Indicators at a glance - hazardous substances

This section summarises the latest Environmental Health Indicators about hazardous substances in New Zealand.

Hazardous substances refer to chemicals that can explode, catch fire, oxidise, corrode, be toxic to humans, or be ecotoxic. 

Health effects of hazardous substances Key findings
Number of hazardous substances-related deaths Forty-nine people died from hazardous substances exposure in 2015, compared to 44 deaths in 2014.

Carbon monoxide caused the most hazardous substances-related deaths.

Number of hazardous substances-related hospital discharges On average, there are over 600 hospital discharges attributed to hazardous substances exposure every year.
  Children under five years old have the highest rates of hospital discharges.
Number of lead absorption notifications Lead absorption notifications have decreased since 2013.
  Painters are the most exposed to lead.
Number of hazardous substances notifications Hazardous substance notifications significantly increased for children in the five years from 2014 to 2018
Number of hazardous substances incidents attended by the New Zealand Fire Service Every year, Fire and Emergency New Zealand attends over 1200 hazardous substances incidents.
Number of calls to the National Poisons Centre Over 50 percent of hazardous substances-related calls were related to children under five years old in 2016.
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