Sample records for belgium

  1. [Euthanasia in Belgium]. (United States)

    Simón Lorda, Pablo; Barrio Cantalejo, Inés M


    The experience of the Netherlands in relation with the legalization and practice of euthanasia is better known in Spain than the Belgian experience in this matter. But the historical process of social debate in Belgium has many specific details which should be known by Spanish healthcare professionals, bioethicists, politicians and lawyers. This paper begins with a comparative analysis of both countries: Spain and Belgium and follows with a description of the milestones of the historical process of debating and, finally, passing the Belgian Law on Euthanasia in 2002. The next chapter consists of a description of the main contents of this important Law. The paper continues then with an approach to the epidemiology of the practice of euthanasia in Belgium and finishes with a description of the different positions of the actors of the process. Two positions are described more in depth: the opinion of the specialists in palliative care, and the opinion of the Catholic Church. The paper ends underlining the reason for the incorporation of the Belgian experience on euthanasia to the debate about the possibility of legalizing euthanasia in Spain.

  2. Robert Cailliau honoured by Belgium

    CERN Multimedia


    On 15 November, Robert Cailliau received the distinction of Commandeur de l'Ordre de Léopold from Belgium, his home country, for his pioneering work in developing the World Wide Web. Robert Cailliau worked closely with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web.

  3. Agricultural marketing in Belgium and The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulenberg, M.T.G.; Viaene, J.


    Agriculture in Belgium and the Netherlands has a strong export tradition and has been market oriented for a long time. In this article agricultural markeling in Belgium and the Netherlands is analyzed on the basis of the concepts structure, conduct and performance. In our review of market structure

  4. Trends in dragonfly occurrence in Belgium (Odonata)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knijf, de G.; Anselin, A.; Goffart, P.


    Trends in dragonfly occurrence in Belgium (Odonata) The group ‘Gomphus’ collected 65 000 records of 69 species of Odonata, more or less equally scattered over Belgium. The best-investigated areas are the northern part and some river valleys in the south. Most hot spots can be found in the northeaste

  5. The Sorrows of Belgium. Introduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Wouters


    Full Text Available On the surface one might assume Martin Conway’s The Sorrows of Belgium. Liberation and political reconstruction 1944-1947 (Oxford, 2012 is exactly what its title implies - a book about the difficult early post-war years in Belgium, and in part this book is exactly that. Conway does offer a detailed cross-sectional analysis of the post-war transition years, ending his story with the Communist departure from the Belgian government in 1947. This book does a lot more than that however, as it attempts to use Belgium to better understand how European state restorations after World War Two in general took shape. In his book Conway confidently merges political, social and economic history that are often still detached schools of research. He brings together elements of institutional reform and the agenda of state elites, social class agency, the fluid dynamics of collective national and regional (or local identities, changing political norms and cultural values, and the role of several key individuals such as the head of state and the prime minister. Such a holistic approach is a rather un-Belgian one, unfortunately. Perhaps this partly explains why the book – although universally well-received – caused debate among some Belgian historians, for example in a debate session on 6thSeptember 2012 at the Brussels based CEGESOMA, where ten Belgian historians and two non-Belgian specialists (Peter Romijn from NIOD and Robert Gerwarth from University College Dublin, who had previously worked with Conway on these issues discussed the book with the author. Some Belgian specialists encountered problems accepting the label ‘conservative’ used by Conway to define Belgian society in 1945-1947, or to understand why he consciously leaves out the post-war purges (the so-called ‘repression’ in Belgium, or accepting that Conway uses 1947 as a terminus instead of 1950-1951 (the formal end of the Belgian Royal Question. This last point loomed over the debate

  6. Agricultural marketing in Belgium and The Netherlands


    M.T.G. Meulenberg; Viaene, J.


    Agriculture in Belgium and the Netherlands has a strong export tradition and has been market oriented for a long time. In this article agricultural markeling in Belgium and the Netherlands is analyzed on the basis of the concepts structure, conduct and performance. In our review of market structure attention is paid to the structure of agriculture, the food consumer, food retailing, government policies, competition and marketing channels. Afterwards market conduct with respect to product, pri...

  7. The Political Influence of Islam in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Castaño Riaño


    Full Text Available Belgium is one of the Western European countries in which Muslims have reached more relevance. The immigration process initiated in 1960s brought thousands of people from Turkey and from the Arab World to the major cities of the country. As consequence of their cultural and religious particularities Muslims were progressively claiming their own space in public life. Then, in the analysis of the Muslim political participation in Belgium two stages must be differentiated: The first one dominated by the delegates of the Arabs embassies; and the second one, when the Saudi influence decreased in 1990s giving rise to the emergence of other Islamic groups whose activities were totally involved with the real concerns of Muslims in Belgium. However, after several decades, the impact of the Islamic political activity is still low compared with the social presence of Muslims in the country.

  8. An Astronomical Survey Conducted in Belgium (United States)

    Nazé, Yaël; Fantaine, Sébastien


    This paper presents the results of the first survey conducted in Belgium about the interest in and knowledge of astronomy. Two samples were studied, the public at large (667 questionnaires) and students (2589 questionnaires), but the results are generally similar in both samples. We evaluated people's interest, main information source and…

  9. Euthanasia in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. (United States)


    Each of the Benelux countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands) has enacted legislation that partially decriminalises euthanasia, defined as an act that intentionally terminates someone's life at their request. In the Netherlands and Luxembourg, but not in Belgium, the legislation partially decriminalised assisted suicide at the same time. In all three countries, euthanasia can only be performed by a doctor, in response to the patient's voluntary and well-considered request, and for patients who have an incurable disease that causes unbearable suffering, without any prospect of relief. In the Netherlands, minors can request euthanasia as of the age of 12 years. In 2011, reported euthanasia accounted for about 1% of deaths in Belgium and 3% in the Netherlands. In 75% of cases, cancer was the disease leading to a request for euthanasia. In the Netherlands, the number of cases of euthanasia reported by doctors in surveys matches the number that is officially declared. In Belgium, it is thought that there are as many unreported as reported cases of euthanasia. Since the enactment of euthanasia legislation, fewer deaths involve the intentional administration of lethal drugs without an explicit request from the patient.

  10. Elementary Particle Physics in Belgium Exhibition

    CERN Multimedia


    The experimental activities of the Belgian Universities and Institutes are performed within the framework of large international collaborations. Moreover, the universities whose name is colored in light blue with * on the map of Belgium also take part into theoretical work. (All these activities are mainly supported by the FNRS-FWO research foundations.)

