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-six people died from hazardous substances exposure in 2012, compared to 43 deaths in 2011.
  Toxic effects of carbon monoxide caused over 300 deaths between 2006 and 2012.
Number of hazardous substances-related hospital discharges On average, there are over 700 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/decorators are the most exposed to lead.
Number of hazardous substances notifications Hazardous substances notifications have increased since 2013.
Number of hazardous substances incidents attended by the New Zealand Fire Service Every year, the New Zealand Fire Service 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 2014.