Everyday there are many chemical products used that can harm people, the environment and property. These are called hazardous substances and it is our responsibility to monitor their use and storage.
For most household cleaners, detergents and pesticides, providing you follow the instructions on the label on how to use and dispose of the products, you should be meeting legislative requirements.
However, if you have one of the following products, you may need a little more information:
Swimming Pool Chemicals
Most domestic swimming pool chemicals do not need any special training or certification requirements but it is important to
- Read all of the instructions carefully, especially on how to use them, and where and how you can safely store them.
- Avoid having more than you need.
- Always keep them locked up away from children and sources of ignition, such as electricity or flammable substances.
- Talk to your supplier if you need more information on the specific products that you are using.
Containers of petrol must be stored properly and safely. If you have more than 50 litres of petrol (not including what is in your car), you will need to have a Location Test Certificate. Only store what you need to use and keep below the limit, unless you get a Location Test Certificate.
If you have tanks for diving
- Ensure they are within their test period. Your local dive shop will check this each time they are filled.
- If you fill your own tanks, you must be an Approved Filler and ensure the tanks you fill are within the test period. You should also make sure your filling equipment is well maintained and the quality of the compressed air is checked regularly.
Who to Contact
If you require more information please contact our Senior Regulatory Officer Frances Shepherd, phone 03 209 0330 or email [email protected].
Methamphetamine (P) Contaminated Houses
What can we do if you suspect meth has been used or made in your house? Here's some guidelines:
- For any notification relating to the use of methamphetamine (as opposed to manufacture), showing levels of contamination below 15ug/100cm2 - no action will be undertaken and no tags will be placed on the property file.
- For those properties that have been notified to council (historical) with supporting evidence that showed the contamination level was not from a Police notification and the level of contamination was below 15ug/100cm2 we will remove the tag from the property file.
- There will be no change to our process for any police notifications we receive (or have historically received) relating to a clandestine drug laboratory (P-Lab) at a property. That is, the NZ Standard will be required to be followed.
- There will be no change to our process for any notifications we have received where the supporting evidence shows levels of contamination is above 15ug/100cm2. That is, the NZ Standard will be required to be followed.
Conclusions of the Report:
- There is currently no evidence that methamphetamine levels typically resulting from third-hand exposure to smoking residues on household surfaces can elicit an adverse health effect.
- Toxicity assessments and exposure dose models have deliberately adopted very conservative assumptions, with large safety margins built in.
- Taken together, these factors indicate that methamphetamine levels that exceed the NZS 8510:2017 clean-up standard of 1.5 µg/100 cm2 should not be regarded as signalling a health risk. Indeed, exposure to methamphetamine levels below 15 μg/100 cm2 would be highly unlikely to give rise to any adverse effects.
- This means that, because the risk of encountering methamphetamine on residential surfaces at levels that might cause harm is extremely low, testing is not warranted in most cases. Remediation according to the NZS 8510:2017 standard is appropriate only for identified former meth labs and properties where excessive methamphetamine use, as indicated by high levels of methamphetamine contamination, has been determined.
The Report can be found here: http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Methamphetamine-contamination-in-residential-properties.pdf.
Hazardous substances at work are regulated by the Department of Labour.
Disposal of Hazardous Substances
- Phone the Environment Southland Pollution hotline: 0800 768 845
Domestic and/or small quantities of hazardous substances (less than 20kg)
- Dispose of at a hazardous waste storage shed at the Gore transfer station. Contact the Council if you have any queries.
Commercial and/or large quantities of hazardous substances (more than 20kg) or
agrichemicals, explosives, extinguishers, gas cylinders, paint, asbestos, used oil, batteries, smoke alarms, treated timber, fluorescent tubes
- Refer to the A to Z Waste Guide for a list of professional chemical collectors.
General hazardous waste queries
- Contact the Hazardous Waste Officer at Environment Southland.
Asbestos - Information for the Home Handyman
It is not necessary to use contractors if less than 10 m2 of asbestos is to be removed, unless the material is brittle, crumbly or has contaminated dust.
If you are unsure whether your proposed work will need to be licensed, contact Worksafe, 0800 030 040. Visit the Worksafe website for regulations around working with asbestos.
Public Health South (PHS) will test domestic asbestos samples for free. Samples will be sent to a Capital Environment Services Ltd laboratory in Wellington. Contact PHS for more information, 03 211 0900.
Asbestos requires a special waste permit to be disposed at the Regional Landfill. For more information visit the Wastenet website.
The WorkSafe website also has information for homeowners.
The Environmental Protection Authority administers the Hazardous Substances and New Oorganisms Act, which regulates hazardous substances. Their website has lots of useful information, including a substance search:
The Department of Labour website has a huge range of publications on hazardous substances.