  11. The measurement of international migration in Belgium. (United States)

    Poulain, M


    This article examines legislation affecting international migration in Belgium from the perspective of 2 questions: 1) What types of migrants are definable by legislation? and 2) What kinds of documents may be utilized to compile statistics on international migration? The following are some of the article's main points. 1) Since January 1, 1847 each communal administration in Belgium has maintained a national population register that details births, deaths, marriages and household structures, and all movements within 1 commune, from 1 commune to another, and movements between states. 2) When a Belgian citizen leaves for a foreign destination with the intention of settling there, his name is struck from the registers. 3) To enter Belgian territory, the alien must possess the documents required under bilateral agreements between Belgium and each of the states concerned. Generally, the alien must obtain a visa to his passport from 1 of the diplomatic or consular offices of Benelux before entering Belgium. The alien must have sufficient means of subsistence to avoid being considered in need. He must not be listed as an undesirable alien in Belgium, he must not have been convicted of a crime, and he must not constitute a danger to public order or national security, The alien also should not have been expelled from Belgium less than 10 years earlier. 4) Absence from Belgium and the right to return is granted to aliens holding a valid certificate of enrollment or a settlement card. 5) Any individual who has reason to fear persecution can obtain refugee status; his stay is protected until his application is declared to be unfounded by the High Commission. 6) The National Statistical Institute issues various types of data from which international population movements can be identified. The 2 main sources of these statistics are the population censuses held every 10 years and the annual demographic statistics. 7) In 1967, the Belgian Council of Ministers authorized the

  12. Female offenders’ pathways to prison in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuytiens An


    Full Text Available This paper examines some results of a research on female offenders’ life histories and pathways to prison in Belgium. Women’s pathways into crime will be presented and the connection of these pathways to their life histories will be explored. The study reveals that the greater part of the research population are adult-onset offenders. The authors argue that the importance of adult-onset pathways for female offenders might be explained by the emergence of (gendered vulnerabilities within the women’s lives, often accumulated not before adulthood.

  13. [Euthanasia and general practice in Belgium]. (United States)

    Thomas, J M


    In Belgium, the GP can perform euthanasia or be called as a consultant. He must know the laws concerning the end of life and be able to explain his rights to his patients. He will know the best practices and techniques for euthanasia. If necessary, he will call help or refer to a more competent colleague. He negotiates with the patient an advanced care planning following the evolution of its pathologies and will witness its wishes regarding end of life against other institutions and doctors.

  14. An astronomical survey conducted in Belgium

    CERN Document Server

    Naze, Yael


    This article presents the results of the first survey conducted in Belgium about the interest and knowledge in astronomy. Two samples were studied, the public at large (667 questionnaires) and students (2589 questionnaires), but the results are generally similar in both samples. We evaluated people's interest, main information source, and attitudes towards astronomy, as well as their supposed and actual knowledge of the subject. The main conclusion is that, despite a poor self-confidence, people do know the basic astronomical concepts. However, that knowledge is not deeply rooted, as reasoning questions show well-spread misconceptions and/or misunderstandings.

  15. Implementation of acceptability criteria for dental radiology in Belgium. (United States)

    Clarijs, Tom


    The implementation of routine quality control (QC) tests in dental radiology in Belgium has been neglected for many years. In 2008, the (Belgian) Federal Agency for Nuclear Control determined acceptability criteria for X-ray equipment used for dentomaxillofacial imaging. An overview of the development of the criteria, together with implementation and the first results of dental QC in Belgium, is discussed.

  16. Vocational Education and Training in Belgium. Second Edition. (United States)

    Saint-Hubert, Roselyne Simon; van Griethuysen, Claire-Anne; Hellemans, Jacques; Verhelpen, Pierre; De Streel, Jean-Marc

    Belgium's vocational education and training (VET) was examined. The following topics were considered: (1) the VET environment (political and administrative structures; the economy; the labor force; unemployment); (2) Belgium's educational system (funding principles; the structure and objectives of basic, secondary, and higher education); (3) the…

  17. The Dutch-French Language Border in Belgium. (United States)

    Willemyns, Roland


    Describes language border fluctuations in Belgium as far as its Dutch-French portion is concerned. Examines the status and function of the language border in Belgium and of actual border fluctuations. Discusses two problem areas in detail: the "Voerstreek, and the Brussels suburban region. Language shift and language change through erosion in…

  18. Burden of serious fungal infections in Belgium. (United States)

    Lagrou, Katrien; Maertens, Johan; Van Even, Ellen; Denning, David W


    We aimed to estimate the total number of serious fungal infections occurring yearly in Belgium. The number of cryptococcal infections was retrieved from the National Reference Center for Mycosis. Populations at risk and fungal infections frequencies in these populations were used to estimate incidence or prevalence of other fungal infections. The Belgian population consists of 11.10 million people. Cryptococcal meningitis is rare. In all, 15 of the 1227 newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases presented with Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. This accounts for ±14% of total PCP cases (n = 120). The incidence of candidaemia is estimated as 5/100,000 resulting in 555 cases and 213 deaths. A total number of 675 invasive aspergillosis cases and ≥169 deaths attributed to this infection were calculated. Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis is estimated to be prevalent in 662 cases. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis cases were estimated to be 23,119 applying a 2.5% and 15% rate in adult asthma and cystic fibrosis patients respectively. Severe asthma with fungal sensitisation cases was estimated to be 30,402. There were 174,760 women with recurrent Candida vaginitis assuming a 6% rate in women aged between 15 and 50. Approximately 233,000 people of the Belgian population (2.1%) are estimated to suffer from a fungal infection on a yearly basis.

  19. Pharmaceutical policy regarding generic drugs in Belgium. (United States)

    Simoens, Steven; De Bruyn, Kristien; Bogaert, Marc; Laekeman, Gert


    Pressure to control pharmaceutical expenditure and price competition among pharmaceutical companies are fuelling the development of generic drug markets in EU countries. However, in Belgium, the market for generic drugs is underdeveloped compared with other countries. To promote the use of generic drugs, the government introduced a reference pricing (RP) scheme in 2001. The aim of this paper is to discuss Belgian pharmaceutical policy regarding generic drugs and to analyse how the Belgian drug market has evolved following initiation of the RP scheme. The market share held by generic drugs increased following implementation of the RP scheme. Focusing on volume, average market share (by semester) for generic drugs amounted to 2.05% of the total pharmaceutical market from January 1998 to June 2001, compared with 6.11% from July 2001 to December 2003. As new generic drugs are introduced, their market share tends to increase in the first couple of months, after which it levels off. Faced with increasing generic competition, some manufacturers have launched new variants of their original drug, thereby effectively extending the period of patent protection. Strategies consisting of price reductions in return for the abolition of prescribing conditions and the launch of new dosages or formulations appear to have been successful in maintaining the market share of original drugs. Nevertheless, the introduction of the RP scheme was associated with savings amounting to 1.8% of pharmaceutical expenditure by the third-party payer in 2001 and 2.1% in 2002. The findings of this paper indicate that the RP scheme has stimulated the Belgian generic drug market. However, existing policy has largely failed to take into account the role that physicians and pharmacists can play in stimulating generic drug use. Therefore, further development of the Belgian generic drug market seems to hinge on the creation of appropriate incentives for physicians to prescribe, and for pharmacists to

  20. Updated checklist of the mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of Belgium. (United States)

    Boukraa, Slimane; Dekoninck, Wouter; Versteirt, Veerle; Schaffner, Francis; Coosemans, Marc; Haubruge, Eric; Francis, Frederic


    Most information about the systematics and bioecology of Belgian mosquitoes dates back from before 1950, and only scattered information was produced during the last decades. In this paper we review and update the list of mosquito species recorded in Belgium, from first report (1908) to 2015. Six genera and 31 species were recorded so far, including 28 autochthonous species and three invasive alien species recently recorded in Belgium: Aedes albopictus (Skuse 1894), Ae. japonicus japonicus (Theobald 1901), and Ae. koreicus (Edwards 1917). The six genera are Anopheles (five species), Aedes (sixteen species), Coquillettidia (one species), Culex (four species), Culiseta (four species), and Orthopodomyia (one species).

  1. Media awards for responsible reporting of suicide: Experiences from Australia, Belgium and Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dare, Andrew J; Andriessen, Karl Am; Nordentoft, Merete;


    Media awards to encourage responsible reporting of suicide have been introduced in several countries, including Australia, Belgium and Denmark.......Media awards to encourage responsible reporting of suicide have been introduced in several countries, including Australia, Belgium and Denmark....

