• Framework Agreement signed between Ineris and RIVM to strengthen cooperation 08 November 2018

    On 7 November 2018, Raymond Cointe, Director-General of Ineris and Hans Brug, Director-General of RIVM, signed a Framework Agreement for closer cooperation. RIVM has been working with Ineris on various themes for years. By establishing a Framework Agreement, the cooperation has now also been formally endorsed. This contributes to RIVM’s ambition to cooperate more closely with partner institutes in other countries.

  • Public Health Foresight study 2018 now available in English 07 November 2018

    The prospects for future public health in the Netherlands are good. Our life expectancy is steadily increasing, and most people feel healthy and do not experience activity limitations. Nevertheless, we face some major future challenges. Those are some conclusions of the Public Health Foresight study 2018 as published last June. The Public Health Foresight study is now available in English.

  • Coen van Gool named co-chair of WHO Family Development Committee 01 November 2018

    Coen van Gool was named co-chair of the Family Development Committee (FDC) at the Annual Meeting 2018 of the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) Network in Seoul.

  • Global Infectious Disease Control hampered by the CBD Nagoya Protocol 26 October 2018

    So far, none of the models used by international networks of biobanks to arrange the legal responsibility under the CBD-Nagoya protocol works efficiently. They are unsuitable for the fast international sharing of materials between public health and /or research institutes in times of a public health crisis. These are the conclusions of an article from the Erasmus Medical Center (Erasmus MC), department of Viroscience and RIVM that was published in Science on Friday, October 26th.

  • Tuberculosis in the spotlights 23 October 2018

    A large international congress on tuberculosis will start in The Hague on October 24. In the Netherlands, the number of tuberculosis - or TB – patients is declining, but it is the most deadliest infectious disease worldwide. Every year more than 1.5 million people die from tuberculosis.

  • The bowel cancer screening programme performes much better than expected 19 October 2018

    For the very first time, the monitor of the bowel cancer screening programme shows that the programme is able to detect bowel cancers more successfully than anticipated. Participation numbers in the first, and follow-up, screening rounds also remained good.

  • The introduction of the colorectal cancer screening programme in the Netherlands 18 October 2018

    In 2014, a colorectal cancer screening programme was launched in the Netherlands. In a factsheet we describe the lessons learned during the introduction of this nationwide programme. The factsheet illustrates the most important measures that were taken in the Netherlands and provides a range of practical tips for policymakers in other countries.

  • Sustainability Day at RIVM: Microplastics 10 October 2018

    Today, October 10th is national Sustainability Day in the Netherlands. At RIVM, committed to health and sustainability, we raise awareness for sustainability with this year’s theme microplastics. There has been a rapid increase in the number of scientific publications on the distribution of microplastics. However, there is still much unknown about the effects of microplastics on people and the environment. Policymakers are aware of the urgency to take measures even before all the knowledge gaps are filled.

  • Issue 2 of our newsletter is out now! 08 October 2018

    Issue 2 of our quarterly newsletter is out now. It features the best read news stories and background information on public health and the environment from RIVM in the third quarter of 2018.

  • Alternatives available for environmentally detrimental antifouling paints 02 October 2018

    There are various systems without biocides available that can serve as alternatives for antifouling paints on pleasure boats to prevent the growth of algae and shellfish on the hull. These systems include hard ‘foul release coatings’, other hard coatings, films with flexible plastic fibres that act as spines and systems based on ultra sound. RIVM has drawn up an overview of current and future possibilities for preventing the fouling of the surfaces of pleasure boats under the waterline.

  • Research: HPV vaccine is safe 24 September 2018

    RIVM research shows no causal link between the vaccine against cervical cancer (HPV) and long-term fatigue symptoms in girls. Current findings of epidemiological research in the Netherlands correspond with the results of previous international studies.

  • Teen vaccination against meningococcal disease starts 13 September 2018

    From mid-September, young people born between 1 May and 31 December 2004 will receive an invitation for a vaccination against meningococcal disease. With the slogan “Do not share this with your friends. Get that jab against meningococcal disease”, RIVM and youth health organisations are inviting young people to get themselves vaccinated. This year, about 130,000 young people in the Netherlands will receive an invitation. In 2019, young people aged between 14 and 18 receive will an invitation for vaccination, amounting to an additional 860,000 young people.

