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Agrichemical Spray-drift

If agrichemicals are not applied carefully, spray may drift away from the target area. This is known as Spray-drift.

Why is Spray-drift a problem?

  • It could affect human health
  • It could contaminate water supplies (e.g. roof water supply)
  • It could contaminate fruits and vegetables

Application of an agrichemical using a spray technique will inevitably involve some off-target drift but the extent of Spray-drift is determined by meteorological factors, topographical factors, and those factors, which are operator controlled.

The risk associated with Spray-drift is a combination of the extent, concentration, and nature of the Spray-drift, the toxicity or other hazardous properties, and the people exposed.

If you are exposed to Spray-drift note down the following details:

  • How you first became aware of Spray-drift.
  • The time, date, weather (especially the wind strength and direction).
  • The colour and smell of the spray, if obvious.
  • Who is spraying and the equipment used.
  • Who else is spraying in the area.
  • The type of aircraft (if used), its identification number and colour, the direction it came from.
  • An estimate of its height above ground.
  • Any symptoms occurring after Spray-drift, and time lapse between Spray-drift and symptoms.

If you haven’t experienced health problems, note down the incident details and pass it on to Auckland Council and the concerned Territorial Authority.

If you have any symptoms after exposure, contact your GP who will notify the Auckland Regional Public Health Service if further investigation is required.

Please remember that the Auckland Regional Public Health Service has no enforcement role. Our role is to advise you about possible adverse health effects of spraying and steps you should take to minimize those effects.

Health Protection Officers advise and assist other agencies in their enforcement role in mitigating Spray-drift problems.

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