Painted Apple Moth Spray effects on People Short and Long term.

puppypompAI and Robotics

Nov 14, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


Painted Apple Moth
Spray effects on
People Short and
Long term.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson,
Linda Chen.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


Research Methods

Painted Apple Moth Spray effects on
People Short and Long term.

Course No:

CSTU 7920

CSTU 8002

Course Lecturer:

Geoff Bridgman

Student Names:

Karen Farrell

Linda Chen

Gaylene Thompson

Student IDs:





14 Valron Rd

Te Atatu South

Phone Numbers:

09 836 4004

021 1166555


I declare the following to be my own work, unless otherwise referenced as defined by
Unitec New Zealand’s policy on plagiarism.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen




Our objective was to outline concer
ns about the painted apple moth spray effects on peoples’
health, short term and long term. We aimed to investigate how effects on peoples' short term
and long term health, negative affectivity, and prior symptom complaints influenced health
complaints aft
er the painted apple moth spray in a prospective study.


We interviewed nine residents of West Auckland

who experienced significant symptoms
from the spraying and analyzed their feedback with regards to our research. They completed
questionnaires measuring some symptoms, negative affects’, and concerns about the effect of
spraying with Foray 48B.


e transcriptions of the interviews have shown their ill health to be associated with the
spraying. Three people reported 6 years later they were affected long term. High levels of
short term effects were associated with pre
existing health conditions.


Conclusively, through our research and interaction with the interviewees’ we believe that the
painted apple moth spray has affected people on a short term and long term basis.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


Statement of Orientation

We are third year students studying the Bachelor of Social Practice. We have undertaken
papers pertaining to Counseling, Social Work and Community Development. We are also all
adults having returned to study and so as such also bring with us our life exper

Regardless of all of the researchers being women we believe this did not have any influence
on the as the effects of the spray did not appear to be gender orientated.

All three researchers resided in West Auckland at the time of the Painted Apple M
Eradication programme and therefore were all exposed to the spray to some degree. One of
the researchers suffered detrimental effects of the spray also. The other two were not effected
as such except as it being an inconvenience.

Throughout this resea
rch we were conscious of the dichotomy of power relations between
researchers and the participants. We believe that by being transparent we encouraged the
participants to reveal

quality data which was extremely valuable to our research.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen



In this literature review we shall be exploring the literature regarding the painted apple moth
spraying effects’ on people short and long term, and particularly context of the Auckland
Spray programme of 2001

2004 painted apple moth eradication. We wil
l discuss the
psychology of human behavior relaying the attitudes, awareness and education of the public
before and during the spraying. This includes the hysterical public response, such as Semitic
reaction, the Mental Health issues such as secondary heal
th issues and areas of vulnerability
including lowered immunity. We shall then research the nay sayers who say there were no
health issues.

The Waitakere City Councils involvement pertaining to the resource Management Act will
then be explored and further
more the media response both positive and negative will be
outlined. Notifications to the public including possible effects, warnings and
recommendations will be discussed and areas of vulnerability are investigated through
reported health issues. Doctors’

recommendations and Hospital statistics, risk assessments
and possible health effects include statistics and recommended health services.

Literature on community groups that formed at this time that supplied community support
and worked towards financial

compensation will be explored as well.

The Ombudsman’s report is describing a possible breach of the Bill of Rights. We shall also
describe the contents of the spray and the scientific tracking of effects of the contents
including the publications of
what the contents of the sprays possible effects on the
environment, people, animals, other insects and flora were and possible long term effects. We
also will explore the manufacturer’s point of view regarding the confidentiality of the
contents of the sp

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


The Auckland Spray programme and the public response to it:

In this research project, we explored the literature regarding the short and long term effects
on people of painted apple moth spraying programme. From January 2002 to May 2004,

655,000 litres of Foray 48B was sprayed over approximately 193,188 people in West
Auckland in adherence to the countries Bio
security Act. However, numbers of people
impacted may be closer to 200,000 due to wind activity and spray drift. Since 1996, MAF
ndertook three major million
dollar campaigns to eradicate the: white spotted moth, the
painted apple moth, and the gypsy moth. The most prolonged and intensive of the campaigns
was the spraying of West Auckland for the painted apple moth (Mourin, J.


One of the purposes of this research project is to explore the literature regarding the painted
apple moth spraying; to analyze the information found with regard to the cost of possible
health problems to the population of that area. Our other goal was
to distinguish whether the
called “psycho
somatic problems” experienced by West Aucklanders were in fact
legitimate or not. This is in relation to research by the University of Auckland’s Department
of Health Psychology that showed “worries about modern
ity affecting health to be an
important influence on symptoms after environmental spraying.” So that the higher levels of
health worries were linked to a higher number of symptoms “attributed to the spray program”

Petrie, K., Broadbent, E., Kley, N., Moss
Morris, R., Horne, R., Rief, W.

An important social and political issue of our life is the quality of the environment, according
to research over worries about environmental pesticide spraying. These environmental
changes and technological changes affecting health also concern: genetical
ly modified food,
mobile phones, vaccines, and other “unnatural” interventions such as the fluoridation of
water. (
Petrie, Broadbent, Kley, Moss
Morris, Horne, Rief. 2005).

Dr. Simon Hales, a PhD in epidemiology with 15 years of experience of public healt
research, specialising in the field of atmospheric environment, including climatic and air
pollution effects. In 2004, Dr Hales was the lead author of a report to the New Zealand
Ministry of Health, in which he raised concerns that he once again asserted

at the Inquiry
(Mourin, 2006).

The People’s Inquiry into the impacts and effects of aerial spraying pesticide over urban areas
of Auckland was held in March 2006 in Waitakere City received single submissions


submissions by whole families. The Commiss
ioners were also told of violent coughs dubbed
by many residents as the “moth cough”, debilitating asthma developed by both adults and
children, numerous hospitalisations for breathing problems and effects on the lungs.
Residents had suffered diarrhea, sev
ere stomach pains, bloating of the stomach, and irritable
bowel syndrome

according to J.
Mourin (2006
) of

Pesticide Action Network Asia

Witnesses also noted suffering severe headaches and migraine. One w
oman recounted how
her local doctor was so concerned about her migraines he suspected she may have had a brain
tumor. A teacher, who had become actively involved in protesting the sprays, recounted how
she noticed an increase in absenteeism and sick days t
aken by students. There were many
complaints from students of headaches, and other complaints which interfered with their
ability to concentrate and learn


Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


Mothers shared a litany of the same effects on their children. One woman, who was pr
at the time, recounted her distress when the midwives at the hospital she went to recounted
noticing an increase in ‘spotting’ (bleeding) among pregnant women in the area, miscarriages
and women delivering their babies prematurely over the course of

the spraying



According to
some participants in the Inquiry

he spraying against moths had also caused
huge disruption in the lives of families across West Auckland. The Inquiry heard submissions
of ho
w, having to relocate to escape the spraying caused many people’s loss of income, loss
of businesses, and how days taken off work had threatened people’s job security. Many were
forced to relocate from Waitakere at great personal cost and often at the last

minute, being
informed between 3 a.m.

4.30 a.m. on spray days that they had to pack up and leave if they
wanted to avoid getting sprayed and possibly falling ill.

Submissions also recounted extreme stress to family relationships, strained marriages, br
relationships where partners left sufferers of health effects, and loss of well
Additionally, costs of medication for repeated and complex medical conditions, and the huge
amounts spent by many individuals to treat their ailments, have eaten up

into their savings.