  • New Director-General Hans Brug starts at RIVM 10 September 2018

    After the approval of his nomination on the proposal of Minister Ollongren of the Interior and Kingdom Relations on June 1 of this year, Professor J. (Hans) Brug officially started today in his position as director-general of RIVM.

  • New method for toxicological assessment of perfluoro mixtures 10 September 2018

    Perfluoro (PFAS) is a group of substances that contains PFOS, PFOA and GenX. Perfluoro substances often occur as pollution in ground water and drinking water. Recently, cases of perluoro pollution have risen concerns about possible health effects. In 2016, RIVM has determined a Health-Based Guidance Value for PFOA. RIVM has now developed a method to determine the risk of a PFAS mixture based on this threshold limit value.

  • Large increase in legionellosis in the Netherlands 04 September 2018

    The Municipal Public Health Services (GGD) received 561 reports of legionellosis over the past year. Never before has RIVM registered as many reports of this disease as in the past year. Also striking was the increased occurrence of another respiratory tract infection: In the winter of 2017/2018, 900,000 people became ill due to the flu virus, about 400,000 more than the year before.

  • Meningococcal type W most notable infectious disease in 2017 04 September 2018

    The report ‘State of Infectious Diseases in the Netherlands in 2017’ published by RIVM today, provides an overview of the most important developments in infectious diseases in the Netherlands and abroad. The most prominent infectious disease in 2017 was meningococcal disease. The number of infections with meningococcal type W increased to 80 last year.

  • Aura Timen named Professor by special appointment at VU Amsterdam 08 August 2018

    Aura Timen has been named Professor by special appointment to the chair of 'Responses to communicable diseases in global health' as of June 1st 2018. It is a part-time 0.2 FTE appointment at the Athena Institute, the research and education department at the Faculty of Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam).

  • National Heat Plan no longer in effect 08 August 2018

    As of Wednesday, August 8th 2018, the National Heat Plan is no longer in effect. The temperatures will be lower as of Wednesday. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, KNMI and RIVM will remain vigilant to new periods of sustained heat.

  • Health and Well-being through Effective Blue-Green Space Design and Governance 06 August 2018

    During World Water Week (August 26 – 31, 2018), the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM is facilitating a session on Health and Well-being through effective Blue-Green Space Design and Governance. Tuesday, August 28th RIVM, in collaboration with Deltares, the University of Exeter - European Centre for Environment and Human Health and the European Commission will present the latest findings of three EU Horizon2020 research projects related to ecosystems and human health at the conference in Stockholm.

  • National Heat Plan active for parts of the Netherlands 02 August 2018

    On August 2, 2018, the National Heat Plan has been activated for the provinces Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Gelderland, Utrecht, Overijssel and Drenthe. The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) has issued a code yellow warning for these provinces. RIVM advises these regions to take extra care of vulnerable people to limit health problems as much as possible.

  • Changed indicative magnetic field zones around overhead high-voltage lines 16 July 2018

    RIVM has updated the 2005 grid map (Netkaart) showing the overhead high-voltage lines in the Netherlands. The grid map has been modified because better data on the high-voltage grid is now available. The high-voltage grid has also changed in a number of places, for example because new high-voltage lines have been realised or existing lines have been brought underground, moved or taken down. The map is a tool for municipalities that need to decide on the design of the area near overhead high-voltage lines.

  • RIVM on shortlist Best Government Organisation of the Year 2018 12 July 2018

    The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has made the shortlist for the 2018 election for best government organisation of the year. In all, more than thirty organisations were nominated for the election. RIVM and nine other government organisations have made the shortlist. The three finalists will be announced in September.

  • INHERIT Model: a tool to jointly improve health, environmental sustainability and Health Equity 12 July 2018

    RIVM is involved in the Horizon2020 project INHERIT. The first article of the INHERIT project has been published, lead-authored by RIVM. The article presents the INHERIT model, a tool to jointly improve health, environmental sustainability and inequality, through behaviour and lifestyle change.

  • RIVM supports WHO in national capacity building for measuring foodborne disease burden 11 July 2018

    RIVM’s Collaborating Centre for Risk Assessment of Pathogens in Food and Water was invited to WHO’s side event during the 41st Codex Alimentarius Commission on July 4th 2018. The side event highlighted the importance of national capacity building efforts for conducting foodborne disease burden estimates.

