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Investigation on the quality of the environment and health in the residential area near the Van Voorden BV foundry in Zaltbommel, The Netherlands: individual studies summarised

Milieu- en gezondheidsonderzoek in de leefomgeving van Van Voorden gieterij te Zaltbommel: samenvatting van de deelonderzoeken

Synopsis

An investigation to assess health risks was commissioned by the Zaltbommel municipality and the Inspectorate of the Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment in response to residents' concern about possible health effects due to emissions from the Van Voorden BV foundry in Zaltbommel. The emission of gaseous and particulate compounds from the foundry was measured, along with the concentrations and deposition of emitted compounds in the neighbourhood. The exposure of residents to compounds emitted from the foundry was quantified and compared to toxicological limits. Parallel to this, a survey was carried out among the residents, in which they were asked to keep a journal on annoyance and to complete a questionnaire on health, annoyance and well-being. Incidence rates were evaluated on the basis of cancer registration data. Measurement results showed that concentrations an deposition of foundry-related compounds were high relative to background levels; however, toxicological limits were not exceeded at all. Breast cancer incidence was significantly higher than expected, but no relation with environmental compounds could be established. No differences in self-reported health were reported, but results did show a high level of annoyance and anxiety combined with a low level of satisfaction concerning quality of life.
 

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