  2. Pharmacists and medical doctors in nineteenth‐century Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schepers, R.


    textabstractAbstract In this article the main areas of conflict between the medical and the pharmaceutical professions in Belgium in the 19th century are outlined. The medical profession was dominant in the division of labour and the pharmacists were not allowed to threaten its position. However, ph

  3. Coleophora salinella (Lepidoptera: Coleophoridae), a species new to Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Prins, W.


    On 30 June 2007 a female of Coleophora salinella Stainton, 1859 was caught at light in the nature reserve "Hobokense Polder" at Hoboken (Belgium, Province of Antwerpen). This is the first record of this species for the Belgian fauna. The caterpillars mine the leaves of Atriplex and Halimione. The sp

  4. Energy policies of IEA countries: Belgium 2005 review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Belgium continues to make measured progress in its energy policy, particularly with respect to electricity market liberalisation. The country has improved the independent functioning of the electricity market. An electricity exchange will begin operation shortly. However, to enable Belgian customers to fully benefit from energy market liberalisation, more work needs to be done. In 2003, Belgium decided to phase out nuclear power between 2015 and 2025. As nuclear energy supplies about 55% of the country's electricity, this will be a significant challenge. The federal government should conduct more comprehensive long-term studies on the nuclear energy phase-out and its effects on energy security, environmental protection and economic growth. Belgium's natural gas and electricity markets are highly concentrated. Companies owned by the international power group Suez SA dominate at all levels. Belgium has made some efforts to unbundle these industries and reduce their market dominance, but much more must be done to encourage new entry, increase competition and bring real economic benefits to Belgian customers. 50 refs., 40 tabs., 3 annexes.

  5. Space Weather data and services at SIDC / RWC Belgium (United States)

    van der Linden, Ronald; Ben Moussa, Ali; Berghmans, David; Boulvin, Olivier; Boyes, David; Cabanas Parada, Carlos; Callebaut, Benoit; Clette, Frédéric; Dammasch, Ingolf; Delouille, Veronique; D'Huys, Elke; Dolla, Laurent; Dominique, Marie; Dufond, Jean-Luc; Ergen, Aydin; Giordanengo, Boris; Gissot, Samuel; Goryaev, Farid; Hochedez, Jean-Francois; Lemaâtre, Olivier; Lisnichenko, Pavel; Magdalenic, Jas-Mina; Mampaey, Benjamin; Marque, Christophe; Nicula, Bogdan; Podladchikova, Elena; Pylyser, Erik; Raynal, Sophie; Rodriguez, Luciano; Seaton, Daniël; van der Linden, Ronald; Vandersyppe, Anne; Vanlommel, Petra; Vanraes, Stéphane; Verbeeck, Cis; Verdini, Andrea; Wauters, Laurence; West, Matthew; Willems, Sarah; Zhukov, Andrei

    The SIDC of the Royal Observatory of Belgium is a very active center for solar physics research, but also provides an operational service for data and services related to solar activity and space weather. In this poster we present the currently available data sets and products, with a focus on recent additions and new developments.

  6. Shareholding Cascades : The Separation of Ownership and Control in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Becht, M.C.; Chapelle, A.; Renneboog, L.D.R.


    This paper analyses the control of Belgian listed companies. The analysis reveals that control of listed companies in Belgium is highly concentrated. Business groups, holding companies, and voting pacts, play an important role in bringing about this concentration. The main characteristics of the Bel

  7. Regional Inequality in Reading Performance: An Exploration in Belgium (United States)

    Ning, Bo; Van Damme, Jan; Van Den Noortgate, Wim; Gielen, Sarah; Bellens, Kim; Dupriez, Vincent; Dumay, Xavier


    In the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessment, the Flemish community of Belgium outscored its French community in reading, with low achievers accounting for a large proportion of the score gaps. In this study, between-community comparisons based on the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method showed that the Flemish community benefits…

  8. JINR and Belgium Exhibition Science Bringing Nations Together

    CERN Multimedia


    Collaboration of JINR with research centres and universities in Belgium embraces various aspects of nuclear, elementary particle and solid-state physics. Involved in the co-operation with JINR scientists are Belgian colleagues from UIA (Antwerp), ISIPC, ULB, VUB (Brussels), IRMM (Geel) RUG (Gent), KUL (Leuven) IBAA (Louvain-la-Neuve) and the University of Mons.

  9. OECD Reviews of School Resources: Flemish Community of Belgium (United States)

    Nusche, Deborah; Miron, Gary; Santiago, Paulo; Teese, Richard


    This report for the Flemish Community of Belgium forms part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Review of Policies to Improve the Effectiveness of Resource Use in Schools and explores how resources can be governed, distributed, utilised and managed to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education.…

  10. Ageism in Belgium and Burundi: a comparative analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marquet M


    Full Text Available Manon Marquet, Pierre Missotten, Sarah Schroyen, Desiderate Nindaba, Stéphane Adam Psychology of Aging Unit, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium Background: Recent cross-cultural comparisons between Asian and Western cultures have shown that ageism arises more from the lack of availability of social and economic resources for older adults than from the culture itself. We tested this assumption by conducting a survey among people living in a least developed country compared with those living in a developed country.Participants and methods: Twenty-seven Belgians living in Belgium, 29 Burundians living in Belgium, and 32 Burundians living in Burundi were included in this study. Their attitudes toward older adults were assessed using several self-reported measures.Results: Statistical analyses confirmed that older people are more negatively perceived by Burundians living in Burundi than by Burundians and Belgians living in Belgium, whose attitudes did not differ from each other.Conclusion: Consistent with our hypothesis, our results suggest that the level of development of a country and more particularly the lack of government spending on older people (pension and health care systems may contribute to their younger counterparts perceiving them more negatively. Keywords: attitudes toward older adults, cross-cultural differences, socioeconomic development, intergenerational relations

  11. Information literacy in Belgium : An overview by the Edudoc Group


    Thirion, Paul; Pochet, Bernard


    When we were invited to describe the situation on information literacy (hereafter, IL) in Belgium, it appeared to us that numerous aspects had to be treated. The present document will include a rapid analysis of the Belgian situation and a description of the Edudoc Group. During this description we will trace ten years of activity and present several IL projects, in particular, a recent one concerning distance learning that is currently under development.

  12. The Extension of Belgium's Euthanasia Law to Include Competent Minors. (United States)

    Raus, Kasper


    Following considerable debate, the practice of euthanasia was legalized in Belgium in 2002, thereby making Belgium one of the few places in the world where this practice is legal. In 2014 the law was amended for the first time. The 2014 amendment makes euthanasia legally possible for all minors who repeatedly and voluntarily request euthanasia and who are judged to possess "capacity of discernment" (regardless of their biological age), as well as fulfil a number of other criteria of due care. This extension of the 2002 euthanasia law generated a lot of national and international debate and has been applauded by many and heavily criticized by others. This evolution is clearly of interest to end-of-life debates in the entire world. This paper will therefore describe how this amendment came to get passed using official documents from Belgium's Senate and Chamber of Representatives where this amendment was discussed and subsequently passed. Next, some of the most commonly given arguments in favour of the law are identified, as well as the arguments most often voiced against the amendment. All these arguments will be expanded upon and it will be examined whether they hold up to ethical scrutiny. Analysing the official documents and identifying the most commonly voiced arguments gives valuable insight into how Belgium came to amend its euthanasia law and why it did so in 2014. It also becomes clear that although the current amendment is often seen as far-reaching, more radical ideas were proposed during the drafting of the law. Also, in analysing those arguments in favour of the amendment and those against, it is clear that the validity of some of these is questionable.

