). And although the numbers may not be as high nationally, the issue is still present and exposure that is lethal to human health still has the capability to occur (Ministry of the Environment, n.d).

Contaminated land is largely caused by a number of past human activities that were not considered to be hazardous at the time; this includes the usage, storage, and disposal of chemicals in past practices (Waikato District Health Board, 2014). An example of this would be sheep dipping. A sheep-dip was basically when sheep were dipped into a bath filled with chemicals that were used for the treatment of parasites. This practice was necessary among farmers as it was a requirement under many Acts of Parliament in New Zealand during the 19th century (Ministry of the Environment, n.d). Although sheep-dip sites are no longer used in modern farming, they are still known to be contaminated. The reason for this is because the common chemicals that were used in the sheep-dips were persistent and toxic, these chemicals include: Arsenic, Lindane, and DDT (Ministry of the Environment, n.d). These main toxic chemicals are highly likely to stay in the soil for many years even after the practice has been terminated and also the concentration of these chemicals is prone to still be able to exceed into the limit of it being hazardous to human health (Ministry of the...


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... Environment. (2013). What is contaminated land? Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/managing-environmental-risks/contaminated-land/about/what-is.html

Waikato District Health Board. (2014). Contaminated land. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.waikatodhb.health.nz/public-health-advice/a-z-of-public-health-topics/a-c/contaminated-land/

Waikato Regional Council. (n.d). Contaminated sites. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Services/Regional-services/Waste-hazardous-substances-and-contaminated-sites/Contaminated-sites/

Waikato Regional Council. (n.d). Community wellbeing. Retrieved April 23, 2014, from http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Council/Policy-and-plans/Regional-Policy-Statement/Regional-Policy-Statement-Review/RPSdiscussiondocument/2-Community-wellbeing/27-Hazardous-substances-and-contaminated-land/

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