  • Meningococcal disease serious, but still rare 09 July 2018

    Meningococcal disease is a disease caused by a bacterium, the meningococcus. There are several types of this bacterium. In most cases, it does not make you ill. Occasionally, the bacterium penetrates further into the body, where it can cause meningitis or septicaemia. Since 2015, there has been an increase in the number of people who fall ill as a result of meningococcal type W. To prevent further spread of these meningococci, RIVM is joining forces with the Youth Health Care Office, providing a vaccination for toddlers and teenagers.

  • Rapid developments in modern biotechnology are a challenge for risk assessment 09 July 2018

    Due to developments in modern biotechnology, such as genome editing, synthetic biology and regulation of gene expression, many new applications are expected in the next ten years. For example, new forms of gene therapy, new substances produced by microorganisms and plants that are better adapted for agriculture. The method that is currently used for the assessment of risks for human health and the environment does not seem to be equipped for all future developments. These were the findings of a report by RIVM published in May. The report is now available in English.

  • No clear links between health and proximity of agricultural plots 06 July 2018

    In general, no clear links were found between health and the proximity of agricultural plots. People who live nearer to agricultural plots even appeared slightly healthier than people who live further away, generally speaking, although this could have to do with lifestyle. In contrast with this general picture, a higher mortality due to conditions relating to the airways was found among people living in the proximity of fields where maize was cultivated. We are unable to say whether the use of pesticides was the cause.

  • First review of cumulative exposure to residues of plant protection products in the Netherlands following EFSA methodology 06 July 2018

    Cumulative exposure to residues of plant protection products on vegetables and fruit is not likely to cause a health effect on the thyroid. Based on calculations, RIVM cannot exclude a harmful effect of substances that may affect the nervous system.

  • Energy drinks pose health risks for small group of teenagers 06 July 2018

    Of the more than 1.2 million Dutch young people between the ages of 13 and 18-years-old, 1 to 2 percent regularly drinks three or more cans of energy drinks per day. These drinks contain caffeine, taurine and D-glucuronolactone. Those who ingest too many of these substances may experience symptoms such as heart palpitations and dizziness. This is shown by research by RIVM.

  • Disease burden and cost-of-illness of food-related pathogens in the Netherlands 04 July 2018

    Each year, RIVM presents an update on the number of illnesses caused by 14 enteric pathogens (such as Salmonella, Campylobacter or Listeria) that can be transmitted by food into the human body. This food-related disease burden is expressed in Disability Adjusted Life Year (DALY), an internationally used measure for the sum of the Years Lost due to Disability (YLD) and the Years of Life Lost (YLL) due to premature mortality in a population. The number of DALYs due to the 14 pathogens is estimated at 4,200 in 2017, which is lower than in 2016 (4,700 DALY's).

  • Rubber granulate on synthetic turf fields causes environmental impact 03 July 2018

    Use of rubber granulate sourced from car tyres, on synthetic turf fields can be harmful to the environment in the close vicinity of these fields. Substances leach from rubber granulate and enter the soil in the field border and in the ditches. Children at play and pets or cattle that occasionally ingest soil containing rubber granulate are not at risk. In order to protect the environment, RIVM recommends that measures be taken to prevent the spreading of rubber granulate to the field borders and to limit the emission of substances via the drainage water.

  • Animal-free innovations in safety assessment of chemicals 02 July 2018

    How can the process of validation, acceptance and use of animal-free innovative approaches to assess the safety of chemicals be facilitated? This was the topic of the second joint workshop of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and RIVM (13th and 14th June 2018, Bilthoven). International experts from governmental institutes, regulatory agencies, industry, academia and animal welfare organisations discussed this topic in interactive sessions.

  • Risk assessment method for gene drives 29 June 2018

    RIVM and partner organisations from England, Germany and Belgium have developed a method to assess the risks of gene drives in laboratories. A gene drive is a genetic trait that can be passed on to almost all the offspring. Gene drives can be constructed in the laboratory by means of genetic modification. International cooperation in assessing the risks is important because cross-border problems can occur if an organism with a gene drive would escape from a laboratory.

  • Dutch health similar to health in neighbouring countries 29 June 2018

    The health of the Dutch population is broadly in line with that of our neighbours. That is the outcome of a study by RIVM and the ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports in which health and healthcare in the Netherlands have been compared with those in eleven neighbouring European countries with similar economies and cultures.

