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Options for monitoring air pollution related health in the IJmond area, The Netherlands

Opties voor monitoring gezondheid in de IJmond in relatie tot luchtkwaliteit


Air pollutants emitted in the IJmond region (a.o. particulate matter, heavy metals and PAH's) can negatively affect the health of residents living in the vicinity of emitting industries. Recent research on cancer incidence in the IJmond region showed higher than average incidence rates of lung cancer in areas closer to a large steel plant. Uncertainties in the data and methodological issues hampered firm conclusion on the causality of the lung cancer incidence. Based on the results of this study, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment asked RIVM to propose an effective health monitoring programme in the IJmond region, in collaboration with the Municipal Health Service Kennemerland and other stakeholders. Main aim of the programme is a periodical assessment of the health situation in relation to the air quality, to monitor developments in air pollution related health effects. Signals from the monitoring programme can give rise to more profound scientific research. With the options described in the report, different monitoring programmes can be worked out, ranging from limitative and relatively less expensive to comprehensive and more expensive, depending on feasibility and specific needs. A more comprehensive monitoring programme will enlarge the power of the results and will increase the efficiency of the system to meet the aim of the programme.

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