  13. German Jewish Intellectuals and the German Occupation of Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich Wyrwa


    Full Text Available In August 1914 the majority of German Jews expressed their patriotic approval of the war and their loyalty to the German state. They identified with Germany, and a large number signed up voluntarily for military service at the front. The Jewish population in Germany affirmed the war not least because it was directed against Russia, the harshest adversary of the Jews. This paper concentrates on the first acts of war conducted by the German military forces during the German occupation of Belgium; it examines whether and in what way German-Jewish Intellectuals perceived Germany’s violation of Belgian neutrality and the new feature of war as a war against a civilian population. The first part examines autobiographical sources to reconstruct the experiences and the perception of German Jewish soldiers, German military rabbis, and other German Jewish witnesses to the war. The second part then analyzes the coverage of German Jewish newspapers regarding the warfare against Belgium; and, finally, the third and last part scrutinizes the commentaries of German Jewish intellectuals and socialist Jews [Jewish socialists?] regarding the German war against Belgium.

  14. Investigation of the passage of a derecho in Belgium (United States)

    Hamid, Karim


    From the 7th July, 2010 until 14th July, 2010, a heat wave dominated the weather in Belgium. Three major storm situations occurred during this period and all three caused severe damage. In this paper, we discuss the last storm case of 14th July. That day, a quasi-linear convective system (QLCS) crossed parts of France, Belgium and the Netherlands and caused very important wind damages and at least 2 people were killed. Most of the damage was caused by straight-line wind but at least one tornado was observed over the north of the Netherlands. This complex was induced in a very favorable synoptic configuration for severe weather and also the timing of the storm was favorable. In the frame of the Supercell project at the RMI, a damage survey was made of one of the most affected regions, which yielded useful information about the origin of the losses. Careful examination of the radar imagery revealed some connections between internal mesovortices and tracks of enhanced damage. As far as known, this paper is the first description of a derecho in Belgium. It is also the first time a connection is shown between some mesovortices and several damage tracks over the country. During the evolution of the QLCS, several examples of successive vortices were found in front of the system. Several of the vortices were accompanied by a tornado or a funnel cloud and the damage was typically concentrated along elongated tracks.

  15. Ageism in Belgium and Burundi: a comparative analysis (United States)

    Marquet, Manon; Missotten, Pierre; Schroyen, Sarah; Nindaba, Desiderate; Adam, Stéphane


    Background Recent cross-cultural comparisons between Asian and Western cultures have shown that ageism arises more from the lack of availability of social and economic resources for older adults than from the culture itself. We tested this assumption by conducting a survey among people living in a least developed country compared with those living in a developed country. Participants and methods Twenty-seven Belgians living in Belgium, 29 Burundians living in Belgium, and 32 Burundians living in Burundi were included in this study. Their attitudes toward older adults were assessed using several self-reported measures. Results Statistical analyses confirmed that older people are more negatively perceived by Burundians living in Burundi than by Burundians and Belgians living in Belgium, whose attitudes did not differ from each other. Conclusion Consistent with our hypothesis, our results suggest that the level of development of a country and more particularly the lack of government spending on older people (pension and health care systems) may contribute to their younger counterparts perceiving them more negatively. PMID:27601889

  16. Implementation of surveillance of invasive mosquitoes in Belgium according to the ECDC guidelines


    Deblauwe, Isra; Sohier, Charlotte; Schaffner, Francis; Rakotoarivony, Laurence Marrama; Coosemans, Marc


    Background In 2012, the new guidelines for the surveillance of IMS in Europe, produced by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), were tested in Belgium. This study aimed at (1) testing the usefulness and applicability in the field of the ECDC guidelines for the surveillance of IMS in Europe and (2) surveying IMS throughout Belgium. Methods First, the scenarios, which Belgium is facing, were identified according to the ECDC guidelines. Second, the surveillance strategy ...

  17. The Coca-Cola incident in Belgium, June 1999. (United States)

    Nemery, B; Fischler, B; Boogaerts, M; Lison, D; Willems, J


    The present paper describes the outbreak of health complaints that occurred in Belgium, in June 1999, among schoolchildren and members of the general public in relation to the consumption of Coca-Cola and other soft drinks. The outbreak took place in the wake of a major food crisis, caused by PCB/dioxin contamination of animal feed, that had erupted shortly before. The clinical features (absence of serious poisoning) and epidemiological characteristics of the Coca-Cola outbreak pointed to mass sociogenic illness, and no subsequent toxicological or other data have refuted this hypothesis.

  18. A paradise for LGBT rights? The paradox of Belgium. (United States)

    Eeckhout, Bart; Paternotte, David


    How is it that a small country such as Belgium, with its reputation of relative conservatism, has jumped to the forefront of LGBT-friendly nations when it comes to the extension of rights to, and implementation of government policies for, its LGBT population? The analysis offered here focuses on a combination of six causes: the impact of wider secularization processes; the political history and culture of the country; the organization of especially the Flemish LGBT movement and reasons for its political effectiveness; mainstream social trends in national scapegoating hierarchies; the overall media environment; and the window of opportunity opened by the political landslide of 1999.

  19. Workplace learning in midwifery education in Flanders (Belgium). (United States)

    Embo, M; Valcke, M


    Workplace learning plays a crucial role in midwifery education. Twelve midwifery schools in Flanders (Belgium) implemented a new competency framework and aimed at implementing a more standardized and evidence-based method to learn and assess competencies, as well as to guide continuous competency development in practice. This paper describes the introduction of 'Embo's continuous workplace learning model', a holistic and competency-based method that integrates all workplace learning components. Available research evidence helps concluding the learning model is a feasible approach to organize workplace learning in such a way that continuous professional competency development is achieved.

  20. Prevalence of alcohol and other psychoactive substances in injured drivers : comparison between Belgium and The Netherlands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Legrand, S.-A. Houwing, S. Hagenzieker, M. & Verstraete, A.G.


    The study objective was to compare the prevalence of alcohol and (il)licit drugs in seriously injured drivers in Belgium (BE) and the Netherlands (NL). Injured car and van drivers admitted to the emergency departments of five hospitals in Belgium and three in the Netherlands from January 2008 to May

  1. Career Adapt-Abilities Scale-Belgium Form: psychometric characteristics and construct validity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dries, N.; van Esbroeck, R.; van Vianen, A.E.M.; de Cooman, R.; Pepermans, R.


    The Dutch version of the Career Adapt-Abilities Scale-Belgium Form (CAAS-Belgium) consists of four scales, each with six items, which measure concern, control, curiosity, and confidence as psychosocial resources for managing occupational transitions, developmental tasks, and work traumas. A pilot su

  2. Wanted: suitable replacement stones for the Lede stone (Belgium) (United States)

    De Kock, T.; Dewanckele, J.; Boone, M. A.; De Boever, W.; De Schutter, G.; Jacobs, P.; Cnudde, V.


