Bonfires lit in the Netherlands throughout the year are responsible for 6 percent of the annual emissions of PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons - harmful substances that are released when organic material is burned, public health institute RIVM said on Wednesday. The emission of PAH in the country has fallen by two thirds over the past 30 years, NU.nl reports.
A population screening for colon cancer by public health institute RIVM identified the disease more often than expected. The turnout for the screening was also higher than expected - between 2014 and 2017 a total of 3.85 million people sent in stool samples to be tested for colon cancer. That is over 70 percent of the people who were invited to do so, according to an evaluation report Erasmus MC and the Netherlands Cancer Institute drew up for the RIVM, NOS reports.
The number of Dutch adults who smoke and drink are slowly decreasing, but the number of overweight people in the Netherlands is still stable, according to the Health Survey and Lifestyle Monitor for 2018 by Statistics Netherlands and public health service RIVM. Last year 50 percent of Dutch were overweight, 22.4 percent smoked at least sometimes, and 9 percent were heavy drinkers, NU.nl reports.
The spraying of agricultural poison on the Dutch bulb fields exposes many more local residents to much higher concentrations of these pesticides for much longer periods than was expected, according to a scientific study by research committee pesticides and residents OBO. These pesticides are found in the diapers of babies who live 250 meters away from the bulb fields, television program Zembla, which has the research report in its possession, reports.
Screen time is affecting children's sleeping behavior, public health institute RIVM concluded in its first ever study into the effect of smartphones, tablets and televisions on the sleep of kids between the ages of 8 and 18. Because of screen use, children postpone their sleep and go to sleep later. Teenagers sleep an average of 40 minutes less. Teenagers also wake up more often at night and have more difficulty staying awake during the day, RTL Nieuws reports.
Sports supplements containing banned substance DMAA can easily be bought online, for example in online stores or through Dutch sports influencers on Instagram, according to research by NOS and masters students from the University of Amsterdam. The majority of these so-called pre-workout shakes are legal, but on Instagram and foreign online stores shakes with banned substances can also easily be bought, according to the broadcaster.
Of the nearly 132 thousand Dutch 13- and 14-year-olds who were invited to get a free vaccination against the meningococcus bacteria in the autumn of 2018, around 18 thousand ignored the call. The national turnout percentage is 86.5 percent. The lowest turnout was in Zeeland and Amsterdam, only 72 to 77 percent of teens went to get vaccinated, AD reports based on figures from public health institute RIVM.
Youth care will soon approach parents who refuse to vaccinate their children to explain to them exactly why vaccination is important. In this way State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health wants to address the decreasing vaccination rate more actively, the Volkskrant reports.
Starting this coming weekend, all Dutch teenagers will receive an invitation to get a vaccination against Meningococcus in the year that they turn 14 years old. The reason for this is an increase in type W of the bacteria, which can also be dangerous to teenagers and young people, unlike the other types which are mainly dangerous to young children, RTL Nieuws reports.
The hot weather in the Netherlands over the past weeks did not cause an increase in the number of deaths in the country, public health institute RIVM said. According to the institute, this is because many people who were already weakened passed away in the winter, and because the Dutch are getting better at protecting themselves against the heat, AD reports.
There is a good chance of smog in the entire Netherlands on Tuesday, public health institute RIVM warns. Those sensitive to dirty air, for example people with respiratory problems, are advised to stay inside, especially during the afternoon and early evening, RTL Nieuws reports.
"For the entire country, air quality can be bad, but the highest concentrations are expected in the east", the RIVM said. The smog will be at its worst during the afternoon and early evening.
Public health institute RIVM again implemented the National Heat Plan for Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Gelderland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Drenthe. Temperatures in these parts of the country will climb to between 30 and 35 degrees in the coming days, and minimums will not drop much below 20 degrees, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
The RIVM warns people in these provinces to stay hydrated, wear thin clothing that provide protection against the sun, stay in the shade, regularly apply sunscreen, and limit physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day.
The chance of smog formation is increasing due to the persistently high temperatures, public health institute RIVM warns. Air quality will be bad in the middle and east of the country while the high temperatures last, NU.nl reports.
The RIVM advises people sensitive to smog to stay indoors and limit physical exertion, especially in the late afternoon and the early evening, as air pollution is at its worst at those times.
Meteorological institute KNMI issued a code orange weather warning for extreme heat in the entire country, except for the Wadden area. The warning is in place from 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday until Friday.
The Netherlands is dealing with tropical temperatures this week, with maximum temperatures above 30 degrees. Thursday and Friday will be especially hot. Maximums of 35 degrees Celsius or higher are expected inland and in urban areas. The nights will also be warm, with minimus around 20 degrees.
Public health institution RIVM implemented the National Heat Plan on Monday due to persistently hot weather expected this week. Maximums of 30 degrees or higher are expected in the Netherlands the coming days, and minimums won't drop below 20, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
"Extra alertness can limit health problems due to the hot weather", the RIVM said, according to NU.nl. "The sun power is also high in the coming days. Skin can then burn within 15 minutes.
Pay extra attention to the elderly during the coming hot days, the Red Cross advises. According to the aid organization, this vulnerable group is at risk of dehydration and overheating in the high temperatures expected for this week, NOS reports.
At various places around chemical factory Chemours in Dordrecht, the ditch water and collected rain water contain high concentrations of chemical substances PFOA or GenX, according to the interim results of a RIVM investigation into these chemicals in the water of 11 vegetable gardens in the area, NOS reports.
Some 19 thousand Dutch teenagers drink too many energy drinks and therefore run health risks, public health institute RIVM concluded after a study. State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health is talking with various organizations about measures, NOS reports.
According to the RIVM, the consumption of energy drinks among teenagers declined over the past years. But about 1 to 2 percent of teens between the ages of 13 and 18 years drink three cans or more per day. They therefore run an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmia and their central nervous system being affected.
The rubber granulate used in artificial turf is harmful to the environment in the immediate vicinity of the fields, according to research by public health institute RIVM and the union of water boards UVW. The rubber granules can leak substances that end up in the soil and dredges around the fields, the researchers found, ANP reports.
Last year 90.2 percent of 2-year-olds in the Netherlands got their vaccinations, 1,720 toddlers less than in 2016. Only 45 percent of girls were vaccinated against HPV, the virus that can cause cervical cancer, RTL Nieuws and NU.nl report based on the annual figures of public heath institute RIVM.
Nearly half of Dutch children between the ages of 4 and 12 years did not get enough exercise last year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands and public health institute RIVM released on Friday. According to the Health Council's movement guidelines, kids in this age group must get "moderately intense" exercise, like walking, cycling or playing outside at least 1 hour per day. 45 percent of kids in the Netherlands did not achieve that.
Smokers inhale much higher doses of harmful substances than is stated on their cigarette packages, according to a study by Dutch public health institute RIVM. The researchers found that the amount of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide is at least twice as high as manufacturers claim, ANP reports.
On Monday State Secretary Barbara Visser of Defense apologized for the fact that Defense employees were insufficiently protected against the health consequences of working with carcinogenic chromium 6 in the period 1984 to 2006. "Defense has failed", she said while presenting the results of a major investigation by the RIVM. "I am sorry.", NOS repots.
The Netherlands is heading for a record number of infections with the meningococcal bacterium type W, also known as meningitis. So far this year 57 people ended up in intensive care and 11 people died because of this bacterium, according to figures AD received from the national institute for public health RIVM.