Spicer landfill: advice for residents living nearby

Regional Public Health is aware that residents living near the Spicer Landfill have expressed concerns about the health effects resulting from odour coming from this landfill.

Regional Public Health have been informed by Porirua City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council that additional monitoring and investigation of the odour issues is ongoing at the site. Currently, investigations have not
identified any levels of particles or gases that could be harmful to the health of those living nearby.

However, it has been recognised that low levels of chemicals in gases can produce unpleasant odours. In some people exposure to this odour can cause physical symptoms, such as nausea and headaches. In addition, exposure to unpleasant odours can be stressful and frustrating and for some people stress can be associated with feeling physically unwell.

When odours are present for a period of time, some people become accustomed to the smell and can no longer detect it, while others can become sensitised to the smell. Sensitisation means that people can still be affected even when the odour decreases in intensity or concentration.

While the odour issue is being investigated and ways are found to reduce the odour, it is important that you look after your well-being.

Regional Public Health recommends that if you are concerned about symptoms associated with the odour, that you see your family doctor.  It can be helpful to keep a record of when you detect the odour, what is smells like, any symptoms you (or other household members) experience, and how long any symptoms last. It will be useful to take any records you keep and/or this health advice information to a doctor’s appointment.

If your doctor is concerned that your health issues may be directly due to chemical or particle  exposures then they will report this to Regional Public Health for further investigation.

View the advice for residents living nearby | pdf

Further information on managing concerns about chemical exposure is outlined in the latest Public Health Post.  View the Public Health Post July 2015.

Last updated 26 May 2017.