  • Director-general André van der Zande receives Royal honours 28 June 2018

    On Thursday, June 28th, our departing director-general André van der Zande received a Royal decoration from the Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Hugo de Jonge. Van der Zande was awarded the title of Commander in the Order of Orange-Nassau at his farewell symposium.

  • Antibiotics are often used correctly, but improvements are still possible 27 June 2018

    General practitioners in the Netherlands are prescribing antibiotics less frequently. No drop has been observed in hospitals. Compared with other countries, however, relatively few antibiotics are prescribed for humans in the Netherlands. The number of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics has remained stable in the country over recent years. This is shown by two research reports about the use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in the Netherlands, among humans and animals. To allow antibiotics to continue to be used in the future, we must keep working on tackling antibiotic resistance.

  • Frequently used cancer medicines do not harm plants and animals in water 27 June 2018

    Most cytostatics (medication for chemotherapy), tumor specific immunotherapy and hormone therapy don’t harm plants and animals in surface water. They are sufficiently metabolised in the human body and removed in waste water treatment plants. These findings are reported by RIVM.

  • Vaccination rate again drops slightly, HPV vaccination rate drops considerably 25 June 2018

    The vaccination rate for vaccines included in the National Immunisation Programme has dropped slightly by about 1 percent. This is stated in the report on vaccination rates and the 2017 Annual Report from the National Immunisation Programme Netherlands. It is striking that participation in the HPV vaccination programme has decreased significantly by 8 percent.

  • More people are tested for STIs 21 June 2018

    The number of people who have been tested for a sexually transmitted infection (STI) went up in 2017. This is the case both at the Sexual Health Centres and at the General Practitioner. The percentage of STIs detected was 18.4 percent. A chlamydia infection is most common. The majority of the STI tests are conducted in Amsterdam.

  • Our future Public Health: ageing healthily, but also major future challenges 19 June 2018

    The prospects for future public health in the Netherlands are good. Our life expectancy is steadily increasing, and most people feel healthy and do not experience activity limitations. Nevertheless, we face some major future challenges. The seventh Public Health Foresight study describes the societal challenges we will be facing and how we can deal with them.

  • First issue RIVM Newsletter 12 June 2018

    We have launched the RIVM newsletter. We would like to keep you informed about the developments in public health and the environment in the Netherlands and our institute. Each quarter, we will send you stories and insights.

  • RIVM measures much higher levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarettes 12 June 2018

    Tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide (TNCO) levels measured in accordance with the Canadian Intense (CI) method are at least twice as high as the levels measured in accordance with the prescribed ISO method. In some cases, the levels measured with the CI method are even more than 20 times higher than those measured by the ISO method. This is the result of research by RIVM, examining 100 cigarettes using the Canadian Intense method.

  • 6th SAF€RA Symposium Sustainable Safety 2030 11 June 2018

    On June 14th and 15th, the 6th SAF€RA - Coordination of European Research on Industrial Safety towards Smart and Sustainable Growth - Symposium will take place in the Netherlands. RIVM will host SAF€RA with support from TNO. SAF€RA’s General Assembly will also be held at RIVM.

  • One Health European Joint Programme (EJP) Expert Meeting 07 June 2018

    On the 4th and 5th of June 2018, an expert meeting was held at RIVM to redefine and prioritise the topics for One Health research and integrative activities in Europe. The meeting was aimed at forming the basis for the second round of project proposals based on the necessities of One Health in Europe.RIVM is involved in the One Health EJP, which has started in January 2018 and will run until the end of 2022.

  • Protection of Defence personnel against health risks of chromium-6 was inadequate 05 June 2018

    From 1984-2006, employees of the Dutch Ministry of Defence were exposed to chromium-6 during maintenance work. This occurred at five so-called POMS sites (POMS: Prepositioned Organizational Materiel Storage), where principally American NATO equipment was stored and maintained by Defence personnel. The chief source of chromium-6 was the primer coating used to protect the equipment, and maintenance activities could cause the release of this substance. The investigation revealed that the Health & Safety policy at the POMS sites was inadequate, especially in the first operative years. The Ministry of Defence had the responsibility to inform both employees and occupational physicians about the health risks of exposure to chromium-6-based paint and to ensure the use of the appropriate protective equipment. This did not happen adequately.