    The Lede stone is an arenaceous limestone with a Lutetian age, occurring as discrete (most of the times three) stone banks in the marine sandy sediments of the Lede Formation (Belgium). It has a quartz content of approximate 40%. This increases abrasion strength and together with the cementation results in an average compressive strength of about 80-85 MPa. The cement is a microsparitic calcite cement. Other carbonate particles are both microfossils (mainly foraminifers) and macrofossils (bivalves, serpulids, echinoderms, …). This great diversity gives the stone a heterogeneous, animated appearance. The intra- and interparticle porosity is in total 5-10 % in average and the apparent density is 2400-2550 kg/m3. Another important constituent is glauconite, present in a few percent. In fresh state, the stone has a greenish-grey colour, but when it is exposed to atmospheric conditions for a couple of years, the stone acquires a yellowish to rust-coloured patina due to the weathering of glauconite. Sulphatation causes severe damage to the stone, and black gypsum crusts are common in urban environments on stones protected from runoff. This stone was excavated in both open air and underground quarries in the areas of Brussels and Ghent. The proximity of main rivers such as the Scheldt and Zenne provided transport routes for export towards the north (e.g. Antwerp and The Netherlands). Its first known use dates back to Roman times but the stone flourished in Gothic architecture due to its easy workability and its 'divine' light coloured patina. This results nowadays in a dominant occurrence in the cultural heritage of northwestern Belgium and the south of The Netherlands. Socio-economical reasons caused several declines and revivals of Lede stone in use. In the beginning of the 20th century, only a few excavation sites remained, with as main quarry the one located at Bambrugge (Belgium). By the end of the first half of the 20th century, however, no quarry sites remained

  3. Challenges in physician supply planning: the case of Belgium

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    Léonard Christian


    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Planning human resources for health (HRH is a complex process for policy-makers and, as a result, many countries worldwide swing from surplus to shortage. In-depth case studies can help appraising the challenges encountered and the solutions implemented. This paper has two objectives: to identify the key challenges in HRH planning in Belgium and to formulate recommendations for an effective HRH planning, on the basis of the Belgian case study and lessons drawn from an international benchmarking. Case description In Belgium, a numerus clausus set up in 1997 and effective in 2004, aims to limit the total number of physicians working in the curative sector. The assumption of a positive relationship between physician densities and health care utilization was a major argument in favor of medical supply restrictions. This new regulation did not improve recurrent challenges such as specialty imbalances, with uncovered needs particularly among general practitioners, and geographical maldistribution. New difficulties also emerged. In particular, limiting national training of HRH turned out to be ineffective within the open European workforce market. The lack of integration of policies affecting HRH was noteworthy. We described in the paper what strategies were developed to address those challenges in Belgium and in neighboring countries. Discussion and evaluation Planning the medical workforce involves determining the numbers, mix, and distribution of health providers that will be required at some identified future point in time. To succeed in their task, health policy planners have to take a broader perspective on the healthcare system. Focusing on numbers is too restrictive and adopting innovative policies learned from benchmarking without integration and coordination is unfruitful. Evolving towards a strategic planning is essential to control the effects of the complex factors impacting on human resources. This evolution requires

  4. Indigenous malaria in a suburb of Ghent, Belgium. (United States)

    Peleman, R; Benoit, D; Goossens, L; Bouttens, F; Puydt, H D; Vogelaers, D; Colardyn, F; Van de Woude, K


    We report here details of a patient with Plasmodium falciparum malaria which was acquired in the vicinity of Ghent (Evergem) in July 1997. Indigenous malaria disappeared from Belgium in 1938. Due to an increase in international travel, the influx of migrant labor and the changing environmental conditions, there has been an upsurge of imported malaria. Airport- and port-malaria is acquired through the bite of a tropical anophelline mosquito by people whose geographical history excludes exposure to this vector in its natural habitat. As far as we know, only two cases of port-malaria have been reported: in Marseille. We describe here another possible case of port-malaria due to infection with P. falciparum in a 42-year-old woman with an underlying non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

  5. Public Health Triangulation to inform decision-making in Belgium. (United States)

    Bossuyt, N; Van Casteren, V; Goderis, G; Wens, J; Moreels, S; Vanthomme, K; De Clercq, E


    We assessed the impact of a nation-wide ambulatory care complex intervention (the "care trajectory program") on quality of care in Belgium. We used the three-step public health triangulation method described in this paper and data from four different data sources: a national reimbursement database, an electronic patient record-based general practitioner network, the Belgian general practitioner sentinel network, and a new national registry for care trajectory patients. By applying our method and using the available evidence, we identified key findings that have been accepted by experts and stakeholders. We also produced timely recommendations for the decision-making process, four years after the start of the care trajectory program.

  6. [Control of the legal practice of euthanasia in Belgium]. (United States)

    Englert, M


    The Belgian law legalizing euthanasia under strict conditions came into effect September 22, 2002. Any physician performing euthanasia has to complete a registration document and to send it within four days to a federal commission whose mission is to verify that the legal conditions were fulfilled. From September 22, 2002 to December 31, 2013, 8.767 documents have been registered and analyzed by this commission. They are described in six reports referred to Parliament. The present paper analyzes the work of this commission and answers the criticisms concerning its quality and its efficiency. The allegations that clandestine euthanasia's escaping any control are performed are also discussed. In conclusion, it appears that the legal obligations concerning the practice of euthanasia in Belgium are fully effective.

  7. Microbiological Load of Edible Insects Found in Belgium

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    Rudy Caparros Megido


    Full Text Available Edible insects are gaining more and more attention as a sustainable source of animal protein for food and feed in the future. In Belgium, some insect products can be found on the market, and consumers are sourcing fresh insects from fishing stores or towards traditional markets to find exotic insects that are illegal and not sanitarily controlled. From this perspective, this study aims to characterize the microbial load of edible insects found in Belgium (i.e., fresh mealworms and house crickets from European farms and smoked termites and caterpillars from a traditional Congolese market and to evaluate the efficiency of different processing methods (blanching for all species and freeze-drying and sterilization for European species in reducing microorganism counts. All untreated insect samples had a total aerobic count higher than the limit for fresh minced meat (6.7 log cfu/g. Nevertheless, a species-dependent blanching step has led to a reduction of the total aerobic count under this limit, except for one caterpillar species. Freeze-drying and sterilization treatments on European species were also effective in reducing the total aerobic count. Yeast and mold counts for untreated insects were above the Good Manufacturing Practice limits for raw meat, but all treatments attained a reduction of these microorganisms under this limit. These results confirmed that fresh insects, but also smoked insects from non-European trades, need a cooking step (at least composed of a first blanching step before consumption. Therefore, blanching timing for each studied insect species is proposed and discussed.

  8. Pharmacological treatment of ambulatory schizophrenic patients in Belgium

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    Reginster J-Y


    Full Text Available Abstract Background the objective of this study was twofold: 1 Describe the use of antipsychotic treatments in ambulatory patients suffering from schizophrenia in Belgium. 2 Evaluate to which extend antipsychotic treatment prescribing patterns are in accordance with published treatment guidelines. Method A cross-sectional survey was carried out in 16 Belgian hospitals selected from a sample of 67 hospitals. The hospitals were equally distributed between the north and south part of the country and were representative of Belgian practice. During 2 months, participating psychiatrists were asked to record the medication use as well as demographic parameters of all consecutive ambulatory patients seen at their consultation or attending a day-hospital. Data concerning 1000 ambulatory patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were collected. Results In Belgium, the use of atypical antipsychotics is frequent (69% in ambulatory patients with schizophrenia. In the overall sample, 73% receive only one antipsychotic drug. The majority of patients are treated with drugs of only one antipsychotic drug group, either first- typical (29.8% or second-generation, atypical antipsychotics (53.2%. 15.8% of patients combine different types of antipsychotics. Antipsychotic dosing is adequate for the majority of patients but about one fifth receives a higher than recommended dose as per package inserts. Polypharmacy remains within reasonable limits. The use of concomitant medication varies according the antipsychotic treatment: patients who take second-generation antipsychotics only, receive the least additional drugs. Conclusion Atypical antipsychotics appear to be the first line treatment for schizophrenic psychosis. Psychiatrists working with ambulatory patients are well aware of treatment guidelines and follow them quite adequately.