Another submission to the inquiry of the effects from the spraying was from Dr Gordon
Hosking, a forest and biosecurity specialist of 35 years’ experience. He led the science team
for the earlier white
tussock moth (WS
TM) response. His experience revealed “the affected
community should be involved in analysis and decision making


Of MAF’s actions he concluded, “It is my view that the pursuit of personal agendas and lack
of competent scientific input, turned an easily
managed localised incursion in an industrial
area into a programme costing 10s of millions of dollars and affecting thousands of



Organisational responses to public concerns

Aer’Aqua, the health service sub
contracted by MAF had a v
ery negative view of of
complainants . In her submission to the Inquiry, one survivor quoted the Aer’Aqua report of
June 2005, in which they noted, “highly active and vocal opponents of the (spray)
programme”, who had “created misinformation and fear…they
fuelled controversy over the
perceived health effects through misinformation”. The Inquiry was also informed of how,
“the 2005 report quoted studies from the 1980s which implied people who report health
complaints are NA of ‘Negative Affect’ types. NA is d
efined as ‘A unique personality
construct with feelings of nervousness and worry, chronic negative mood states, pervasive
feelings of discomfort, introspection and a tendency to dwell on the negative aspects of the
self and the world’



e there were a few supportive local general practitioners, many medical professionals
supported the Aer’Aqua doctors, in describing spray victims as “psychosomatic”, that they
were “exaggerating” or “over
reacting”, or were just “hysterical” as new mothers

women. Many survivors also called for these doctors to be struck off the New Zealand health
registry, and for their licenses to be revoked as they were not fit to call themselves doctors.

Petrie, Broadbent, Kley, Moss
Morris, Horne, Rief. 2005).

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


th Risk Assessment

MAF spent millions of dollars convincing the public about this to the extent that MP Murray
McCully, had commented, ‘This is the Government

Propaganda machine on


According to research by
Dr Joanna Goven
, Dr Tom Kerns, Prof Romeo Quijano, Dell
Wihongi, (2006)

since 1996, MAF had undertaken three major multi million
campaigns to eradicate infiltrations of the white spotted moth, the painted apple moth, and the
gypsy moth. The insecticide used in the
se campaigns was Foray 48B, a formulation which
contained the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (BtK). The most prolonged and
intensive of the campaigns was the spraying of Auckland for the painted apple moth from
January 2002 to May 2004.

As point
ed out by one of the survivors who were forced into activism on this issue, “even the
Waitakere City Council was unable to obtain ingredients of the Spray through an application
to the Ombudsmen. After 3 years, the only result is the Di Marco report, which

again repeats
the psychosomatic theory, and blames “adverse media reports” for the health impacts of


As noted by Dr. Meriel Watts, coordinator of Pesticides Action Network (PAN)
Aotearoa/New Zealand and Steering Council membe
r of PAN Asia Pacific, in her submission
to the enquiry , “In order to justify the aerial spraying programme to the West Auckland
community, the government commissioned a health risk assessment (HRA) of Foray 48B.
The HRA concluded that although there was
evidence that some health effects might be
‘complained of’ by some people, the risks to human health were, “Small …[and], that any
health effects will be insignificant …[and that the spray has] a proven safety record, …a
clean bill of health, …[and is] har
mless to humans and animals”.

However, as we shall see later in this review, what Dr Watts concluded could not be justified

Media Response and surveys

Local opposition to the spray program and concern over the possible health effects of th
spray were reported in the media. Although there was a
news article which implied that the
spraying of the moth was more important than the controversial health problems it caused
Ramsey, 2001).

In recent years, there has been a rise in media interest about sensitivity to environmental
hazards. This may lead to the media disproportionately highlighting aspects of toxic and
environmental issues, in contrast to more mundane lifestyle factors, such
as smoking, that are
more closely associated with illness. Media stories that encourage worries about modern and
environmental threats to health may result in an over reporting of symptoms in groups that
may have no exposure and undermine an individual’s p
erceptions of their own health. (
Broadbent, Kley, Moss
Morris, Horne, Rief. 2005).

A phone survey of 300 adults in the painted apple moth zone in November 2002 asked the
question, whether eradication, while inconvenient, is “ultimately worth it to
stop the damage

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


caused by PAM”; 86 percent agreed or agreed strongly it is “worth it” (Report of the Mayor
part A, 2003).

MAF carried out regular phone surveys to keep up to date with the communities’ response to
the programmes. The surveys showed that, al
though some residents had concerns and some
were strongly opposed, the vast majority of people supported the programmes objectives and
the way MAF carried them out (Anderton, 2007).

Notifications of Spraying

MAF implemented the public communications strat
egy as part of the eradication programme

pledging to keep residents informed of progress of the operation to wipe out painted apple
moth. Important notices were published in the community newspapers and broadcast on the
following radio stations: Newstalk
ZB (89.4 FM or 1080 AM) and More FM (91.8 FM). .
The aim of the strategy was to provide the public with information on the need for the
eradication programme, the effects of
Foray 48B
, and steps that people can take to access
practical support services if
they have concerns about the effect of the programme on their
health or the health of their families
(Biosecurity New Zealand, 2003).

The communications strategy included press releases, advertising, publications, direct mail,
specialist meetings for the p
ublic, information targeted at general practitioners and education
providers, surveys to monitor public opinion, presentations, and an 0800 enquiries line. In
addition, several advisory groups were established to cover scientific/technical, health and
unity matters
(Biosecurity New Zealand, 2003).

In addition to general widespread publicity, discussion took place with key organisations

local authorities, health authorities, educational authorities, the police, environmental groups
and business groups. Initial discussion with iwi and urban Maori ha
s included representatives
of Te Whanau o Waipareira, Ngati Whatua and Te Kawerau
Maki. Consultation with Te
Maki was ongoing, and a memorandum of understanding was developed with
(Biosecurity New Zealand, 2003).

MAF maintained a mailing li
st for residents in the painted apple moth zone to receive notices

text message
. Subscribers received notices about the vegetation control
zone, aerial operations, and other developments in the campaign to wipe out the painted apple

subscribers received text messages on treatment days letting them know if and
when aerial operations were occurring (
Biosecurity New Zealand, 2008).

How safe was the insecticide used?

The insecticide used is called Foray 48B. The active ingredient of Foray 48B, Bacillus
thuringiensis var kurstaki or Btk, is a bacteria. Btk is related to a natural bacteria (Bt) found
in extremely low concentrations in soil. The strains of Btk used in F
oray 48B are not
commonly found in soil. A mutant strain of Btk was found by researchers and then bred for
use against caterpillars. Btk strains that are used in commercial pesticides have not yet been
found in any significant quantity in nature (No spra
y Zone, n.d.).

Foray 48B is an insecticide. It selectively kills the larval stage of butterflies and moths
(Lepidoterae). Foray 48B is made up of an active ingredient and mostly ‘inert’ ingredients.
Foray 48B is produced by Valent Biosciences and is of
ten used for the elimination of gypsy

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


moths, tussock moths, painted apple moths and other Lepidoterae around the world (No spray
Zone, n.d.).

The aerial pesticide being sprayed on people was Checkmate LBAM
F, of which Foray 48B is a

t carries the label;

Product Warning Label
: Keep out of reach of Children CAUTION"
It also said it is:

"Potentially harmful if swallowed, absorbed through skin or inhaled. Causes mod
erate eye
and skin irritation. Avoid contact with skin, eyes or clothing. Applicators should avoid
breathing vapor or spray mist" (Hope for Truth, 2007).

