Formaldehyde scare over oral health units

Last updated 05:00 16/05/2014

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The Southern District Health Board has temporarily removed seven mobile oral health units from service after high levels of formaldehyde were found in a unit of the same design in Canterbury.

The southern units are expected to be out of service for about 10 days. Health Board medical officer of health

Dr Marion Poore said the health board would be working through tests to ensure the units were safe before they were put back into service.

Early indications were that the source of the formaldehyde fumes in the Canterbury unit may have been from tiles used in the suspended ceiling, and the southern board was working through a process to replace the tiles in the southern units, she said. The risk to the general public with a short appointment was "negligible", she said.

An eighth unit remains in service as it is has a different design.

Poore said tests would be done to ensure the units were safe. 

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