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New Zealand removes mothballs from market

The New Zealand authorities are removing all mothball and moth flake products from the market due to concerns over the poisoning of children. The products contain the chemicals, naphthalene, camphor and dichlorobenzene, which are not approved by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) as pesticides. Retailers have been asked to remove the products from their shelves because eating or ingesting them could prove fatal. There have not been any deaths from ingestion but an average of two people (usually children) every three years require hospital treatment for eating the products, the Ministry of Health points out. The products have been banned in Europe and there are restrictions on their use in Australia, the Ministry notes. They are available in Australia in a form that cannot be swallowed. Such products are not available in New Zealand and would have to be assessed by the EPA before being imported or manufactured.

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