Other areas of concern were that the spray used

Foray 48B, had been found by MAF
scientists to pers
ist in the environment for more than 11 days, in spite of repeated denials by
MAF which has always claimed that the spray breaks down after 2 hours, after which time it
is safe for people to leave their houses

(Scoop Politics, 2002).

Subspecies of Bt prod
uce protoxin. Protoxin is a substance that becomes poisonous when it
is ingested by ‘target’ insects. The acid in the human digestive tract deactivates protoxin
which is why we are not poisoned by ingesting BT. However there may be a different story
people inhale Btk protoxin. Btk is toxic and has been observed to destroy cell walls in
animal tissue in laboratory experiments.

While it is claimed that Btk is a natural insecticide and is used on organic crops, there is a
growing awareness in the organ
ic farming community that Btk could soon be genetically
modified and should probably be avoided. When we eat produce sprayed with Btk, we would
only swallow a tiny amount. This is because the UV in sunlight will destroy most of the Btk
after a few days.

However, during a aerial spraying of residential areas, a person could
expect to inhale more Btk spores than they would consume in a years worth of food. And
while the acid in the digestion process renders Btk inactive, its spores may germinate if
d into the human respiratory tract and temporarily colonise there.

Foray 48B has undergone label changes despite the fact that there has been no obvious
research done to justify these changes. The old label stated that Foray 48B should not be
used on fo
od crops. The new label says that Foray 48B can be used on food crops but that
workers should wear particulate filter masks and protective clothing and stay out of the fields
once they have been sprayed. The label also states that applicators need to “ke
ep unprotected
persons out of the treated areas until sprays have dried”.

The Material Safety Data Sheet for Foray 48B states that the product has not been tested for
carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and other effects. Most of Foray 48B consists of inert
ingredients and these ingredients could be made of materials that are more toxic than the
active ingredient Btk. A group of scientists at the University of British Columbia reverse
engineered a batch of Foray 48B to find out what really is in it. They di
d analysis of volatile
and non
volatile compounds found in Foray 48B. Though they could not identify the non
volatile compounds, they did identify quite a list of other compounds. It could be that some
of these chemicals are the result of other compound
s decomposing or are by
products of

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


cellular processes, so the actual number of inert ingredients added could be less. However, it
is interesting that there are many more than the half dozen or so inert ingredients that Valent
claims are in Foray 48B.

The Minister of Agriculture was persistent in his reassurances that the inert ingredients of
Foray 48B were commonly used in food and cosmetics. He didn’t mention that these
products are also found in solvents, shoe polishes and brake fluids.

glycol is used in brake and hydraulic fluids and in antifreeze formulations.
Propylene glycol is also used as a solvent. Its health effects can include skin irritation,
intestinal damage and depression of the central nervous system, especially in childre

Benzoic Acid is a food preservative that can trigger asthma, skin and eye irritation.
Hydrochloric acid is used in hair bleach and as a solvent. Inhaling hydrochloric acid fumes
can cause choking and inflames the respiratory tract.

Pylac is the trad
e name for a mixture of emulsifiable oxidized polyethylene and ethoxyled
phenoxy ethanol. Ethoxylated phenoxy ethanol is one of a group of synthetic surfactants
known as APE’s, (alkyl phenoxy ethoxylates or Ethoxylated phenoxy alcohols). Surfactants
chemicals that lower the surface tension of water and let a substance spread thinner and
further. Surfactants are found in detergents, all purpose and hard surface cleansers. APE’s
break down quickly, into another class of compounds called nonylphenols (
NP). In the
environment NP’s are slow to biodegrade and have been implicated in chronic health
problems. In England, researchers have found trace amounts of NP’s activate estrogen
receptors in cells, with alters the activity of certain genes. In experi
ments they have been
found to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and feminize male fish. Well known
carcinogens ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane (not dioxin) are contaminants routinely found in

on3 (BIT) has been posi
tively identified as an inert ingredient in Foray
48B. BIT is a biocide (disinfectant) and is used as an additive to paints (and other products)
to prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria, moulds or yeasts. It likely use in Foray 48B was
to prevent other

organisms than BTK growing while it is being shipped and stored.

In 2001 the Netherlands banned BTK from being used in the environment because it is toxic
to aquatic life along with some concerns about its effects on humans. The EPA in the
United St
ates have BIT listed as a probable immunotoxicant; not a good thing to spray
around any life form.

The departments of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Chemical Endocrinology of Raboud
University Nijmegen Medical Centre (n.d.) in the Netherlands have thi
s to say in regards to

“Some pesticides may interfere with the female hormonal function, which may lead to
negative effects on the reproductive system through disruption of the hormonal
balance necessary for proper functioning. Previous studie
s primarily focused on
interference with the estrogen and/ or androgen receptor, but the hormonal function
may be disrupted in many more ways through pesticide exposure. Although a
substantial amount of research has been conducted to associate occupationa
l exposure
to pesticides with fertility problems in men, studies among women are scarce”

The government’s efforts to disclose the contents to the spray formula to the public were
blocked by the manufacturer. The manufacturer (Valent) did agree to allow t
he contents of
the formula be disclosed to all the health authorities involved and also an independent
toxicologist and the contents were scrutinised with care. Valent’s reason for not disclosing

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


the contents in a public forum was that the formulation was

a trade secret and to do so would
impact on their commercial success globally. To release the ingredients of Foray 48B would
hinder New Zealand’s access to Foray 48B and other pest management products.

The estimated economic and ecological impact over t
wenty years of painted apple moth
becoming established in New Zealand to be between $58 and $356 million. The moths were
considered a serious threat to the iconic Waitakere Ranges, New Zealand’s indigenous and
plantation forests, horticulture crops, ameni
ty plantings as well as human health.

Reported health issues as consequence of the aerial spraying programme

Anticipation of adverse effects

The resolutions passed by the ARC Parks and Heritage Committee today included:

That human health issues relate
d to the spraying be fully investigated and liability for costs of
medical treatment be met by MAF. "What is equally important is that any eradication
programme takes into account other issues such as effects on human health and on the water
catchment in t
he Waitakeres," says Cr Burrill. (Piha News and Whats On, 2002).

MAF, in consultation with other relevant agencies including the Ministry of Health and the
Department of Conservation, coordinated the design and implementation of an environmental

programme for Btk. The monitoring programme focused on assessing impacts on:
human health, including physical and psychosocial effects as well as other factors
Biosecurity New Zealand, 2003

According to the Green Party of Aotearoa

New Zealand (2002) all spraying poses some
health risks. A large number of people living in the area that received aerial spraying with
Btk are financially disadvantaged and some of those people who suffer adverse health effects
as a result of exposure to

Btk spray may not seek treatment. Some individuals may be at a
greater risk, including those with severe multiple allergies, unstable (brittle) asthma,
significant immune defects, diabetes, and heightened chemical sensitivities.

X suggested that a medic
al centre must be provided where people with concerns can go
without cost and with a free dial
ride service. Recognized practitioners of alternative
medicine as well as doctors should be available at the medical centre. Local GPs need to be
requested to
contact patients whose conditions could be exacerbated by spraying and advise
them to attend the medical centre. Evacuation must be offered where there is a danger of
spray drift. This includes the offer of complete evacuation to affected schools. Clean

advice and assistance must be provided when evacuees return. Spore counts within buildings
must be monitored.

