A source of arsenic in the air in New Zealand's urban areas is from the domestic burning of treated timber (Copper Chrome Arsenic treated timber) in woodburners.

The burning of the treated timber releases arsenic into the atmosphere and at times, particularly in winter, the concentration of arsenic in air can exceed the Ministry for the Environment's Ambient Air Quality Guidelines.

There is a risk of lung cancer from long term exposure to high levels of arsenic in air, however, levels below the national guideline are considered to be safe for exposure over a life time.

We provide support measures to reduce the use of treated timber in woodburners and will be working with Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and other agencies to help ensure that future exceedences of the ambient air guidelines are minimised.


Further information

Read the Ministry for the Environment's Ambient Air Quality Guidelines here.

Last updated 12 April 2022.