Third of Dutch kids live in inadequate homes
A third of Dutch children live in a home that is unhealthy in some way, such as being too dark, too damp, too noisy or too cold, according to European figures collected by research agency RAND for Velux. This increases their chance of health problems like asthma, eczema and respiratory diseases, AD reports.
Of the 2.8 million Dutch children under the age of 15, almost 420 thousand live in houses with leaking roofs, damp walls, or mold in window frames or on floors. Over 650 thousand children experience noise pollution from neighbors or traffic. 65 thousand children's homes do not let enough daylight in. And 50 thousand children live in a home with a too low temperature. That comes down to one in three children living in poor conditions at home.
These kids run a greater risk of health problems, especially if their homes have more than one problem. If they live with all the above mentioned risk factors, they have a 4.3 bigger chance of falling ill than normal.
This is "unfortunately not new information", Atze Boerstra of BBA Binnenmilieu said to AD. "I even miss a number of things in the research, because a major polluter is particulate matter indoors, caused by poor cooking extraction or smoke in the house or a nearby highway. This is serious, because if there is one place where it must be healthy, then it is one's own home."
According to Boerstra, there is not enough attention for healthy homes. "That starts with the choice of home. People opt for a nice house, a nice neighborhood and maybe they look at maintenance and energy, but not at something as important as how healthy a house is.
Atto Harsta of Aldus Bouwinnovatie agrees. "I studied engineering in Delft, but learned nothing about how to make a house healthy for residents. Isn't that crazy?" he said to the newspaper. "The market has been ignoring it for a hundred years, while they are building for people. And people don't see the problem because unhealthy air is invisible. They may not sleep well or have a headache, but do not know why."