During the eradication programmes, the Government provided a Health Service free of
charge to inform and support the local community. It also pr
ovided, where necessary,
financial assistance for people to leave the area on spray days. That service was wound up at
the end of the programmes (
Ramsay, G. 2001).

Adverse effects

the Government view

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


Asthma admissions rose in residents inside the spray zone, but decreased in residents just
outside the spray zone. The largest increase appeared in the non European exposed group. A
range of possible health effects included respiratory distress, mucous mem
brane irritation
such as sore throat and itchy eyes, gastrointestinal disturbances and neurological symptoms
such as dizziness sleep disturbances, headache, inability to concentrate and increased anxiety
(Noble et al. 1992; Aer'Aqua Medicine Ltd 2001; Wash
ington State Department of Health
2001; Pearce et al. 2002; Hales et al. 2004).

The overall conclusions of Aer’aqua were as follows: “No adverse health patterns were
found, once patterns were examined at a population level. The frequency of occurrence of

following was no different from natural variation (Aer'aqua 2001, cited in Gallagher, Pirie,
Hales, 2005)


rates among the exposed group gradually increased over the period
under study while national rates remained relatively c
onstant, resulting in statistically
significant increases for the spray population compared to national rates in years 2003 and
2004 (Gallagher, Pirie, Hales, 2005).

Independent and peer
reviewed health risk assessments were carried out prior to each
amme, and health surveillance was undertaken during operations to identify any
unexpected health impacts. Officials and Ministers have received consistent and compelling
advice from medical specialists for more than 10 years that aerial operations using Fo
ray 48B
pose no significant risk to human health, but that some individuals exposed to the spray may
experience short
term effects (Anderton, 2007).

In 2006 the Public Health Intelligence Unit of the Ministry of Health concluded that: “There
is little or n
o discernable epidemiological evidence of any ill
health effect to the public from
exposure to the aerial spraying of Foray 48B…This is not to say that no ill
health effects have
been reported. In all of the exposed communities surveyed a very small group
of people have
reported health effects that they attribute to the spray, and these effects are similar across
studies. Typically, the effects can be categorised as minor irritations or allergic reactions
involving the upper respiratory system, skin and/or
eyes, and feelings of anxiety and
frustration about being exposed to the spray” (Anderton, 2007). Less than 0.5 percent of
people in the west Auckland and Hamilton spray zones found it necessary to leave the spray
zone on spray days (Anderton, 2007).

It is

relevant to note that in approving the eradication programme, Cabinet also funded a
Health Monitoring and Support Programme to the tune of $20 million over five years, and
provided an additional $8 million for public communication and information. This in
dicates a
very high level of commitment to public welfare (Anderton, 2007).


Ombudsman’s Recommendation

“My recommendation is that the spraying agency must provide full and accurate information
in relation to the need for the spray programme a
nd about the contents of the spray. It should
also unequivocally acknowledge that there may be harm caused to some people residing or
present within the spray zone (
Government Response to, 2008)

Community Responses

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


The West Auckland community was spurned

into action and formed opposition groups, they
also joined forces with previously established groups to air their concerns regarding the aerial
spraying, they were:

Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand

established 1985

Targeting Overuse of Pesticides

established 1996

Painted Apple Moth Community Coalition

established 2001

Painted Apple Moth Community Advisory Group

established 2001

West Aucklanders against Aerial Spraying

established 2001


Stop Aerial Spraying


established 2002

Group against Spraying People


established 2002

Sprayfree Coalition


established 2002

Teachers Against Spraying Kids

established 2003

According to
West Aucklanders against Aerial Spraying (WASP)



that only
those with pre
existing health conditions would be affected by the spray was not borne out,
with many with no previous health conditions becoming ill, particularly children.

health effects were also seen in birds and animals di
rectly after exposure to the spray. No
proper Epidemiological study was ever carried out (The Peoples Inquiry, 2007).

Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand (PAN ANZ) has welcomed the release of
the report into the findings of the Peoples Inquiry in

to the Effects of Aerial Spraying
Pesticide over Urban Areas of Auckland.
"We whole heartedly support the recommendations
advanced by the report's authors and urge the Government to move speedily to implement
them," said coordinator of PAN ANZ Dr Meriel W
atts (Farm News for NZ Farmers, 2007).

Another community group formed during the spray time was TASK who was an informal
network of concerned teachers and parents in West Auckland who strongly objected to their
students and children being repeatedly expos
ed to the bio
aerosols of Foray48B during the
MAF Painted Apple Moth Eradication Campaign 2002

The Community Advisory Group was formed by MAF to "provide a forum for local
community input to the painted apple moth eradication programme and to provide

a channel
for MAF to share information with the community." (Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand,

Concerns were raised by representatives of Te Kawerau a Maki as to the potential effects
from Btk spray on their taonga and waahi tapu. Potential issu
es which were considered
included effects on water quality, effects on native plants used for cultural purposes, effects
on kaimoana (sea food) or other food resources, and health effects which may have a greater
impact on the Maori population. It was stat
ed that there are no indications of significant
physical adverse effects from Btk in these areas
(Biosecurity New Zealand, 2003).

The Governments response was that; The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) did
provide full and accurate information in

relation to the spray programme. Also that the
manufactures the Foray 48B spray its contents to be highly confidential because

consider the contents to be a trade secret and that release of the formulation ingredients
would be used by their competito
rs and to avoid the threat of bioterrorism (
Response to, 2008)

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


“A small number of people were mildly affected by the spraying. A number of these were
relocated during the spraying; received any necessary medical attention; and were monitored.
This is not well
acknowledged by the Ombudsman,” Jim Anderton (2007) said.

“Efforts by the Government to publicly disclose the contents of the spray formula
were blocked by the manufacturer, another fact overlooked by the Ombudsman. The
manufacturer did agree to disclose the formula to all the health authorities involved as
as an independent toxicologist, and the contents were carefully scrutinised. “The
Ombudsman’s Office investigation also overlooks the fact that the successful
eradication of painted apple moth in West Auckland and Asian gypsy moth in
Hamilton provided sign
ificant benefits to New Zealand.”


In this review of literature pertaining to the aerial spraying of Foray 48B over areas of West
Auckland we looked at the implications of the Painted Apple Moth on New Zealand natural
resources, forestry and market gardens. We have looked at the contents o
f Foray 48B and the
possible effects of the inert and active ingredients.

We have explored the health effects reported by people living in the spray zone as well as the
secondary health effects, for example mental health issues, areas of vulnerability i
lowered immunity and the hysterical public response.

We have discussed the involvement of Waitakere City Council, pertaining to the Resource
Management Act and the media response

both positive and negative. Doctors
recommendations and hospita
l statistics, risk assessments had also been addressed along with
how the public were notified and educated in regards to the apple moth eradication program.

Included is a list of community support groups that emerged in response to public outcry
the aerial spraying of West Auckland areas.
According to J. Anderton (2007), the
Government will establish a Community Liaison Group for future operations like this. The
Government considers it is very important to involve communities in matters that affec
t them.

The Ombudsman’s report has been discussed in response to a possible breach of human rights
by the New Zealand Government.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen



We interviewed nine residents in West Auckland

who experienced symptoms from the
spraying and volunteered to give their feedback for our research. We completed face to face
interviews with each individual participant using set semi structured interviews to measure
the severity of their medical symptoms

and any negative repercussions or concerns about the
effect of spraying with Foray 48B.

