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OPINION: Another year goes by with 1080 being delivered across the country to start aerial operations during the most bizarre times, especially since Winter has just hit New Zealand. Trucks around the country owned by private companies not-willing to show their branding due to the controversy around 1080 poisoning in the environment are starting to pick up pesticide formulations containing 1080.
Animal Control Products Ltd (ACP), manufactures over 90% of the pesticide formulations containing 1080 used in aerial drops around New Zealand. ACP has two manufacturing sites, one in Wanganui and one in Waimate. Other pesticides are also manufactured by ACP (incl. cyanide, phosphorous, and brodifacoum)
Tull Chemicals in the United States manufacture the active ingredient 1080, sodium fluoroacetate (referred to as the technical grade active). The professional-grade dynamic is a fine white powder similar in consistency to damp sand. It is imported from the United States in shipments of around 500 kg to the Port of Auckland. For transport, the technical grade active is packed in 10kg plastic pails with plastic liners, in a wooden crate inside a shipping container.
Transport by sea from the United States to New Zealand is subject to the IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) Code, which covers packaging, labeling, and `placarding, stowage, and documentation. The crate is unloaded from the shipping container at the Port into a purpose-built steel crate for road transport to ACP’s site in Wanganui.
Road carriage is subject to the New Zealand Road Transport Rule for Dangerous Goods, which has similar provisions to the IMDG Code. The transport operator contracted by ACP holds the appropriate licenses for the transport of dangerous goods – all staff (both drivers and those loading the vehicles) have undergone training in handling of hazardous products, and hold dangerous goods endorsed licenses. ACP tracks all material, and the crate is not opened before receipt on site. Upon arrival, the crate is unloaded into the site’s secure Dangerous Goods store.
Since December 2004, the technical grade active has no longer been handled by the Waimate site. All 1080 products manufactured in Waimate are made using the soluble concentrate (containing 200 g/liter sodium fluoroacetate) that is prepared at the Wanganui site. On average, the total quantity of technical grade active sodium fluoroacetate imported to New Zealand is around 2,500 kg per year, and this has been typical for the last 10 years.
ACP is inspected twice a year by Bureau Veritas Qualifications International (BVQI), who review quality procedures. Vehicle and visitor access to the sites is controlled, and all facilities are kept secure. The sites have emergency procedures in place covering fire and other emergencies that could result in an accidental release of 1080 (or any other hazardous substances). Manufacturing and storage areas are bunded to contain any liquid spills. All manufacturing and storage are carried out undercover, and there is no outside storage of active ingredients or finished products. To eliminate cross-contamination, all manufacturing equipment is dismantled and thoroughly cleaned between production runs. Batches are programmed to minimize cross-contamination between 1080 and other products.
For example, a typical order of production would be non-toxic pre-feeds (which contain no toxin and no dye), brodifacoum pellets, then 1080 pellets. The site(s) is also subject to regular inspections by Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) staff from the Department of Labour. Health and safety procedures are applied to and by all employees, consistent with the Guidelines for the Safe Use of Sodium Fluoroacetate (1080) (Department of Labour, 2002). Strict occupational health and safety controls are in place for all processing operations involving the handling of 1080.
Workers are fully suited and wear respiratory protection when handling 1080 powder and preparing solutions. They shower before removing the suits that are then disposed of. OSH has set a Biological Exposure Index (BEI) for 1080 of 15 μg/L of 1080 in urine, and a workplace exposure standard (WES) of 0.05 mg/m3 (concentration of 1080 in the air). The BEI is the level of the determinant (in this case 1080) that would be expected to be present if the employee was exposed to concentrations equal to the WES. Employee monitoring is carried out by quarterly urine sampling and annual blood testing, and results confirm compliance with the New Zealand standards.
ACP supplies 1080 primarily to professional pest control contractors, although in some cases supplies are provided directly to DOC and regional councils. 1080 products are dispatched by road to purchasers at a known destination. As described, ACP uses a transport operator licensed for the carriage of dangerous goods in accordance with the HSNO controls.
Is this inspecting too accurate to be good? For one, the public must be notified when this toxic bait is going to be delivered across the country for the sake of everyone else’s safety while on the road. A huge example can be the house movers when moving a large house; communities get notified when and or where the truck will be taking the route to ensure drivers are aware of the dangerous load being transported. If a 1080 delivery truck were to crash, would the Government fess up and let the public know that a truck has crashed carrying 1080 or would the Government just say there’s been a chemical accident and to avoid the scene at all costs as workers clean up the large mess that this could cause.
This also plays a large role for the Inter Islander ferries, does the public know that (possibly) 1080 pellets are being transferred over the sea without their knowledge? thisquality understands that this is just a theory at this point in time until there is a direct answer from inter islander or blue bridge.
Candidate for the political Outdoors Party Kiri Mckee, who’s taken the photos above, was asked some questions, and she’s deeply concerned for the safety of others on the road.
“I have gone as far as Levin to follow before, then Rana or Tony (friends of Kiri) have taken over. Tony has followed them to the ferry a few times; other times, I will follow it to see which way he heads. People following behind might not want to follow so close if they knew what was inside. I doubt they will tell the truth. Cover up big time.”
She wants to see what their operation is really hiding from the public about transparency issues and why the public never gets told or get educated about the delivery operations that happen behind closed doors.
“I believe they go straight on the ferry. Our team has seen this. But if the same truck is back the next day there is no way they have gone to the ferry and back.”
The manufacturing companies such as Orillion that create the 1080 baits need to have more transparency about their operations, educate the locals and just be open about what they are doing so there is a better understanding of why it started in the first place, because a lot of 1080 activists only want the drops to be stopped and banned, they don’t answer the right questions because there’s a lack of public knowledge about the dangerous delivery operations by these companies.
“During my time getting signatures for the referendum here in Wanganui. There were so many locals that have no idea they make it here. They were shocked. I live not far away. It’s Sickening. I try not to drive past when I’m out because the smell of cinnamon lingers all the way down heads road. But I can’t help it, I go down to check anyway.”Do you have a story? send newstips to [email protected]