The 3xG research team is taking an exciting step forward in engaging young people in environmental and health research. We are proud to announce the launch of our educational program, 'Gezondheidsbewakers' (or Health Guardians), specially designed for secondary schools in Mol. With this initiative, students gain knowledge about the purpose and progress of the 3xG research, explore the 3xG data, and are able to understand the scientific basis of environmental and health research.

Every day, we come into contact with harmful substances in our environment, but how dangerous is it? To answer this crucial question, the 3xG researchers collect a mountain of data on harmful substances in our bodies, our living environment, and our lifestyle. This data is collected from approximately 300 children from Dessel, Mol, and Retie, starting from pregnancy and continuing until they are 18 years old. Thanks to the 3xG participants acting as a kind of "barometer" for harmful substances in our environment, researchers map exposure to these substances. Furthermore, they want to better understand the effects of these substances on our health and the role our lifestyle plays in this. The 3xG study makes Dessel, Mol, and Retie one of the most closely monitored regions in Flanders.

The children involved in the 3xG study are currently between 8 and 13 years old. We want to provide this engaged generation with a deeper insight into the influence of our environment on our health and how we investigate this. Therefore, our 3xG researchers have developed an educational package that will be introduced in four secondary schools in Mol this autumn. Armed with new knowledge about the environment and health, young people can ask questions to the 3xG researchers and search for answers by delving into the 3xG database. This educational adventure concludes on November 15 with the 'Festival of the Future,' an event featuring an exciting mix of music and inspiring workshops on health and sustainability.

What the students discover in the database, they will critically evaluate with a focus on their personal health choices. As true science communicators, they have the opportunity to inform the residents of Dessel, Mol, and Retie about what we (can) learn thanks to the 3xG study. They will share their insights with the community through a creative exhibition at the administrative center "De Plaetse" in Dessel, the library of Retie, and 't Getouw in Mol. Their own choice is central to this; they have the opportunity to shape the course of the research and place research results in the context of their own health choices. This contributes to authentic scientific research and emphasizes the power of young thinkers.

About 3xG

The 3xG study is a scientific research project aimed at mapping the exposure to environmental pollutants in the Mol, Dessel, and Retie region in order to monitor the health of the local population. The project was initiated as one of the conditions for the surface storage of low- and intermediate-level short-lived waste in Dessel, supported by the STORA and MONA partnerships, on behalf of NIRAS.

This project demonstrates that science and education can go hand in hand and raises awareness among the next generation about the essential relationship between the environment and health. This project was developed with the support and advice of various partners.

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