Randstad residents three times more likely to get sick from pollution: report

Between 10 thousand and 15 thousand Dutch people die each year from the effects of air- and noise pollution. The health risks are particularly high around Schiphol and Amsterdam. Randstad residents are three times more likely to get cardiovascular diseases or serious lung diseases from pollution than people living in Drenthe, Groningen or the islands, for example, RTL Niews reports based on its analysis of RIVM estimates and figures.

"This is not a little bit of a problem. This is a huge problem. It's about thousands of people. Ten to 15 more people die from these factors than from traffic accidents. The Randstad is one of the most polluted areas of Europe. And yet a huge number of people live on top of each other", Onno van Schayck, professor of preventative medicine at Maastricht University, said to RTL Nieuws. 

If you look at the impact of the environment on your health, you shouldn't be living in a city, according to Van Schayck. "I would certainly not recommend living in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a fantastic city, but certainly not healthy. Like other heavily polluted places. In the most polluted places you smoke five to ten cigarettes every day unnoticed." Moving to the countryside can have health benefits, especially for people with asthma, he said. "If you have a child with asthma, move - as soon as possible - to Overijssel, Groningen or an island."

"People live with health problems for years because they are exposed to too much nitrogen, particulate matter and ambient noise. These cause illness, but you also die sooner", Professor Lex Burdorf of the Erasmus MC, who did research into the influence of environmental factors on health for the Health Council, said to the broadcaster. According to Budorf, much more attention needs to be paid to the health effects of Schiphol. "Air traffic should become much more of a subject of discussion. As far as I am concerned, we should not talk about expansion, but rather about how we can reduce the current health effects."