The climate is changing worldwide and also in the Netherlands. The average temperature has risen over the past century, extreme precipitation has increased and very warm days are more common. Climate change affects our health. We suffer more from UV radiation, heat stress, allergies and air pollution. Climate change also affects our drinking and bathing water, our food and the prevalence of infectious diseases. RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment is researching the effects of climate change on our health and what we can do to stay healthy.

Climate change

Climate change is an important aspect of RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment work. In international and national context, RIVM is expanding its knowledge base on climate change and health aspects.

Air quality

Meisje met paardenbloempluis

Climate change can cause poorer air quality. More sunshine in the summer creates more ozone smog (summer smog) and trees emit more volatile hydrocarbons. This in turn contributes to the formation of particulate matter.

Allergens

Meisje snuit haar neus

A warmer climate causes people to suffer more from pollen, oak processionary caterpillars and dust mites. About 15 to 20 percent of the Dutch population suffers from allergic symptoms, such as hay fever.

Climate adaptation

Climate adaptation is adapting to a changing climate. Adaptation can have both positive and negative effects on health. Choosing the right options will promote health.

Food

Moeder en kind met tomatenplant

Climate, food and health are linked in many complex ways. Important themes are food supply and food safety.

Heat stress

Jongetje drinkt water

In recent years, hot days have become more common during the summer. For some people, heat can have unpleasant effects on their health. Such as the elderly, chronically ill and overweight people.

Infectious diseases

Meisje krijgt muggenspray

Climate change may affect the risks of infectious diseases, such as legionellosis, Lyme disease or West Nile fever.

UV radiation

Baby met zonnebrand op het strand

Climate change affects the amount of UV radiation from the sun. UV radiation can cause cancer. Since 1990, the number of people with skin cancer has quadrupled.

Water

Zwemmend meisje

Climate change is affecting the quality and availability of water in the Netherlands. Various factors play a role in this.