1984 – 1993: Coffs Harbour, NSW. Bananas – Cluster of Cleft Palate, Spina Bifida, Heart and Brain Abnormalities

1992-3, Coffs Harbour NSW, Bananas, Cluster of Cleft Palate.

Community consultation 3x case control studies Air sampling
“Coffs Harbour, the hub of our banana industry, reported birth defects six times the national average in 1984, including spina bifida, cleft palates and heart and brain abnormalities, as well as 331 children suffering from malabsorption, chronic diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss, and growth retardation… At least twelve chemicals … used in Coffs Harbour … are banned, withdrawn or severely restricted in other parts of the world…
p142 Chemical Crisis – One Woman’s Story. Humanity’s Future?. Diana Crumpler 1994
… Further analysis revealed that 26 per cent of water samples contained dieldrin, with the highest rate, 40 per cent in Coffs Harbour.
The Health Department was nonplussed by these findings, but community member, Lorraine Wright, was particularly disturbed. A year before, Lorraine had arranged for a sample of tank water to be taken from a home located near a banana plantation. A woman living there had recently given birth to a deformed child and a friend living on the same property had requested the test on her behalf. The laboratory certificate showed propiconazole present at 60 micrograms per cubic litre. It also reported that there was ‘no maximum residue limit set for this compound’ in water, leaving the family to ponder the implications of its presence in their water supply. p87 Quick Poison Slow Poison. Pesticide Risk in the Lucky Country. Kate Short 1994