Our aim was t
o gain a greater understanding of what it meant to the people of West


The methodology is phenomenological and qualitative. The qua
litative methods are built on
phenomenology which developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Phenomenology is the study of phenomena which can be defined as “that which appear real
to the senses, regardless of whether their underlying ex
istence is proved real or their nature
understood”. Thus phenomenology is the study of the possible appearances, forms, and
structures of human experience. In this section, the method chosen was semi structured

The strengths of semi structured

interviews are good for measuring attitudes and most other
contents of interest. They allow probing by the interviewer and good interpretations can
provide in
depth information and use with probability samples with a low dross rate for
ended interv
iews. It has moderately high measurement validity for well
and well tested interview protocols. It also provides relatively high response rates often
attainably useful for exploration and confirmation.

The weaknesses of semi
structured intervie
ws are in
person interviews that are expensive and
, possible reactive and investigator effects, perceived anonymity by
respondents is possibly low, data analysis sometimes time
consuming for open
ended items
and measures in need of validatio

We worked collaboratively in deciding whether we would use a checklist style of
questionnaire or whether we would use semi structured interviews to provide our participants
room to express their lived experiences. We chose the latter approach because of

the richer
qualitative data we would be able to obtain.


We looked at interviewing both General Practitioners (GPs) and patients experiencing health
problems from the spraying of Foray 48B. However from our group of 20 doctors that we
ed, about 15 of the doctors did not reply to our email requests and 5 doctors were
not practicing during the chemical spray. In speaking with our own GP’s we found that they
were too busy to take part in our research project. They said they were already in
volved in
other medical research projects. So we changed our plan to interview only participants who
had experienced short
term and long
term health problems from the chemical spray.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


The participants in our research on the impact of the Painted Apple moth

spraying were
recruited through word of mouth. We wanted to include a cross
section of people who would
give us an idea of the health problems related with the spraying of Foray 48B. The
demographics of those included were both male and female, but the et
hnicity and age range
depended on participants who wanted to volunteer their information. We wanted to show the
negative effects of the spray both short
term and long
term. Due to time and group member
constraints like petrol and finances we decided that i
nterviewing three participants each
would enable us to gain a fair description of the health problems experienced by the

In order to gain similar data we worked on a semi structured interview we would conduct
with each participant. We gained
formal consent from the participants by requesting they sign
a form giving their permission to use their interview for our research project and we obtained
approval from the Unitec Ethics committee board.



We designed the interviews
using an article adapted from Larry Davidson
. Within the
interview we included the description, evaluation, solution and demographics.

Descriptive and evaluative questions

The principles behind the questions are that they are aimed at the experience of
interviewee. The evaluation of the benefits or otherwise of moving are picked up more by
comparison of the experiences over time, and not necessarily by asking the participants to do
the evaluation.

Creating a narrative order to the questions

Easy des
criptive questions

It is desirable to start off with questions that interviewees can respond to easily (describing
the present, setting the scene, and do not demand judgements).

Simple evaluations

Once the experience has been described, while still i
n the present, simple value judgements
can be asked for (likes and needs

fleshing out the picture

questions 2 and 3.)

Moving into more challenging areas

As trust is built, questions about unhappy, sensitive or possibly traumatic issues in the past
are asked

question 4 looks at possible areas of loss or trauma.


Adapted from Davidson, Larry (2003). Living outside mental illness

qualitative studies of recovery in
schizophrenia, New York University Press, NY. Pp 69, 75, 78, 79

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


Major evaluations.

These are asked for after the experiential ground work has been done. Questions 5 and 6 asks
for a comparison between now and then. This is heart of the narrative.


Finally we have solution/resolution oriented questions (7 to 9). Any research that examines
issues of social justice needs to explore solutions and to complete the interview at a hopeful

We limited our interviews to at least
half an hour to one hour so that we could focus on
gaining the information we required and so that our transcription of the interviewed would
also be as concise as possible. We noticed that women would talk more about their
experiences than the men we inte
rviewed, and the women were also more openly emotional
about their stories.

Ethical issues

We completed the Ethics application form, information sheets, and consent forms. (See in

We identified of key issues around sensitivity of material or

transcriptions were completed by all 3 of us. We decided
that our group

needed to provide a
confidentiality agreement for the transcriber.

Later our transcriptions were returned to the
participants for checking.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen



Of the nine people interviewed, four were male and five were female.

Our interview participants covered the age ranges of twenty to forty and sixty one to eighty.

Participant Gender
Age of Participants
20 - 30
31 - 40
41 - 50
51 - 60
61 - 70
71 - 80
81 & over
age groupings

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


The combined households of our nine interviewees consist of eighteen adults, two per
household and 13 children.

At the time of spraying, two interviewees had dogs, one interviewee had cats, one
interviewee had cockatoo birds and one interviewee had chinchillas which are represented in
the graph as other.

At the time of spraying, one

of our interviewees was living 200 metres outside of the actual
spray zone but was affected by drift. Two interviewees resided in Glen Eden and another two
in Glendene. The rest were in the McLaren Park, Kelston and Te Atatu South areas. One
t did not state the area they were residing in.


Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


At the time of the Apple Moth Spraying Program, three participants were employed outside
of the home. Two of the participants were already retired and two were housewives. One
participant did not stat
e their employment. Since the spraying program two of the
participants have been forced into retirement due to the negative physical and emotional
effects of the Apple Moth Spraying Program.


Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


Mental Health Concerns


Our research shows details
about the psychological factors related to environmental spraying
in a “natural experiment” also followed with symptoms and health complaints that include
anxiety and depression (
Petrie, K., Broadbent, E., Kley, N., Moss
R., Horne, R., and
Rief, W. 2005)

Whether or not this should be presumed as always happening when Foray 48 B is used could
be debated as findings from an environmental report in 2002 revealed positive mental health
feedback from participants in Canada (
Pearce. M. Behie, G, Chappel, N. 2002).

Although most of our interview participants took years to forget

overwhelming feelings of
anxiety and depression

from the painted apple moth spraying program
, the Canadian report
covered both participant views that

included those who wanted the spraying of Foray 48B
and those who were against spraying. We were aware of people we could have interviewed
who did not experience any of the negative mental and physical effects from spraying. I met a
few people who did not

experience physical and mental health problems from the spraying of
48B. However we did not focus our research on their results because we wanted to show the
term and long
term impact of the spraying of Foray 48B, which I will continue to
explain fu

Yet, in hindsight I now believe that having completed our research, it may have been of more
value for us to include this population to provide a more balanced representation of the
impact of the spraying of Foray 48B.

Those we researched
are stil
l suffering from the effects and there is at least one who will
never recover from the mental health and physical issues it has inflicted on her.

Mental Health Issues Identified

Participants we interviewed experienced: Anxiety, Depression, Paranoia, M
oodiness, and
Panic Attacks after the painted apple moth spray. From our interviews with participants it
was clear that these diagnosis were a result of a build
up of stress that occurred prior to the
spraying, during and afterwards. This stress eventually

manifested into the mental health
issues described above.

term effects

Most of the participants had short term effects of mental health issues. This included: anxiety,

mild depression, fear, and moodiness.