  • Measures to reduce microplastic emissions in the environment 04 June 2018

    Microplastics are plastic particles that are smaller than 5 millimetres; through the use of plastic or rubber products these microplastics can end up in the environment (surface water, soil, and air). The uncertainty about the effect of microplastics for humans and ecosystems is still large. Therefore, precautionary measures are considered to reduce the emission of microplastics. RIVM has taken stock of the advantages and disadvantages of potential measures. This study focusses on three sources: abrasion of tyres (the biggest source) and paint, and microplastics added to abrasive cleaning agents (a minor source).

  • Health research in the Caribbean Netherlands: fewer smokers, more overweight 04 June 2018

    One in six inhabitants of the Caribbean Netherlands is a smoker, one in eight is a heavy drinker and over six in ten are overweight. Half of the population are getting sufficient exercise. Women smoke and drink much less than men, but are more likely to be obese and exercise less. These are some conclusions from the Health Study which was conducted in the Caribbean Netherlands in 2017.

  • RIVM and VU investigate differences between men and women in healthy ageing 04 June 2018

    Healthy ageing and being able to live an independent life until old age is not experienced by everybody. In many Western countries, women live longer than men, but suffer from more disabilities and need more care. It remains largely unknown when these differences between men and women arise in the life course and which modifiable lifestyle factors play a role in these differences. RIVM and VU University recently started research into this.

  • Hans Brug new director-general RIVM 01 June 2018

    Professor J. (Hans) Brug has been appointed director-general of RIVM per September 10, 2018. The Council of Ministers has approved the nomination on the proposal of Minister Ollongren of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in the Netherlands. Brug succeeds Professor André van der Zande who will leave RIVM by the end of June to enjoy his retirement. Van der Zande has been Director-General since 2011.

  • Rapid developments in modern biotechnology are a challenge for risk assessment 28 May 2018

    Due to developments in modern biotechnology, such as genome editing, synthetic biology and regulation of gene expression, many new applications are expected in the next ten years. For example, new forms of gene therapy, new substances produced by microorganisms and plants that are better adapted for agriculture. The method that is currently used for the assessment of risks for human health and the environment does not seem to be equipped for all future developments. These were the findings of a report by RIVM.

  • Bacteriophages: insufficient understanding of phage treatment of human infections 28 May 2018

    Bacteriophages are viruses that can kill bacteria. The question is whether bacteriophages can be used to treat infections in humans. This may be particularly useful when it comes to infections with antibiotic resistant bacteria. A report from RIVM shows that current scientific evidence is insufficient to determine whether bacteriophages are actually effective in the treatment of human infections. There is also a knowledge gap regarding phage therapy safety. RIVM recently visited the Eliava Institute in Georgia, which has a great deal of experience with bacteriophages.

  • National Action Plan for sexual health 17 May 2018

    The Dutch National Action Plan for STI, HIV and sexual health describes the most important goals for the next five years. Good information and comprehensive sexuality education are important for the prevention of STD, HIV, unwanted pregnancy and sexual violence. Efficient cooperation between the most important partners is necessary to achieve this. The National Action Plan defines the concrete objectives and actions for a healthy sexual life.

  • Greenhouse gas emissions slightly down in 2017 16 May 2018

    Despite the growth of the economy, greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands in 2017 were1 percent lower than in the previous year. Causes of the decrease are the use of more natural gas and less coal in the electricity production. This is shown by preliminary figures from RIVM / Emission Registration and Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

  • Addictive nicotine and harmful substances also present in heated tobacco 15 May 2018

    Heated tobacco products are newly available on the market. An example of such a product is the heatstick which is heated with an iQOS, a device that looks like an e-cigarette. Heating the heatstick leads to the formation of carcinogenic and other harmful substances. The use of heatsticks with the iQOS is harmful to health, but probably less harmful than smoking tobacco cigarettes. This is RIVM’s conclusion, based on its research into heated tobacco products (HTPs).

  • Continued high effectiveness of vaccines against Hib disease 09 May 2018

    A recent study by RIVM and AMC shows that the effectiveness of vaccination against Hib is still high. The slight increase in the number of patients with Hib disease in 2016 cannot be explained by a reduced effectiveness of the Hib vaccine. This research was published in The Lancet.

  • RIVM withdraws from tobacco committees 07 May 2018

    The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment will leave the NEN/CEN/ISO committees for tobacco and e-cigarettes with immediate effect. The primary reason for this is the considerable influence the tobacco industry exerts within these committees, whereby safeguarding public health receives insufficient emphasis. RIVM will remain active in other NEN, CEN and ISO committees, which focus on subjects other than tobacco.

