2 Oct 2009

Strong support for toxic chemical health service

4:09 pm on 2 October 2009

There is strong support among former sawmill workers exposed to the toxic chemical PCP for a special health service to meet their needs.

Between the 1950s and the 1980s up to 10,000 sawmill workers were exposed to pentachlorophenol, which is linked to respiratory disease and higher cancer risks.

Consultancy firm Allen and Clarke has been consulting former workers on whether they want a dedicated health service to be established and what form it should take.

The firm's director, Matthew Allen, says it is already clear workers do want their own service, although there is some difference of opinion about what it should cover.

Mr Allen says it is likely but not guaranteed his firm will recommend to the Ministry of Health that a service be set up.