  9. Nationwide inventory of mosquito biodiversity (Diptera: Culicidae) in Belgium, Europe. (United States)

    Versteirt, V; Boyer, S; Damiens, D; De Clercq, E M; Dekoninck, W; Ducheyne, E; Grootaert, P; Garros, C; Hance, T; Hendrickx, G; Coosemans, M; Van Bortel, W


    To advance our restricted knowledge on mosquito biodiversity and distribution in Belgium, a national inventory started in 2007 (MODIRISK) based on a random selection of 936 collection points in three main environmental types: urban, rural and natural areas. Additionally, 64 sites were selected because of the risk of importing a vector or pathogen in these sites. Each site was sampled once between May and October 2007 and once in 2008 using Mosquito Magnet Liberty Plus traps. Diversity in pre-defined habitat types was calculated using three indices. The association between species and environmental types was assessed using a correspondence analysis. Twenty-three mosquito species belonging to traditionally recognized genera were found, including 21 indigenous and two exotic species. Highest species diversity (Simpson 0.765) and species richness (20 species) was observed in natural areas, although urban sites scored also well (Simpson 0.476, 16 species). Four clusters could be distinguished based on the correspondence analysis. The first one is related to human modified landscapes (such as urban, rural and industrial sites). A second is composed of species not associated with a specific habitat type, including the now widely distributed Anopheles plumbeus. A third group includes species commonly found in restored natural or bird migration areas, and a fourth cluster is composed of forest species. Outcomes of this study demonstrate the effectiveness of the designed sampling scheme and support the choice of the trap type. Obtained results of this first country-wide inventory of the Culicidae in Belgium may serve as a basis for risk assessment of emerging mosquito-borne diseases.

  10. Belgium: the paradox of persisting voluntarism in a corporatist welfare state

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.J. De Deken


    Belgium's public-private pension mix can be considered a paradox: despite the conservative-corporatist welfare regime and rather limited Bismarckian social insurance for old age, voluntarist occupational pensions remained underdeveloped. Until recent pension reforms, the comparatively low replacemen

  11. Normabweichungen im Zeitungsdeutsch Ostbelgiens (Deviations from the Standard in the Newspaper German of East Belgium) (United States)

    Nelde, Peter H.


    Concludes that the German used in the east Belgium newspaper differs fr om standard High German. Proceeds to list these differences in the areas of lexicology, semantics and stylistics, morphology and syntax, orthography e tc. (Text is in German.) (DS)

  12. Diagnosis of human granulocytic anaplasmosis in Belgium by combining molecular and serological methods

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    M. Hing


    Full Text Available We report here one new, hospitalized case of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Belgium. The clinical presentation of anaplasmosis, its treatment and the molecular and serological relevant laboratory methods are briefly developed.

  13. XIXth century earthquakes in Belgium, the Netherlands and western Germany (United States)

    Knuts, Elisabeth; Dost, Bernard; Alexandre, Pierre; Camelbeeck, Thierry


    Since the last quarter of the XXth century, the rules of the historic criticism are applied in the study of the past earthquakes thanks to the collaboration between seismologists and historians. Various monographs have already been published on the historic seismicity of Belgium, Netherlands and nearby regions but few about the XIXth century. The list of the shocks arisen in those regions is not clearly established. For the major earthquakes, we can find useful monographs that where published at the time of the events. However there is a lack of information about smaller earthquakes that are mentioned in the Belgian, Dutch, French and German catalogs. For those smaller events it is often not possible to determine the zone of perceptibility. Sometimes we cannot even take for sure that the reported event is a real one. The aim of our study is to overcome this gap. Taking into account the rules of historical criticism, we read all the available bibliography, undertook researches in the archives and made an analysis of the press in order to establish a reliable list of earthquakes. Several categories of sources were used: narrative and administrative sources, contemporaneous studies, letters sent to the scientific institutions and press. We could confirm that 84 earthquakes are real and determine a list of fake earthquakes that are unfortunately present in the traditional catalogs. In the list of fake earthquakes, we highlighted several events that we consider doubtful and that require additional researches, especially several earthquakes in mining zone. We compiled our results as a four-column table providing the date of the earthquake, the supposed epicenter, the number of founded sources and the number of macroseismic datapoints. Based on the macroseismic datapoints, we estimated the intensities for every great phenomenon according to EMS-98 scale. The map of the epicenters indicates that the most active zone in the area during the XIXth century is the Lower Rhine

  14. Draft genome sequences of two commensal Enterococcus cecorum strains isolated from chickens in Belgium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dolka, Beata; Boyen, Filip; Butaye, Patrick


    Here, we report the draft genome sequences of two commensal Enterococcus cecorum strains (1710s23 and 1711s24), cultivated from the ceca of healthy laying hens originating from different farms in Belgium.......Here, we report the draft genome sequences of two commensal Enterococcus cecorum strains (1710s23 and 1711s24), cultivated from the ceca of healthy laying hens originating from different farms in Belgium....

  15. The road user behaviour of school students in Belgium. (United States)

    Sullman, Mark J M; Thomas, Abigail; Stephens, Amanda N


    The present study aimed to investigate both the on road behaviour of Belgian school students and the validity of the Adolescent Road User Behaviour Questionnaire (ARBQ) in a sample of students attending school in Belgium. In total, 294 adolescents completed the ARBQ along with measures of their self-reported accident involvement and sensation seeking behaviour. Confirmatory Factor Analysis supported the original factor structure of: "unsafe road crossing", "playing on the road" and "planned protective behaviour" for the 21-item version of the questionnaire, but not for the full scale. Males were found to engage more often in unsafe crossing behaviour and playing on the roads. There were also age differences, with unsafe road crossing increasing with age and engagement in planned protective behaviours improving with age. Those who reported being involved in an accident also reported more frequent engagement in unsafe crossing, playing on the roads, thrill seeking behaviour and lower levels of behaviour inhibition. Therefore, this study confirms that the ARBQ is a useful tool for investigating safety-related behaviours that contribute to accident involvement.

  16. PBDEs in freshwater mussels and fish from Flanders, Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Covaci, A.; Voorspoels, S.; Schepens, P. [Antwerp Univ. (Belgium). Toxicological Center; Bervoets, L.; Hoff, P.; Voets, J.; Campenhout, K. van; Blust, R. [Antwerp Univ. (Belgium). Dept. of Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology


    Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), a class of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), are widely used in textiles, plastics, electronic equipment and other materials for more than 30 years. Due to their massive use, PBDEs have become ubiquitously present in aquatic organisms and it was recently evidenced that their levels seem to increase rapidly. Higher PBDE concentrations were found in biota from freshwater compared to similar marine species. This is probably due to a higher pollution load found near point pollution sources that are almost exclusively inland located. Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) fulfil the requirements of a good biomonitoring organism for freshwater ecosystems: they are easy to collect and to handle, are available in sufficient numbers, have a relative long lifespan, are sedentary and resistant to various types of pollution without suffering a too high mortality and have a high filtration rate which favours the bioaccumulation of organic contaminants. Fish species are another suitable tool for the biomonitoring of organic contaminants. The occurrence of PBDEs in fish species from Europe has already received some attention, but the amount of data is still limited. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurence of PBDEs in zebra mussels and several representative freshwater fish species (eel, carp and gibel carp) at different sites in Flanders, Belgium. In parallel, other organohalogenated contaminants, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), p,p'-DDE and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were also measured and their relationship with PBDEs was investigated.

