At the request of the State Secretaries of Infrastructure & the Environment and of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, the Health Council of the Netherlands will tackle the issue of whether residents living near agricultural fields run health risks resulting from the application of plant protection products. The State Secretaries asked to give priority to the question whether research among residents could be useful.
In an advisory letter, the Health Council argues that such research is useful. Exposure research is a necessary first step. Measurement data on exposure of residents to plant protection products are scarce. Knowledge of exposure is essential in order to relate any health effects among residents to the use of plant protection products, in a second step, if deemed necessary. In the full advisory report, which is expected to appear during the course of 2012, the Health Council will elaborate on the design for the exposure research and deal with the other questions as well. As requested by the State Secretaries, the Health Council will involve residents in drafting the report, as well as representatives of the agricultural sector and the agrochemical industry.