Dirty air – Your news from the Gemert Bakel region

Dirty air – Your news from the Gemert Bakel region
Dirty air – Your news from the Gemert Bakel region
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Sat May 4, 07:14

News

You hear a lot about lifestyle these days. A healthy lifestyle reduces disease and premature death, this has been known for a long time. Doctors and practice assistants often talk about it, especially when checking up on people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease or lung diseases such as asthma and COPD. People are of course largely responsible for a healthy lifestyle. Enough exercise, a healthy diet and not smoking are the core elements of a healthy lifestyle for everyone.

But there are also things over which you as an individual have no influence. One of them is the quality of the air in your own environment. Poor air quality has a clearly demonstrated impact on health. The effects of bad air affect health even before birth and play a role throughout life. You can get COPD from bad air even though you have never smoked. There are approximately 1.2 million people with COPD in the Netherlands and a large proportion of those people indicate that they experience more complaints due to air pollution. In children with asthma, air pollution leads to more visits to the GP or emergency room and to the use of more medicines. Dirty air also causes a more intense reaction to pollen and therefore an increase in hay fever complaints. About 20% of the development of asthma in children can be attributed to air pollution. This involves 5,800 new diagnoses of asthma in children every year. The Netherlands is the leader in this in Europe. In addition to respiratory diseases, air pollution influences the development of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. And finally, air pollution is the third most important risk factor for disease and death, just after smoking and obesity.

The causes of air pollution are well known. Outside the home it concerns traffic, industry and livestock farming; indoors for smoking, burning (wood, candles) and cooking. The following applies to indoor causes: ventilate correctly every day, especially near windows away from traffic. There is not much you can do about outdoor pollution, but it does make sense to keep an eye on the air quality, especially if you have asthma or COPD. You can do this via the RIVM’s www.luchtmeetnet.nl. There you can see what the air quality near our municipality has been (measured in Vredepeel) in the past 7 days. This concerns nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, soot and ammonia. A good website is also www.atlasleefgeving.nl with ‘check your place’, where you can find more information about your own environment.

Peter Lucassen

Former GP Bakel

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Dirty air news Gemert Bakel region

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