  • Promotion: the interactions between the whooping cough bacteria and our immune system 03 May 2018

    Today, Elise Hovingh will be awarded a PhD at Utrecht University with a thesis about whooping cough. She studied the interaction between the whooping cough bacteria and our immune system. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious disease. Despite vaccination, the disease has become increasingly common in recent years. New vaccines will have to be developed for future control of pertussis. More insight into the functioning of the bacterium that causes whooping cough is important here.

  • RIVM advises on health risks after using make-up with asbestos 03 May 2018

    RIVM was asked to give advice to the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate in the Netherlands after asbestos was found in two make-up products. During the use of these products, the estimated number of asbestos fibres in the air is unacceptably high. The risk of asbestos-related diseases for children who have used these make-up products is probably limited. However, it is important to prevent further exposure as much as possible.

  • People who eat meat do not carry more ESBL bacteria 02 May 2018

    RIVM research reveals that people who eat meat regularly do not carry ESBLs more frequently than vegetarians. ESBL is an enzyme, produced by certain bacteria, which makes these bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

  • National Agreement leads to small improvement in intake of salt and sugar 26 April 2018

    RIVM calculations show that only small steps have been taken to reduce daily salt and energy intake (via sugar) within the National Agreement to Improve Product Composition. Expansion and tightening of the agreements are necessary to achieve a substantially lower salt and sugar intake. The Committee Criteria for Product Improvement recommends a new integrated system to achieve product improvement.

  • EFSA to use RIVM-model to assess the health risks of mixtures of plant protection products 18 April 2018

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and RIVM are jointly conducting pilot assessments into the health risks posed to consumers through exposure to multiple pesticides via food. The MCRA model (Monte Carlo Risk Assessment) that was developed by RIVM and Biometris (Wageningen University and Research) is used for this assessments. It is crucial that the required data can be fed into the model in a structured way. This is described in the report “Proposal for a data model for probabilistic cumulative dietary exposure assessments of pesticides in line with the MCRA software”, that was published by EFSA today.

  • PhD dissertation: Dutch Q fever epidemic in 'One Health' context 17 April 2018

    Today Barbara Schimmer will be defending her PhD dissertation entitled The Q fever epidemic in the Netherlands in a One Health context, at Utrecht University. The dissertation describes the epidemiological studies that were carried out during the Q-fever epidemic of 2007-2010. Approximately 4,000 patients with acute Q fever caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii, have been reported during this period. Various outbreaks and target groups were investigated in the studies and research was carried out into the source of the infections. In addition to knowledge about risk factors when contracting an infection with the Q fever bacterium in humans and animals, these studies also provide knowledge about prevention measures. For example, Q fever vaccination should be seriously considered for occupational groups who are at high risk of contracting C. burnetii infection because of direct animal contact, such as farmers.

  • Lyme disease cases have quadrupled 16 April 2018

    According to a survey by RIVM, 27,000 people were infected with Lyme disease in 2017. In 2014, the last time RIVM reported on the incidence of tick-borne disease, this number was 25,000. The number of patients that have been infected every year has more than quadrupled in the past 20 years.

  • WHO:RIVM Centre for Healthy Living a good practice for other countries 16 April 2018

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the RIVM Centre for Healthy Living is a prime example of how the national government has taken up its stewardship role within the health promotion landscape for effective health promotion. The WHO has published a news story illustrating the Centre’s work prominently on its Health Systems Response website. Strong features of the Centre include building sustainable capacity for professionals and the alliances with partners.

  • ANSES and RIVM foster collaboration 12 April 2018

    RIVM was delighted to welcome a delegation from ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety) in Bilthoven on April 10th. The partnership between ANSES and RIVM is important to both parties. The continuance and reinforcement of the collaboration on topics as infectious diseases, environmental risks and food safety were discussed during the visit.

  • Climate change, ozone depletion and air quality need to be addressed coherently 09 April 2018

    Ozone layer depletion, air pollution and climate change need to be addressed in connection with each other. This is what RIVM’s professor doctor Guus Velders stressed in his inaugural address as professor of air quality and climate interactions at Utrecht University. “We only have one atmosphere, so we need to treat it carefully.”

