Hazardous substances are common in homes, workplaces, and public areas. Find out more about the various substances and how they affect health.
For information about poisons or in case of poisoning, call the National Poisons Centre on 0800 764 766
If you or someone else requires urgent medical attention call 111
National Poisons Centre (external link)↗
Agricultural compounds are used for many purposes, including protecting native plants and wildlife and minimising health risks from pests.
If you live in an area contaminated with arsenic, find out what you need to know and how to protect your family’s health.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of many small fibres. These fibres are very strong and are highly resistant to heat, fire, chemicals and wear.
Soil contamination results where hazardous substances are either spilled on or buried in the soil, or migrate from a spill that occurred elsewhere.
Fires can expose people to a range of hazardous substances.
You can get lead poisoning if you do not take care when you remove lead-based paint from the inside or outside of a building.
Mercury vaporises at room temperature and breathing in this vapour can be harmful to your health.
Persistent Organic Pollutants are compounds that do not break down easily, and stay in the environment.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which comes from uranium and radium. Trace concentrations of these elements are found in soils, rocks and building materials. Radon is naturally present in low concentrations in the air. But it can build up indoors in spaces that are poorly ventilated or underground.