Experts are critical about the High Health Council’s report with warnings to prevent the increase in ‘civilisation diseases’. Diseases that can be linked to our current lifestyle and environmental conditions like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fertility problems, can also increasingly be associated with contaminants and chemicals.
The Health Council (HGR), part of the federal department for health, made a very specific list of recommendations to limit contact with potentially hazardous substances, like nail polish, tattoos and piercings, plastic that has been in the microwave oven, and processed meat.
“It is too much at once and creates the feeling of ‘I do not even want to start’ for a lot of people. For researchers, it is their job to investigate these things. Normal people, in addition to their jobs, just have to live a life,” said health psychologist Cedric Arijs to Het Nieuwsblad.
“I understand that toxicologists say that such a list of prescriptions is not efficient. Scientists often look at quantity – the number of years of life – but there is also the quality of life. When people get the feeling that all kinds of rules are imposed on them, it is no longer pleasant. I am not going to tell people who come to me to stop smoking that they should also banish coffee and alcohol. They will go crazy. New habits take time,” he said.