  17. Polyphasic analysis of a middle ages coprolite microbiota, Belgium.

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    Sandra Appelt

    Full Text Available Paleomicrobiological investigations of a 14(th-century coprolite found inside a barrel in Namur, Belgium were done using microscopy, a culture-dependent approach and metagenomics. Results were confirmed by ad hoc PCR--sequencing. Investigations yielded evidence for flora from ancient environment preserved inside the coprolite, indicated by microscopic observation of amoebal cysts, plant fibers, seeds, pollens and mold remains. Seventeen different bacterial species were cultured from the coprolite, mixing organisms known to originate from the environment and organisms known to be gut inhabitants. Metagenomic analyses yielded 107,470 reads, of which known sequences (31.9% comprised 98.98% bacterial, 0.52% eukaryotic, 0.44% archaeal and 0.06% viral assigned reads. Most abundant bacterial phyla were Proteobacteria, Gemmatimonadetes, Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes. The 16 S rRNA gene dataset yielded 132,000 trimmed reads and 673 Operational Taxonomic Units. Most abundant bacterial phyla observed in the 16 S rRNA gene dataset belonged to Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Chlamydia. The Namur coprolite yielded typical gut microbiota inhabitants, intestinal parasites Trichuris and Ascaris and systemic pathogens Bartonella and Bordetella. This study adds knowledge to gut microbiota in medieval times.

  18. Towards 100% renewable energy in Belgium by 2050

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devogelaer, D.; Gusbin, D. [Federal Planning Bureau FPB, Brussels (Belgium); Duerinck, J.; Nijs, W. [VITO, Mol (Belgium); Marenne, Y.; Orsini, M; Pairon, M. [Institute for Consultancy and Studies in Sustainable Development ICEDD, Namur (Belgium)


    In this report, different long-term evolutions of the Belgian future energy system are drafted, analysed and evaluated. All evolutions are designed to meet the requirement of a 100% renewable based national energy system by 2050. For this purpose, a baseline is developed which depicts an energy system without the stringent renewables' requirement. Next, different trajectories are sketched that lead up to a 100% renewable coverage in 2050. The trajectories show that it is feasible to combine economic growth and comfort with far going deployment of renewable energy sources, provided a number of key options and effective policies and measures are being implemented. These options were deducted from several discussions with stakeholders via an open dialogue process, as well as with national experts, and finally, were presented to the Steering committee. The analysis leads to the undeniable observation that drastic changes in a multitude of areas throughout society are required to obtain the desired level of renewable energy penetration in 2050, but also that such a transition can be realised through various sectoral, technology and inter-temporal choices. In other words, this study describes a vast number of different trajectories leading to a 100% renewable energy system in Belgium in the long term, as well as their socio-economic impacts.

  19. Leaf litter ecological fate in the Schelde estuary in Belgium

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Two dominant species of Willow (Salix triandra) and Reed(Phragmites australis) along the Schelde estuary (in Belgium) wereselected in this research. The pigments of higher plant was used asbiomarkers, the decomposition process of the two species werestudied after they fall into the Schelde estuary. After statisticalanalysis (Spearman rank order correlation, p<0.05), the results hasshown the decomposition dynamics pattern of the pigments, and thewillow showed different pattern in comparing with the reed, eg.Chlorophyll-a decomposition dynamics for willow is: y1 = 12196x2 -175895x + 1E + 06 + k, R2 = 0.5706 while for reed is: y2 = -37878x2+ 229782x + 734282 + k, R2 = 0.9065. The precise time of the leaflitter spent in the water was also calculated as were less than 24days, 24-37 days, longer than 37 days (willow) and less than 24days, longer than 24 days (reed), the leaf litter fate of the two -Process, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciencesdominant species in the Schelde estuary was also compared.

  20. Environmental Scenarios for the Future Nitrogen Policy in Flanders, Belgium

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    stijn M.M. Overloop


    Full Text Available The agricultural sector accounts for two thirds of nitrogen losses in Flanders, Belgium. Since 1991 both the government and the farmers have been taking measures to reduce the nitrogen surplus. Initially, the manure policy was aimed at distributing the manure surplus equally across Flanders. At the same time, the growth of livestock was stopped by a strict licensing policy, which required “command and control” measures. In recent years, the policy has switched to the use of individual target commitments by farmers. The Flemish manure policy will be tightened even more as a result of international pressures. An ex ante evaluation of possible policy options was carried out using three different scenarios spread out until 2010 (Business As Usual, Additional Measures, and Sustainable Development. To do this, a sector-economic, regionalized, environmental, comparative static, partial equilibrium, mathematical programming model of the Flemish agriculture was developed. The nitrogen emission into the agricultural soil was calculated by means of a regional soil balance. European targets can only be reached with manure processing, reduced fertilizer usage, and a strong reduction of intensive livestock breeding activities. The atmospheric deposition of nitrogen compounds will strongly decrease in 2010 if additional measures are taken. This will also result in a strong reduction of nitrous oxide emissions.

  1. The centenary commemorations of the Great War in Belgium.

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    N. Wouters


    Full Text Available As the start of the centenary commemoration of the First World War (wwi in 2014 drew closer, Belgium saw the rise of a bigger ‘commemorative competition’. The different governments launched their own commemorative programmes, parallel to (and sometimes against each other. In the slipstream of this, a huge commercial and business competition erupted in a struggle for funding and visitors. There was also an unprecedented funding of new academic wwi-research. This contribution first makes some remarks on this research, and then looks briefly at the commemorative and memorial policies. On the one hand, current wwi policies confirm (and reinforce the differences in similar policies related to the Second World War. The narratives, as well as the moral or didactic categories, are clearly distinct. On the other hand however, there are some similarities to be found in the policy frameworks created after 1995. Some characteristics of such policy mechanisms are a more pro-active role (national authorities adopt in the construction of memories, a strong interconnectedness between public and private interests and an underlying driving meta-narrative of a national duty to remember connected to the target of an emotional and active investment of each individual citizen.

  2. The centenary commemorations of the Great War in Belgium

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    Nico Wouters


    Full Text Available As the start of the centenary commemoration of the First World War (wwi in 2014 drew closer, Belgium saw the rise of a bigger ‘commemorative competition’. The different governments launched their own commemorative programmes, parallel to (and sometimes against each other. In the slipstream of this, a huge commercial and business competition erupted in a struggle for funding and visitors. There was also an unprecedented funding of new academic wwi-research. This contribution first makes some remarks on this research, and then looks briefly at the commemorative and memorial policies. On the one hand, current wwi policies confirm (and reinforce the differences in similar policies related to the Second World War. The narratives, as well as the moral or didactic categories, are clearly distinct. On the other hand however, there are some similarities to be found in the policy frameworks created after 1995. Some characteristics of such policy mechanisms are a more pro-active role (national authorities adopt in the construction of memories, a strong interconnectedness between public and private interests and an underlying driving meta-narrative of a national duty to remember connected to the target of an emotional and active investment of each individual citizen. 

