At the request of the Minister for the Environment, the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer commissioned an independent Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) for the Lord Howe Island’s proposed Rodent Eradication Program.
The HHRA looked at a number of potential exposure pathways – human interaction with the bait, including exposure through soil, air (dust), sediment, surface water, tank water as well as food sources such as seafood and locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Potential risks from these pathways were then considered for those most sensitive, which included toddlers, school children, pregnant women and adults spending large amounts of time outside.
According to the recent Visitors Survey (2016) the World Heritage values of Lord Howe Island are the 2nd highest motivation (behind escape to a remote island) visitors give for visiting; with beautiful scenery and natural environment the top ranking associations visitors have with the Island.
Tourism is the largest industry on Lord Howe Island, with the dramatic scenery and natural environment, along with its world heritage status, playing an important part in visitors experience and linking the maintenance of those world heritage values inextricably to future tourism.
Base on this association, the LHIB undertook an Economic Evaluation (Gillespie Economics) comparing proceeding with the REP to continuing with the current rodent control.