top of page
  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

The poisoning of New Zealand with arsenic

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

The emerald green that is arsenic
The emerald green that is arsenic

Potentially, hundreds of thousands of people, including children and visitors to New Zealand, are being made seriously and chronically ill by inadvertent exposure to the toxic element, ARSENIC (AS)!

I don't want to downplay this issue: we are talking about ill people; people who have trouble getting out of bed, who can't go to school or work, people who are surviving on powerful drugs, people who have had to undergo surgery, lives terribly disrupted.

The green tinge of arsenic. Would you bathe in this hot pool?
The green tinge of arsenic. Would you bathe in this hot pool?

There are three primary sources of arsenic (As) in clean and green New Zealand:

  1. Geothermal water.

  2. Bore water.

  3. Treated soft wood (pine).

Conditions I can associate with exposure to arsenic (As):

  • Extreme fatigue.

  • Hyperthyroidism, later plunging into hypothyroidism.

  • Anxiety and depression.

  • Insomnia.

  • Brain fog.

  • Cardiovascular disease.

  • Decreased libido.

  • Dementia.

  • Connective tissue damage.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • Frozen shoulder.

  • Gut inflammation issues (many).

  • Dermatitis and other skin disorders, some severe.

  • Paralysis of arms and legs. Eyelids.

  • Loss of feeling in arms and legs (peripheral neuropathy)

Note: There are other long-term consequences of As exposure, including cancer, but I've listed only what I have seen, not what is in the literature.

A person may become ill within hours of exposure, suffering things like fatigue, diarrhoea, insomnia, brain fog and anxiety, putting it down to a virus or something they ate. For many, the effects are far more subtle and may not kick in, or noticed until months later. They may just feel they have "gone off the boil".

I've people on my books who have had to go onto thyroid, steroid and mood medications. I've people who have required surgery on their shoulders and forearms. I have children who have lost a year or more of school because of extreme fatigue. And one case of hourly seizures. All have hair tissue tests showing elevated arsenic, sometimes alarming levels of this toxin. It may have been months or even years since the exposure (arsenic is osteophilic and lipophilic: it deposits in bone and fat deep within the body. It may never show on a blood test).

I can associate at least 20 cases of serious ill health with elevated arsenic levels in body tissue after bathing in Central North Island geothermal hot pools. If I looked closer at our files, I think the number will exceed 100.

I can confidently say that 90% of the farmers and tradespeople tested, have elevated arsenic from exposure to treated timber and possibly also from various agricultural chemicals. I might have 1,000 positive cases on my books and climbing.