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Centre for Statistics (CENSTAT) : project R-7362

Title : Performing a cross-sectional study in Genk-Zuid (R-7362)
Abstract: In September 2011, the results of the human biomonitoring research were presented in the hot spot Genk South. This research was commissioned by the Flemish government and the Centre for Environment and Health, a research consortium with partners from various disciplines (toxicology, Public health, statistics, sociology, chemistry) coming from all Flemish universities, the PIH and the Flemish Institute for technological Research (VITO). The study was conducted in the period from January 2010 until November 2010 using 197 young people (14-15 years old) living in immediate proximity to the industrial zone Genk South. Compared with the Flemish control group a significantly higher exposure to several heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbons( PAHs) was identified in Genk South. A significant lower exposure to persistent substances (PCB's, dioxins, DDT and brominated flame retardants), and some heavy metals (antimony, mercury, nickel) was observed. In the hotspot Genk South increased DNA damage was found. Subtle differences were observed between young people living in Genk South and the Flemish control group, regarding blood hormone levels, development of puberty, asthma and the ability to concentrate. No medical abnormalities were noted. Aim of the project: Organizing a monitoring system around the industrial zone Genk-Zuid with the aim to monitor the health of local residents, and to link it to the local environmental impact. The monitoring system should make it possible to find out whether environmental improvements are visible in the health of local residents. On the one hand, we will compare the results to earlier studies, on the other hand repeated monitoring must be possible in the future to ensure that the effects of the measures taken, can be followed up on, specifically taking the health of the local residents of the industrial zone Genk South into consideration.
Period of project : 11/08/2016to31/03/2018

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