ANPThe site of steel manufacturer Tata Steel in IJmuiden
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 12:08
It was already known in the 1970s that there was a high concentration of carcinogenic substances in the air around the former blast furnace site in Wijk aan Zee, now Tata Steel. A report obtained by EenVandaag shows that people already knew at that time that there were toxic substances in the air.
The 1975 study was commissioned by the province of North Holland and the municipality of Amsterdam. The report states that at measuring points in the vicinity of the Hoogoven site there were significantly more pollutants in the air than at other measuring points.
Professor of preventive medicine Onno van Schayck of Maastricht University calls the almost 50-year-old report revealing and shocking. “These substances make a change in the genetic material of your DNA,” Van Schayck explains. “In people who are sensitive to it, this can lead to cell proliferation and that in turn leads to cancer. Very often this is lung cancer. That is the first place where you inhale that stuff and that means that cancer develops there.”
In 2021, a RIVM study showed that residents around the Tata Steel area suffer from acute health complaints such as headaches and nausea more often than elsewhere in the Netherlands. Heart problems, diabetes and lung cancer are also more common. And earlier this year, the RIVM reported that a lot of dust with high concentrations of carcinogenic substances still settles in the area around steel manufacturer Tata Steel.