Although L1 felt emotionally supported

by his wife during when the spraying was in
progress, the spraying annoyed him when it interfered with his normal routine as he could
smell it in the house even when the windows were closed. However, the cost of his medical
bills caused more concern for L
1 as they increased due to multiple chest x
rays, scans and a
developing cough that took longer to overcome.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


L3 had a positive view of the spray saying it was “for the benefit and good of New Zealand…
(that) as a whole, far outweighs the good of single in
dividuals”, however, he hoped the
spraying would never happen again, because he felt uncomfortable about the spraying and
had a bad cough that took him 4 years to recover from. L3 said that if the spraying occurred
again “I would probably sell my house and

relocate out of the spray area”.

G1 said she would also relocate if the spraying reoccurred as she would be worried about the
health of her family. She also felt paranoid about eating the garden vegetables she grew when
the spraying took place because of

what was in the soil “
that was my

what was
in the soil that was coming from the spray”. This paranoia only lasted during the time of the

G2 was working at a crèche for a fitness club and she stated that “I had a lot of contact with

and dads of other kids and they all had the same story, all their kids became sick, had
blood noses and itchy rashes on their skins, … so we felt really ripped off & frustrated, you
felt like you were in a war and you were being bombed with all this stuff

that was making us
sick but we were powerless to do anything about it. These feelings lasted during the spraying
of Foray 48B.

term effects

The K1 interviewee still suffers from the spraying as she still records what happened during
the spraying wh
enever she packs her bags to go on holiday. Now going away on holiday is
never the same because the packing brings back the hurry of packing to get out before the
spraying. L5 is still living a nightmare as she is still affected by spraying even today, 8 y
later as she continues medical treatment for her lungs, and suffers nausea when walking
outside of her home. She said it “was a nightmare, it was disgusting”.

L5 said that she is still under
going treatment. She feels depressed all the time, due to t
financial strain of medical costs.

The spray burnt her lungs so that she now only uses 46% of her lung capacity and she goes to
COPD and lives on prednisone to keep her lungs functioning. The side effects of her
medicines are negatively impacting on h
er liver and kidneys and on her mental health. L5
eventually had to stop work due to the health issues she was experiencing. After struggling to
get assistance from Aer’ Aqua (a government medical agency set up for the painted apple

moth spraying) with th
e support of her doctor she relocated initially to a motel. This changed
overtime to the point that she ended up living in a tent. L5 said “that was a nightmare”.
During this time a hailstorm hit her tent, causing the roof to be ripped off and due to the 4

inches of water that flooded the tent she spent the night sitting on top of boxes. In her distress
she phoned a friend who advised her to ring the local newspaper.

Later that week she was in the paper. Aer’ Aqua’s response to this was that they had made

mistake and then put her into a motel. Since this time she has relocated back to West
Auckland however, she still suffers from anxiety and depression due to the powerlessness she
has felt from this event. So the impact was such that L5 still feels depre
ssed and anxious as
she did when the spraying occurred where she lived.

The impact on some of the participants’ was so severe that they did not believe they could go
through it again. The bewilderment displayed with regards to the government subjecting th

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


to such treatment with sometimes dire effects was quite unbelievable to them. Not knowing
what was in the spray was another great concern to them, more so, when even their local
council could not obtain a list of the contents.

When asked how they would

feel if the government suggested another aerial spraying
programme the interviewees reactions varied from not caring to being afraid, then not happy
to being angry by two people, another saying she would move out and K2 declared that short
of going out an
d buying a cannon and blowing the plane up what could you do. His
frustration was evident.

Everyone we interviewed was affected in a negative way from the spraying; those with long
term effects were the most affected from the spraying at the time and
even today.


Powerlessness as expressed by G2 was the inability of not being able to do anything about the
affects she and others were experiencing from the spraying of Foray 48B. The fact that the
spraying was a government initiative that t
hey could do nothing about except, go to the
doctor for the medical treatment they required.

L5 said: “My doctor called Aer’ Aqua and they said it was first reaction lots of people are
like that. They tried to push me under the carpet.”
L5 also said: “The

government did not
want to even know you. They just wanted to get the spray done
, s
o they could sell the forest
off to overseas countries and get the profit. The government put profit before people’s

Feelings of having her concerns belittled an
d ignored in order for the financial profit of the
country, left her feeling powerless.

K3 stated that she did not think that the government was really interested in what was

happening to a lot of people, they were only out to protect the forests. L5 said
, “There were
many other ways that it could have been handled, why spray populations? All they have to do
is look at how it affected people and how it is still affecting those years later”.

K1 told us that she wrote to Parliament,

to complain about the

spraying but she did not get a
response from them causing her to feel even more powerless.

At the end of interview, L5

“The lies that were told by the government and others that
were involved at the Aer’Aqua should be made public and this chemica
l banned.”

What actions would a powerless person take if a similar incident were to occur?

L5, told me

she would want to stop this incident from ever happening again,

Because I am old and I am so sick, I would literally put my life at risk because I
would not care if I died to stop it ever happening again. There were hundred
s of
people affected including children. It is a long term injury in their life. It has a terrific
lasting effect.”

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


Lack of Information

Part of this feeling of powerlessness wa
s the fact that all of our participants felt that there was
a lack of information given to the public about the Foray 48B spraying from the government.

L5 told us sometimes they were informed and other times they were not. “However, if we
asked Air Aqua
it was difficult to get a proper answer. The favorite thing for them to say was
that it was safe. They were like robots and used these ‘magic’ words ‘It was safe’.

We asked the question: Did they feel adequately informed about spray?
K2 said: “We weren’t
really informed….I had a busy osteopathic practice then and I started to get short of breath, I
didn’t know what was happening. After that I think we read a pamphlet that said they were
going to do aerial spraying.”

L6 stated: “At t
he beginning I didn’t know until I had got a cough and I started to watch TV
and listen the radio news and read local newspapers. I found some information about it.”

L5 had to do her own research and found out what was in the spray and its possible
effects of
people, “In my dairy, I wrote down the chemical that was banned in three other countries
because it was so poisonous to people, but our government has allowed it to be use here. The
spray named 48B.”

L4, a 78 year old man said: “No. we didn’t k
now what was in the spray. The company that
made the spray would not release the details of the ingredients…I think people should be
better informed about the program and the product used and possible side effects.”


Not only were the effects of t
he spraying felt physically, nearly all of the participants spoke
of emotional stress, the sound of a low flying plane still triggers emotional distress for many
of them.

Several of the interviewees spoke about how their anxiety levels still rise if they
hear a low
flying plane.
G8 said, “We were scared of the planes and they would fly over everyone would
freak out and they’d start shutting windows & closing curtains, it felt like we were in the war,
pretty much”.

‘I was scared that the plane was so low i
t would hit the house or that it was crashing’ was the
comment from G9.

K1 spoke of how she thought the plane was going to collide with the trees, another said how
she thought if you stood on the top of a hill you would be able to touch the plane as it fl
over. Another spoke of how she thought the plane was going to get tangled in the power

For the experience of the planes flying overhead, we found most of male

less affected than the females.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


The effects of being relocated

he K1 interviewee said how going away on holiday now is never the same because the
packing brings back the hurry of packing to get out before the spraying.

L5 said she was re
located a few times from the spray zoom and still remembers the horrible
odation she had experienced, she still has emotional ill effects from that. “I left my
home every month for about three weeks after that month. I was put in a motel, after I had to
fight hard with them to be relocated. They didn’t want to do anything at th
e beginning but my
doctor helped to fight with me.”

