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. RIVM is researching the effects of climate change on our health and what we can do to stay healthy.
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.
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.