  • Exposure to Bisphenol A via food is very limited 09 April 2018

    Calculations carried out by RIVM indicate that the total intake of Bisphenol A (BPA) via food in the Netherlands is very limited. Even under the most unfavourable circumstances, the exposure would still be a factor of 30 times less than the current tolerable daily intake (TDI). The study also clearly indicates that no single food source contributes largely to the exposure, but that all food sources each make their own ‘small’ contribution. These are the findings of a study conducted by RIVM.

  • Oncology drugs are a target for pharmaceutical crime 04 April 2018

    Oncology drugs clearly have become a target for pharmaceutical crime. Although the prevalence of falsified oncology drugs in the legal supply chains appears to be small, these drugs are difficult to detect, particularly in clinical practice. This is shown in a review article by RIVM in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

  • RIVM advises on maximum noise levels for musical activities 03 April 2018

    Publicly accessible locations with amplified music, such as discos, cafes, concert halls and schools, should enforce an average noise level of no more than 102 decibels over fifteen minutes for music activities for people aged 16 years and over. The average noise level should be even lower for children under the age of 16. This advice is the result of RIVM research commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

  • Publication WHO Good Practice Brief RIVM Centre for Healthy Living 29 March 2018

    The Good Practice Brief 'Centre for Healthy Living in the Netherlands: Building sustainable capacity and alliances for effective health promotion' has been published on the World Health Organization website. The RIVM Centre for Healthy Living serves as the national hub for integrated expertise on health promotion in The Netherlands. It is an example of how a national government has taken up its stewardship role for health promotion, shaped by both local government responsibilities and a variety of theme-specific health promotion institutes operating nationally.

  • Fewer TB patients in the Netherlands 24 March 2018

    The key figures of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) show that in 2017, the number of TB patients in the Netherlands fell below 800 TB patients for the first time since the first registration in 1950 (787). That is 11 percent less than in 2016. 463 TB patients had pulmonary tuberculosis, 203 of the most contagious form (open tuberculosis). From the remaining 324 patients, TB presented itself extrapulmonary.

  • Hormone-disrupting effect methyl-, ethyl- and propylparaben still unclear 21 March 2018

    RIVM has conducted literature research into the hormone-disrupting effects of the three most commonly used parabens (methyl-, ethyl- and propylparaben) and the exposure of consumers to these substances. Based on the available information from animal studies, it is not possible to draw a conclusion regarding the possible hormone-disrupting effects of these three substances in animals or humans. Consumer exposure to the individual parabens appears to be lower than the level at which a health effect can be expected.

  • Legislation on maximum permitted amount of synephrine in food supplements is desirable 14 March 2018

    Harmful health effects of dietary supplements with high levels of synephrine, which are used to lose weight or improve sports performance, cannot be excluded. According to RIVM and RIKILT Wageningen University & Research legislation is desired for the maximum permitted amount of synephrine in food supplements.

  • Less meat and more tap water benefits health and the environment 06 March 2018

    In the Netherlands, diets with a high environmental impact contain more meat and energy. People with diets causing a relatively high environmental impact can help the environment by reducing their consumption of red and/or processed meat during dinner. This is what RIVM research published in BMC Public Health has shown. The research was based on data from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007-2010 for adults.

  • RIVM develops a framework for a broader view of establishing food safety standards 06 March 2018

    In Europe, strict requirements apply to food safety. Food safety standards are determined at international level. To ensure food safety, standards are set for the maximum permitted concentration of toxic substances in products. However, social and economic consequences that also affect food safety standards are not always taken into account in the same way. RIVM has therefore developed a framework to look broader than just the harmful effects of substances. Transparency and standardisation in decision-making are key for setting food safety standards.

  • First products Dutch Public Health Foresight study available in English 26 February 2018

    In 2017, RIVM launched a Trend Scenario, as well as three thematic reports about the future demand for health care, technology and wider determinants of health. These are the first products of the Dutch Public Health Foresight study 2018. They show what the health of the Dutch population could look like in 2040 if nothing were to change from now on. Thus, societal challenges for the future can be identified. Both the Trend Scenario as well as the main findings of the thematic reports are now available in English.

  • Sustainable procurement benefits people and the environment 26 February 2018

    RIVM has developed a method to calculate the effects of Sustainable Procurement and applied the method to eight product groups: energy, gas, solar panels, company cars, business trips, workwear, contract transport and transport services. Many purchasing services of the Dutch Government aim to include the effects of products and services on human health and the environment in the procurement process as sustainable procurement (SP) encompasses more than just price and quality considerations.

