Blood tests for Mapua
Mapua residents could be blood-tested for dioxins next year to see if they have been affected by the cleanup of the town's toxic chemical site.
The Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council this week called for proposals for the study. The contract is expected to be awarded in April.
The study will involve health questionnaires and blood samples, which will be matched against samples from volunteers from outside the region.
The samples will be tested for dioxins and other toxins, such as organochlorine pesticides.
Experimental New Zealand-designed technology was used to remediate the 3.3-hectare site where the former Fruitgrowers Chemical Company made pesticides for 55 years.
The three-year cleanup project finished in 2007.
Up to 200 people lived near the site from 2004-2006 – a period thought to cover the highest dioxin emissions.