Hazardous powder leaves its mark
Barrie Maclean is still feeling the effects days after a hazardous substance was removed from his garden shed in Plimmerton.
Mr Maclean, 64, had six fire engines turn up to his School Rd home after he and friend Jay Havill reported feeling nauseous while cleaning his shed on January 26.
Both men’s tongues went numb and they felt ill.
Mr Maclean got a rash on his hands.
The firefighters put the powder into a container and the shed was cordoned off.
Porirua City Council, as the lead agency for disposing of hazardous substances in public places or private dwellings, arranged for it to be removed in a drum.
It is believed the powder was a pesticide.
Mr Maclean said a neighbour had asked him to store the powder some time ago.
When he got home from his recent holiday, he found his shed had been broken into and the powder was spread around.
It was while cleaning it up that he felt ill.
He and Mr Havill were taken to hospital, tested and discharged on the same day. But he still felt far from well.
‘‘I’ve got this flu thing going on and my voice isn’t the best,’’ Mr Maclean said. ‘‘My hands still hurt.’’ Mr Maclean said he was being a kind neighbour, but admitted it was a harsh lesson learnt.
It was important to understand exactly what was being stored, and clear labels on containers were needed, he said.
Council spokeswoman Moana Wyatt said the council advised people to buy small quantities of hazardous material and use them for the intended purpose within the permitted time.
Dangerous: Barrie Maclean outside his cordoned-off shed in Plimmerton.