It is evident that one of the major causes of stress and anxiety was from having to relocate,
having to always be prepared and being more anxious to start. During our research project,
some of participa
nts, eg.G9 stated that rather than suffering from emotional effects she felt
that it was mostly just an annoyance.

Moreover, the most physically affected

feel mentally affected later in their life.

Furthermore, the short or long term effect
s whether they be physical or emotional are still
being felt by the participants who were subjected to the aerial spraying program.


There were various mental health issues with the participants that we interviewed. Male
participants generally
had mild concerns about the spraying whereas female participants
seemed to be more concerned and worried thus affecting them emotionally and mentally even

Mental Health issues experienced by the participants were mainly caused by short
, although there were several individuals who are still experiencing Depression,
Anxiety and Moodiness. When they talk about the spraying, all agreed that it impacted on
their mental health negatively.

The overwhelming feeling of powerlessness experience
d by the participants cast a dark
shadow on the trustworthiness of the government and its agency Aer’ Aqua, to the point that
some participants regard future sprayings will mean they will have to relocate from West
Auckland to K2 declaring
that short of go
ing out and buying a cannon and blowing the plane
up what could you do. His frustration was evident.

Participants experienced anxiety over the spraying of the Painted Apple Moth and moved in
their view from understanding the spraying to be safe to now re
alising it is dangerous and
impacting on their mental health.

As a result, this research has revealed that the majority of the people interviewed were
emotionally affected by the spray and that for some, the effects have not disappeared.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen




All of the nine interviewees talk of symptoms they or their family members experienced from
the Painted Apple Moth spraying program.

The highest occurring symptoms were rashes, bleeding, asthm11a, breathing difficulties and

Some of our participants or their family members had pre
existing conditions,

The pre
existing conditions were asthma, agoraphobia, melanoma and cystic fibrosis. The
melanoma came to the attention of the family after the young person had been exposed to
Foray 48b while mowing the lawn with their shirt off.

sick tummy
preexisting condition
red face
memory loss
heart racing
breathing difficulties
swollen eyes
burnt lungs
sore throats

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


After having spray fall

onto the young person’s skin, a mole began to change and a doctor’s
visit identified the mole as being melanoma. The mole was removed and the young person
has not had any further melanomas identified up until the time of interviewing. Though the
ewee appeared to attribute the melanoma to the spray, it is our opinion that the
melanoma was already present but undiagnosed.

Asthma is the highest occurring pre
existing condition. Of the nine people interviewed, 4 had
at least one person with asthma i
n their family, if not the interviewee themselves. Benzoic
Acid, one of the “inert” ingredients noted in the literature review, is a known trigger for
asthma. Another ingredient, identified since the spraying, is Sodium Sulfite. Approximately
10% of peop
le with asthma can have reactions to Sulfites, especially those who have been
treated with steroids.

(Swadener, C. 1994)

Other respiratory related symptoms experienced by the nine interviewees and their families
were breathing difficulties, coughs, burn
t lungs and sore throats. The ingredients identified in
the literature review that would cause these symptoms are Hydrochloric Acid, and possible
BTK itself, (BTK is the active ingredient of Foray 48b). Hydrochloric Acid fumes, if
inhaled, inflame the re
spitory tract. BTK if ingested is generally considered to be safe.
However, if inhaled, BTK could germinate in the respitory system. Another ingredient not
mentioned in the literature review is Sodium Hydroxide. Otherwise known as Lye, Sodium
Hydroxide c
auses severe corrosive damage to eyes, skin, mucous membranes and digestive
system. Inhaling the Sodium Hydroxide dust may cause mild irritation to the mucous
membranes of the nose and in severe cases, damage the upper respiratory tract.

(Harte, J. et al.


That would also make Sodium Hydroxide the cause of some of the other symptoms
experienced, for example rashes, bleeding from nose or throat, sick tummies and diarrhoea,
swollen eyes and itchiness. It could also be the cause for the serious condit
ion of one
interviewee whose lungs were burnt so severely that she is now waiting for a lung transplant.

Rashes were experienced by five interviewees and/ or their family members. G7 described
the rash as being like “a strange itchy, like burning, like i
f you drop battery acid on your arm
it itches and burns at the same time”

L5 said “I (also) ended up having a terrible rash on parts
of my body that were not covered by my clothes. My skin started to blister”. The
interviewee later describes her skin as
being “like fibre glass or as if cut glass had rubbed into
my skin. Every time anything touched my skin, it was as if someone had rubbed crushed
glass into my skin”

G8 found that as well as rashes, all in her family would become itchy after showering and

was concerned that the apple moth spray had got into the water supply. They also suffered
from asthma and bleeding from the nose and throat along with other physical complaints.

G9’s children got rashes after playing outside after spraying had occurred.

The rashes were
“on their hands and legs, feet, places where their skin was bare and came in contact with
plants and rolling around on the grass”

Sick tummies and diarrhoea appear to have been experience more by children. K2 talked
about the “foul smell
ing nappies” of their (at the time) 3 year old when he was having
diarrhoea attacks up to seven times in a day while the spraying was occurring. G9 had to
pick up their child from school after incidences of “explosive diarrhoea”. Both of this
s children got rashes and sick tummies. To avoid the

spray, the interviewee

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


started to drive everywhere rather than walking and made the garage a place for the children
to play so they could be protected from the spray.

The interviewee who suffered from
disorientation also experienced their heart racing. The
wife of this interviewee had problems with memory loss and had trouble connecting and
understanding words when reading. Though their personal doctor asserted they were having
a reaction to the spray
, MAF kept denying that the spray was the cause.

Looking at the cocktail of ingredients in the formulation of Foray 48b and taking into
consideration the different compounds that these ingredients would break down into once
released into an environment,

it really isn’t surprising the types of symptoms that our
interviewees experienced. The layering of these different acids, sulfites and other toxic
substances, that cause similar reactions when inhaled or make contact with the skin or eyes, it
is fortuna
te that there weren’t more people in West Auckland with very serious medical
conditions. More than one inert ingredient has been found to cause respiratoryy problems,
nausea and stomach problems, skin conditions. Sodium Sulfite can put people who are
sitive to sulfites into shock and cause them to lose consciousness. (Swadener, C. 1994)

Propylene Glycol (mentioned in literature review) can irritate the skin, damage the intestines
and can cause depression of the central nervous system

especially in c


Of the nine interviewees, three noted effects of the Foray 48b spray on their pets.

L5 bred chinchillas. While the spraying program was occurring, every time her chinchillas
got pregnant they would miscarry the babies. In the end

her chinchillas died. This person
also had two cockatoos that were kept in the house at the time of spraying. Both cockatoos

G8 had a cat and remembers the cat not being right at the time of spraying. L6 thought that
their dog's sneezing was
caused by the spray and they also kept the dog inside while the
spraying occurred.

G9 had a dog that was old and sick and had to be put down. They
couldn’t say for sure that the spray was the cause of the dog being sick because of the dog’s
age but in hin
dsight says that it could have had an effect.

One interviewee G7 refused to eat vegetables from their garden because there were no insects
at all in the garden, not even “good ones”. She felt that if the bugs weren’t eating the veggies
or present then wh
at was in the soil. If what was in the soil came from the spray then it could
affect the vegetables grown.