  • Smart lotteries promote physical activity 19 February 2018

    Commitment lotteries can support overweight adults in their goal to exercise on a regular basis.That is the conclusion of a scientific study by Tilburg University, High Five Health Promotion and RIVM, that was published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

  • Climate Resilient Water Safety Plans Workshop Mozambique 15 February 2018

    RIVM and the Institute for Water Education (IHE) Delft facilitated a workshop on Climate Resilient Water Safety Plans (CR-WSP) on January 22 - 23 2018, in Maputo, Mozambique. In a highly interactive environment, a small group of key players in the Mozambican water sector were brought together: the Water Supply Regulatory CRA, the asset holder AIAS and the operators AdeM and the Mozambican water service supplier Collins.

  • Chance of ESBL contamination via livestock farming is small 09 February 2018

    ESBL is an enzyme, produced by certain bacteria, which makes these bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Researchers from various institutes collaborating in a large consortium discovered that ESBLs occur frequently in livestock, the food chain, the environment and also in humans. However, ESBLs in livestock and meat were found to be genetically different from those in humans. This means that humans acquire ESBLs to a limited extent via livestock and through eating meat. The transmission mainly occurs between humans. These are the most important conclusions of the ESBLAT research consortium, part of the 1Health4Food programme in the area of animal and human health. The results will be presented during the ESBLAT symposium on 9 February.

  • RIVM publications score above average worldwide 08 February 2018

    A new bibliometric analysis method of the University of Leiden shows that the publications of the Strategic Programme of RIVM (SPR) score well worldwide. SPR publications are cited twice as often as average. In addition, one-fifth of these scientific publications belong to the top 10 of the most cited articles in the world. RIVM shares this honour with other institutes, because most SPR publications have been created in collaboration with others.

  • New test has no added value in Lyme disease of the central nervous system 07 February 2018

    Active Lyme disease of the central nervous system cannot be detected with an ELISpot test. This was concluded by researchers from RIVM and Diakonessenhuis Utrecht in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. The study is the first in which the usefulness of a 'cellular test' has been evaluated on an extensive, well-defined population of patients and a control group from the Netherlands. The research shows that positive Borrelia ELISpot results are more common in people who are exposed to the Lyme bacterium, but the ELISpot test cannot distinguish an active central nervous system manifestation of Lyme disease from past Lyme disease.

  • New standard for exposure assessment of cleaning products 30 January 2018

    RIVM has updated the standard for exposure assessment of cleaning products in the ConsExpo Cleaning Products Fact Sheet. RIVM also released a new version of ConsExpo Web, the application for estimating consumer exposure to chemical substances. ConsExpo enables the assessment of consumer exposure to substances from products such as paint, cleaning products and personal care products. ConsExpo is used both within and outside Europe by governments, institutes and industries. The application provides a number of exposure assessment models and a database of default exposure parameters. Together, the models and the database provide a basis for estimating consumer exposure to a specific product in a transparent and standardised way.

  • Off-label use of medicines: Room for improvement 18 January 2018

    Medicinal products may be prescribed for other diseases, or groups of patients, than the ones that they are approved for. This is what we call ‘off-label use’, a practice which is legally permitted under certain conditions. Off-label use fulfils a medical need, but can still be improved in several ways. This has been illustrated in research conducted by RIVM.

  • The Circular Economy: starting progress measurement in the Netherlands 17 January 2018

    A new report by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and RIVM outlines a draft monitoring system to measure progress throughout the planned transition towards a circular economy.

  • Scientific article one of the most-read articles of International Water Association (IWA) Publishing 11 January 2018

    With over 1,600 downloads, the scientific article 'Towards a research agenda for water, sanitation and antimicrobial resistance', was one of the most-read articles of IWA Publishing in 2017. The article published in the Journal of Water and Health was a co-publication by RIVM and experts from several countries and WHO.

  • Recommendations for improving groundwater quality assessment 09 January 2018

    Often potentially harmful chemical compounds are present in groundwater. RIVM presents a number of options for the revision of the groundwater quality assessment framework. Ensuring the quality of groundwater is currently part of the remit of the Dutch Soil Protection Act but will become part of the Environment and Planning Act in the future. The Environmental and Planning Act compiles standing acts for, among other things, construction, the environment, water, spatial planning and nature conservation.

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