The societal costs of Lyme disease have been determined for the Netherlands for the first time. The disease appears to cost nearly EUR 20 million each year. Serious infections and persistent symptoms after treatment of Lyme are responsible for the largest share of these costs. Other costs were caused by tick bites and mild infections. These estimates can be used in the Netherlands and in other countries where the disease is endemic for cost-effectiveness evaluations of preventive measures for tick bites and Lyme disease.
In 2015 slightly more ammonia was emitted in the Netherlands than in 2014 and the ceiling set by the European Union was met (128 kilotons). Both cattle numbers and fertilizer use increased, whereas low emission housing systems for pigs and poultry partly countered this. RIVM and partner institutions draw these conclusions in the Informative Inventory Report 2017.
TIME has named Professor Guus Velders of RIVM as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Velders was honoured for his work in establishing the basis for the global climate agreement that was signed in October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.
One in 5 tick bites occurs in an urban area. Although most tick bites occur in the countryside, many people are bitten in urban areas as well. This is the finding of an analysis of tick bite reports at Tekenradar.nl. Now that the tick season has started, it is important to check for tick bites after any time spent in any areas of greenery, including those in urban areas.
The state of the environment, our health, and levels of social equity are closely interrelated. The role that individual behaviours play in moving to more sustainable societies has been under-emphasised and can be a powerful entry point for change. Many measures to protect the environment also improve our health and at the same time reduce inequalities, but work is needed to fully harness and develop the combined benefits. These are some of the findings presented in the INHERIT Baseline Report launched April 19th.
In the context of authorising plant protection products, the EU currently does not take any account of the use of several different plant protection products for the same crop. RIVM has studied three methods which can be used to take this into account in the future. It has transpired that these methods provide insight into the occurrence of ‘multiple stress’. It is essential to keep developing methods so that they can be actually applied to the process of authorising plant protection products.
The salt content in bread was on average 19 percent lower compared to 2011. In addition, certain types of sauces, soups, canned vegetables and pulses, and crisps had a lower salt content. Reductions vary from 12 to 26 percent. In addition, in a few food groups such as certain types of cold cuts, the saturated fat content was reduced. The sugar content in all studied food groups remained unchanged. This is shown by research on the contents of salt, sugar, and saturated fat in foods compared to 2011, published today by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Rotavirus can cause severe gastrointestinal infections and is common among infants and young children. There are two vaccines available; both have to be given by mouth (oral vaccines). The Dutch Health Council will advise the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport on how childhood vaccination against rotavirus will be made available. The Minister makes a decision on the basis of this advice.
Today RIVM’s Centre for Healthy Living (CGL) welcomes the Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung. BZgA is the German Federal Centre for Health Education, an institute with whom RIVM collaborates in EuroHealthNet and the Joint Action CHRODIS.
In December 2016, RIVM published in Dutch the results of its research into the health risks of playing sports on synthetic turf pitches with rubber granulate. The scientific background information was published separately on the RIVM website. The English version of the Dutch report from December was published in February 2017. Today sees the publication in English of a compilation of the initial report and all the scientific background documents.
RIVM investigates how the impact of pharmaceutical residues on the environment may be reduced. If certain drugs can be substituted by treatments that are less harmful to the environment, this would be advantageous for the environment . However, this has proved to be difficult.
Off-label use of medicinal products in the European Union is common, both in primary and in secondary care. Off-label use frequently occurs in pharmacotherapy in children and in people with a rare condition, but also oncology, rheumatology and psychiatry are areas with off-label use. This emerges from a study by NIVEL, RIVM and EPHA at the request of the European Commission.
The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program in the Netherlands (GLOBE Netherlands) is organising the annual GLOBE day on 21 March . On this day scientists from KNMI, RIVM and Wageningen UR will show high school students how they can contribute to scientific research. Students will take measurements in their school environment and in this way learn to conduct research themselves and contribute to a better understanding of nature and the environment.
Age plays a role in immune responses after a natural infection with Bordetella pertussis, the bacterium that causes the contagious respiratory infection pertussis (whooping cough). Vaccination against pertussis has dramatically lowered pertussis incidence and mortality rates since the 50s, but this clever bacterium is making a comeback; pertussis is also becoming more common in people who were vaccinated against it.
Current legislation for chemicals insufficiently covers the combined effects of substances on humans and the environment. RIVM discusses one approach to address these combined effects in the environmental risk assessment of substances under the European REACH Regulation.
Although ESBL-producing E. coli-bacteria occur most frequently on raw chicken meat, consumers are probably exposed to a higher number of ESBL-producing bacteria through eating raw or undercooked beef. To date it is unknown if exposure to ESBL-producing bacteria leads to carriage of these bacteria and whether this eventually results in a significant health burden in humans. From calculations in which the different kinds of meat have been investigated, it appears that almost 80% of the exposure to ESBL-producing bacteria is derived from beef. Most ESBL-producing bacteria were found on raw chicken. However, chicken meat is not eaten raw and therefore individuals are less exposed to these bacteria through the consumption of chicken meat.
The Netherlands aims to take the lead in the international ambition for a healthy, sustainable and safe dietary pattern. To achieve this aim an integral policy is required, in which safety, health and sustainability are taken into account. Research by RIVM analyses the opportunities and dilemmas for an integrated food policy.
There has been an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis in Europe since 2015. It has also been present in the Netherlands since May 2016. Over 170 Dutch patients were affected by the outbreak. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Netherlands Controlling Authority Eggs (NCAE) and various municipal public health services determined jointly that these cases all derived from infected eggs from a small number of Polish companies with laying hens. No additional new patients have been registered in the Netherlands in recent weeks. This means that the European Salmonella outbreak seems to have been resolved, with a total of nearly 450 recorded cases.
The Suriname Water Company (SWM) recently started the implementation of Water Safety Plans (WSPs). The inception phase included a tailor-made training by Dr. Giuliana Ferrero (UNESCO-IHE) and Mr. Harold van den Berg (RIVM).