Wednesday 22 September 2021

Cancer charity to support independent probe into Tata Steel pollution

The IJmuiden plant at night. Photo: Tata Steel

Dutch cancer charity KWF Kankerbestrijding is supporting the independent survey into Tata Steel and its impact on air quality set up by a group of local foundations and private individuals.

‘We have years of experience in this sort of scientific research and are happy to extend our network and expertise to support this initiative,’ director Johan van de Gronden told the AD. ‘Like residents, we too want to know what is behind the heightened risk of lung cancer in the locality.’

On Wednesday three foundations, supported by several wealthy individuals, said they are starting their own investigation into the increased risk of cancer and other diseases in people living close to the Tata Steel works in IJmuiden.

The group argues that the public health institute RIVM and regional health board have been influenced by the pro Tata Steel lobby group and have left key questions unanswered, the paper said.

In June 2020, for example, a report by the GGD regional health board said that the incidence of lung cancer in Beverwijk, a town near the plant, was 25% higher than the national average, and suggested a potential link with air pollution.

But this July, local paper Noordhollands Dagblad revealed that the GGD director had ensured that the name Tata Steel was removed from the final version.

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