Agrichemicals are chemicals used in agriculture for various reasons. 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.

Spray-drift may:

  • 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.


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

read-more READ MORE

If you are exposed to spray-drift, 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.

You may also want to:

  • shower and change your clothing if you have been exposed to spray-drift
  • 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.

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


Auckland Regional Public Health Service 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.

Last updated 29.11.2018

For health advice call Healthline for free anytime on 0800 611 116
MENU menu-arrow
health topics