Residents around Tata Steel more likely to need heart disease, diabetes treatment
People who live close to the Tata Steel factory are more often given medicines for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes than people outside the IJmond region, the RIVM concluded after research.
According to the health institute, residents of Beverwijk and Velsen are prescribed these medicines 11 to 16 percent more often. Adult residents are also 5 to 10 percent more likely to be treated for respiratory diseases. Children are not more likely to get medicine for respiratory diseases, the RIVM said.
The institute researched what influence air quality in the IJmond had on residents’ health. It also looked at how often residents received medication for certain conditions for the first time between 2008 and 2019. These are diseases that may be related to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in the air.
In previous studies, the RIVM showed that people in the vicinity of Tata Steel are more often exposed to harmful substances, like PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and metals. These substances can cause diseases like cancer.
In another report, the GGD noted that the residents of Beverwijk get lung cancer more than a quarter more often than the average in the Netherlands. The health service did not explicitly identify the cause but mentioned air pollution as a factor.
In December, Tata Steel announced that it plans to reduce its emission of harmful substances more quickly.
Reporting by ANP