The Netherlands: One in eight lung patients is considering moving because of the poor air quality in their living environment. It concerns tens of thousands of Dutch people. A number of lung patients actually move, but others do not have the options to do so and are therefore forced to struggle with the consequences of the poor air quality. This is what the Longfonds claims, which is based on new figures from the Nivel.
The fund is calling on municipalities to join the Clean Air Agreement, which was drawn up a year ago. In it, central government, provinces and municipalities work together on better air by taking concrete measures and exchanging knowledge. According to the fund, eleven provinces (Limburg is the exception) and 56 municipalities have now supported the accord, including Amersfoort and Utrecht. “So we are only missing one province, but in terms of municipalities the progress is slow. Especially when you consider that there are 355 municipalities,” says Michael Rutgers, director of the Longfonds.
Air pollution leads in two thirds of people with a lung disease (1.2 million people) to shortness of breath, coughing, irritated mucous membranes or lower lung function. One in eight lung patients is therefore thinking of moving, according to the Longfonds.
According to reports of lung patients, many complaints arise from wood stoves (67 percent), road traffic (63 percent), barbecues (62 percent) and fire pits (60 percent). At least 12,000 Dutch people prematurely die due to air pollution, the fond states. “Exposure to particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone causes and worsens lung cancer, asthma, COPD and cardiovascular diseases. In 1 in 5 Dutch children with asthma, the disease is related to nitrogen dioxide. The Netherlands is the sad frontrunner in Europe in this respect. “said the Longfonds.
original article in Dutch