Healthy living environment for kids? Not in the Netherlands, says Unicef

You’d think that a first-world country like the Netherlands would be pretty good at providing its children with a healthy living environment.

But as a new Unicef report shows, this isn’t really the case. How come? The lowlands are performing particularly badly when it comes to pesticide use and noise pollution, reports RTL Nieuws.

The main problem

The UN agency looked at the living environment for kids in 39 countries, specifically investigating the extent to which children are exposed to pesticides, toxic air, moisture, and lead, and to what extent they have access to green and safe roads.

The Netherlands ranked 12th on this list for a number of reasons:

Firstly, one in every 12 children in the lowlands has to deal with a high degree of pesticide pollution.

Secondly, there’s a high level of noise pollution, particularly from road traffic and airplanes.

High lead levels

Last but not least, the Netherlands also doesn’t score very highly when it comes to electronic waste.

This type of waste can contain hazardous substances such as mercury, cadmium, and lead, and as a result, it can be particularly harmful.

Over 20 million children in the surveyed countries have elevated levels of lead in their blood. “Many children also breathe toxic air both indoors and outdoors, resulting in a shorter life expectancy,” the report points out.

Are you surprised by how the Netherlands is doing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Jana Vondráčková 🇨🇿
Originally from the Czech Republic, Jana moved to the Netherlands for her studies. She fell in love with the local biking culture, and you’ll see her drifting through the streets of Rotterdam on her pink bike even in the worst possible weather (think rain, snow, hail, or all three). Besides advocating for Rotterdam as the best Dutch city, she likes to wander around with a camera in her hand.


  1. Being from the US, I can say we only DREAM of such a prestigious position as 12th. I think we’re close to 40th place on that list. If not lower.


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