G9 commented that” it’s nice to have butterflies and bees again.
There weren’t many around after the spraying but they appear to be back”.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen




hit trees

nose bleeds

very very angry







sicky tummies

explosive diarrhoea


war movies

hit the house

kept indoors


time off




cabbage spray

bees & butterflies back



see spray falling from the sky


touch the bottom of the plane



affected breathing

strange itchy

burning itch

battery acid on skin

itches and burns at the same time



caught off guard


scared of
planes getting tangled in power lines

puts you out of whack


alternative locations


dry powder

restricting airway

portable nebuliser

car washes


conflicting conversations


really worked
no insects at



chest x


CT scans


5 years to overcome

better informed

banned in Holland


rang the pilot

red face




skin started to blister

terrible rash

stop working

helicopter spraying

burn and blister

could not see out of swollen eyes

from bowel

chemical burnt lungs

only 46% of lungs left

Aire Aqua

push me under the carpet

skin was like fibre

like cut glass had rubbed into my skin


$9000 medical costs

profit before peoples health


relocated to a tent

4 inches of water in tent

when raining

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


sit on top of boxes for the night


Permanent scars on my body

chemical banned in three other countries

poisonous to people
they were like robots & used these magic words “It was

put my life at risk to stop this e
ver happening again


short of breath

melanoma level 2

the scar is huge

diarrhoea up to 7 times a day

foul smelling

he was frustrated

he was angry

nose would gush with blood

wake up frightened


getting sicker & sicker

memory loss


brain scans

time off work

still suffering financially

the pilots all got sick

strange phenomena

what action could you take? Short of going out & buying a
cannon & blowin
g the plane up

caught outside in the open

bad cough

dog had sneezing

more than 4 years for recovery

agricultural researchers

sell my house

relocate out of the spray area

was hideous

we were sick all the time

bleeding throats & bleeding noses

scared of the planes

everyone would freak out

felt like we were in the war

tried to stay inside most of the time

200 metres out of the spray

drive to the city mission on spray days

didn’t qualify for

school would get them off the


in & out of hospital

too sick to work

time off school

own doctor didn’ thave the authority to have his opinions count in an official
way because the spraying people had their own doctors

treated the symptoms

pretty sick for about 2 year

feel ripped off

all their kids sick

blood noses

itchy rashes
ripped off & frustrated

being bombed with this stuff that was making us sick


loss of wages

medical bills

you protest the stuff but they do it


was like it was in the water system after we showered we were itchy

I’d be afraid more than anything

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen




Some of our interview participants took years to recover from the painted apple moth
spraying programme. But it seems tha
t some are still suffering from the effects and there is at
least one who will never recover from the health issues it has inflicted on her. Recovery,
according the New Zealand Pocket Oxford Dictionary (1997), means to return to health,
consciousness, or t
o a normal state or position. But, what do we mean by recovery? Well, we
shall be analysing the information from the interviews comparing the effects, short term or
long, psychologically, or financially.

According to
Petrie, K., Broadbent, E., Kley, N.,
Morris, R., Horne, R., and Rief, W.
(2005) i
t was believed that

he spraying had induced numerous serious health conditions that
residents developed during, or just after the spraying, such as motor neuron disease, breast
cancer, diseases of the blood

such as lymphocytic leukaemia, and other life threatening
effects. Several family members recounted how they had lost husbands, wives, fathers and
mothers from severe health effects they contracted as a result of the sprays.

Short Term Recovery

Some of the participants and their families experienced ill effects from the spray only while
the spraying was in progress. Their interviews revealed that they found that shortly after the
spraying commenced they became ill and had to seek medical treatmen
t. Then during breaks
during the spraying they become well again only to deteriorate again when the spraying
commenced. And finally when the programme was finished they found they recovered
completely and returned back to their normal health.

During the
interview of K1, he related to us how he suffered from asthma regularly but he
said that if he contracted influenza the doctor would prescribe prentizone and after 5

6 days
he would recover. During the spraying however, he did not recover and had to have

courses and still he did not recover. His doctor reported it to the health authorities and they
contacted him and told him it might be linked to the spray and that he should go and see
them. He had constant asthma for 6 months. He said, “That had

never happened before and
after the spray had finished he has gone back to exactly how he was before”.

The interviewee G8 said, “We were sick, all the time. The kids were sick all the time, with
bleeding throats & bleeding noses, they also had sick tummi
es and we all had asthma and
rashes”. Interviewee G7 complained of the feeling of suffocating; she would start coughing
straight after the spraying as if inhaling dust. She also told of a rash. Then apparently if the
weather stopped the spraying for a day
or two she would start coming right and then they
would spray again and it would start all over again.

During the interview with K2 he said

“During the spraying one of our sons was out mowing the lawn with no shirt on and
about a week later I noticed one

of his moles had blown up. So we were referred to a
skin specialist and he took it off. When the results came back he called

and said he
had bad news, that it was melanoma level 2. That his glands should come out. So I
asked him that if it was his sons wh
at would he do? He said I would take a second cut.

Researchers: Karen Farrell, Gaylene Thompson, Linda Chen


So he did and I couldn’t believe it, he took out a huge area, the scar is huge. And from
then on he gets checked all the time. Thankfully today he is clear. No doctor would
say that the spray had set if of
f but I feel their hands were tied”.

The same interviewee told us how during the spraying

“My son young J, who was 3 was getting a lot of
, up to 7 times a day. We
thought there was something wrong with him but the doctors couldn’t find anythin
There was nothing our doctor could find wrong with him but he would still have these
fowl smelling nappies. And his
, it got to the stage I had to put my hands in
my pocket. He was frustrated, he was angry and I don’t believe in smacking. And S
(another son), he’d be just sitting and all of a sudden his nose would just gush with
blood. He was 6 years old. We took him to the doctor’s a few times and he would be
put on the nebuliser. At night he would wake up and say to us that he was frightened
and that he couldn’t breathe”.

We were told by K3 that at the time of the spraying she came out in rashes after being caught
outside and her partner had to go to a specialist, he had all sorts of biopsies and x
rays to try
to find out what was wrong with
him but he is good now, completely recovered. She also

“After I was caught outside due to a wrong notification of spraying I had continual
nose bleeds, I went to the doctor many times and finally he referred me to Greenlane
Hospital where they quart
erized my nose. The nose bleeds continued for a number of
weeks after that”.

Long term Recovery

Several of the participants related how they suffered from the ill effects of the spraying for
many years; in fact one participant has been advised by her med
ical practitioners that she will
never recover. She was in hospital due to these effects when I contacted her regarding the

G8 related how her and her family were ‘pretty sick for about 2 years’. Another interviewee
K3 old man told of how it ha
d taken 5 years to overcome the ‘coughing problem’ he
developed during the spraying. This is similar to L6 who said his coughing problem took 4
years to recover from.

The L5 interviewee said that her health was so drastically affected that she had to stop

permanently. She had to leave her home and move into a place with no steps and that she
could not walk to the letter box because she could not breathe properly. She has permanent
scars on her body from the burns and from the chemicals. She cannot liv
e a normal life like a
person of her age because she cannot breathe properly, she has to pace herself and do things
very slowly and that she has to get her children to help her a lot. She has not recovered.

Emotional Long Term

Not only were the effects o
f the spraying felt physically, nearly all of the participants spoke
of emotional stress, the sound of a low flying plane still triggers emotional distress for many
of them. They feel as if they are in a war zone or that perhaps the same fate might befall
as did the victims on the ground of the Lockerbie plane crash in Scotland in 1988.