Agrichemicals are chemicals used in agriculture. When the spray drifts away from the target area, it is known as spray-drift.

Spray-drift can cause health problems and contaminate water and food sources. It can:

  • affect your health
  • contaminate (make unsafe) water supplies, such as drinking water collected from the roofs of houses
  • contaminate fruits and vegetables
  • harm pets and livestock

If you are concerned about spray-drift and your health, call Healthline on 0800 611 116 or see your doctor or practice nurse.

If you are exposed to spray-drift you may want to:

  • shower and change your clothing 
  • wash exposed foods, like fruit or vegetables before cooking or eating them
  • disconnect pipes to water tanks collecting rain water from a roof until the roof has been washed down by the next rainfall.

You can also note down the following details if you know them:

  • how you first became aware of the spray-drift
  • the time, date and weather (especially the wind strength and direction)
  • the colour and smell of the spray, if obvious
  • who was spraying, and the equipment used
  • who else is spraying in the area
  • the type of aircraft (if used), its identification number and colour, and the direction it came from
  • an estimate of its height above the ground
  • any symptoms occurring after the spray-drift, and how long it was between the spray-drift and the symptoms starting

You may even be able to video or photograph what is happening.

Report your issue and findings to Auckland Council on 09 3010101.

Auckland Regional Public Health Service's role is to advise about possible adverse effects of spray-drift and steps you can take to minimise those effects.

If spray-drift has affected your health, the primary care provider will contact Auckland Regional Public Health Service who will assess whether further public health investigation is required.


There are specific requirements for notifiable diseases in the Auckland region.

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Last updated 13.12.2022

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
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