  3. Environmental engineering education at Ghent University, Flanders (Belgium). (United States)

    Demeestere, K; Dewulf, J; Janssen, C; Van Langenhove, H


    Since the 1980s, environmental engineering education has been a rapidly growing discipline in many universities. This paper discusses the history, the current status and the near future of environmental engineering education at Ghent University. This university, with about 50% of the Flemish university environmental engineering students, can be considered as representative for the situation in Flanders, Belgium. In contrast to many other universities, environmental engineering education at Ghent University does not have its historical roots in civil engineering, but has been developed from the curricula organized by the former Faculty of Agricultural Sciences. As part of a reorganisation of the education and research activities at this faculty, a curriculum leading to the degree of "bio-engineer in environmental technology" was established in 1991. This curriculum covers a 5-year study and is constructed around 8 main components. Exchange of students with other European universities, e.g. within the Socrates framework, has become a prominent aspect of student life and education. This paper also briefly describes the employment opportunities of graduated bio-engineers in environmental technology. Finally, the current implementation of the bachelor's-master's structure, leading to a "master of science in environmental technology" degree is summarized.

  4. Recent Photocatalytic Applications for Air Purification in Belgium

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    Elia Boonen


    Full Text Available Photocatalytic concrete constitutes a promising technique to reduce a number of air contaminants such as NOx and VOC’s, especially at sites with a high level of pollution: highly trafficked canyon streets, road tunnels, the urban environment, etc. Ideally, the photocatalyst, titanium dioxide, is introduced in the top layer of the concrete pavement for best results. In addition, the combination of TiO2 with cement-based products offers some synergistic advantages, as the reaction products can be adsorbed at the surface and subsequently be washed away by rain. A first application has been studied by the Belgian Road Research Center (BRRC on the side roads of a main entrance axis in Antwerp with the installation of 10.000 m² of photocatalytic concrete paving blocks. For now however, the translation of laboratory testing towards results in situ remains critical of demonstrating the effectiveness in large scale applications. Moreover, the durability of the air cleaning characteristic with time remains challenging for application in concrete roads. From this perspective, several new trial applications have been initiated in Belgium in recent years to assess the “real life” behavior, including a field site set up in the Leopold II tunnel of Brussels and the construction of new photocatalytic pavements on industrial zones in the cities of Wijnegem and Lier (province of Antwerp. This paper first gives a short overview of the photocatalytic principle applied in concrete, to continue with some main results of the laboratory research recognizing the important parameters that come into play. In addition, some of the methods and results, obtained for the existing application in Antwerp (2005 and during the implementation of the new realizations in Wijnegem and Lier (2010–2012 and in Brussels (2011–2013, will be presented.

  5. Cryptosporidium and Giardia in recreational water in Belgium. (United States)

    Ehsan, Md Amimul; Casaert, Stijn; Levecke, Bruno; Van Rooy, Liesbet; Pelicaen, Joachim; Smis, Anne; De Backer, Joke; Vervaeke, Bart; De Smedt, Sandra; Schoonbaert, Filip; Lammens, Saskia; Warmoes, Thierry; Geurden, Thomas; Claerebout, Edwin


    The objective of this study was to investigate the presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in different recreational water bodies in Belgium and to estimate the infection risk associated with swimming and other recreational activities. Cryptosporidium oocysts and/or Giardia cysts were detected in three out of 37 swimming pools, seven out of 10 recreational lakes, two out of seven splash parks and four out of 16 water fountains. In the swimming pools no infection risk for Cryptosporidium could be calculated, since oocysts were only detected in filter backwash water. The risk of Giardia infection in the swimming pools varied from 1.13×10(-6) to 2.49×10(-6) per swim per person. In recreational lakes, the infection risk varied from 2.79×10(-5) to 5.74×10(-5) per swim per person for Cryptosporidium and from 7.04×10(-5) to 1.46×10(-4) for Giardia. For other outdoor water recreation activities the estimated infection risk was 5.71×10(-6) for Cryptosporidium and 1.47×10(-5) for Giardia. However, most positive samples in the recreational lakes belonged to species/genotypes that are either animal-specific or predominantly found in animals. No Cryptosporidium was found in splash parks and water fountains, but the presence of Giardia cysts suggests a risk for human infection. The infection risk of Giardia infection during a 3.5-minute visit to a splash park for children equalled 1.68×10(-4).

  6. Strucute optimale du raffinage Optimum Stucture of Refining in Belgium

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    Jomaux F.


    Full Text Available Cet article présente un résumé des méthodes utilisées et des résultats obtenus au cours d'une étude de la structure de l'industrie du raffinage en Belgique, étude qui a fait l'objet d'une thèse de doctorat('. L'objectif était de déterminer, dans ses grandes lignes, l'évolution à long terme des capacités des unités de traitement en raffinerie permettant de satisfaire au moindre coût la demande belge en produits pétroliers. Différents scénarios relatifs à cette demande, ainsi que différentes hypothèses d'approvisionnement en pétroles bruts ont été analysés. L'étude s'est appuyée sur des modèles linéaires de raffinage développés à l'Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP, et dont la mise en ceuvre fait appel à des programmes générateurs de matrices et de rapports, ainsi qu'à des fichiers de données technico-économiques disponibles à l'IFP. L'existence de trois zones de raffinage géographiquement distinctes a conduit à l'utilisation de modèles multi-raffineries intégrant l'approvisionnement des principaux dépôts de distribution. This article reviews the methods used and results obtained during a survey of the structure of the refining industry in Belgium, a survey which is the subject of a doctoral dissertation (1. The aim was to determine the major guidelines of the longterm evolution of the production capacities of refinery processing installations so as to fulfill the Belgian demand for petroleum products at lowest cost. Different scénarios for this demand as well as different crude-oil supply hypotheses are analyzed. The survey is based on linear refining models developed at IFP. These models make use of matrix and report generator programs as well as technico-economic data files available at Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP. The existence of three geographically distinct refining zones leads ta the multi-refinery models integrating deliveries to the main distribution depots.

  7. Environmental conditions and Puumala virus transmission in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leirs Herwig


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Non-vector-borne zoonoses such as Puumala hantavirus (PUUV can be transmitted directly, by physical contact between infected and susceptible hosts, or indirectly, with the environment as an intermediate. The objective of this study is to better understand the causal link between environmental features and PUUV prevalence in bank vole population in Belgium, and hence with transmission risk to humans. Our hypothesis was that environmental conditions controlling the direct and indirect transmission paths differ, such that the risk of transmission to humans is not only determined by host abundance. We explored the relationship between, on one hand, environmental variables and, on the other hand, host abundance, PUUV prevalence in the host, and human cases of nephropathia epidemica (NE. Statistical analyses were carried out on 17 field sites situated in Belgian broadleaf forests. Results Linear regressions showed that landscape attributes, particularly landscape configuration, influence the abundance of hosts in broadleaf forests. Based on logistic regressions, we show that PUUV prevalence among bank voles is more linked to variables favouring the survival of the virus in the environment, and thus the indirect transmission: low winter temperatures are strongly linked to prevalence among bank voles, and high soil moisture is linked to the number of NE cases among humans. The transmission risk to humans therefore depends on the efficiency of the indirect transmission path. Human risk behaviours, such as the propensity for people to go in forest areas that best support the virus, also influence the number of human cases. Conclusion The transmission risk to humans of non-vector-borne zoonoses such as PUUV depends on a combination of various environmental factors. To understand the complex causal pathways between the environment and disease risk, one should distinguish between environmental factors related to the abundance of hosts

  8. Geographic distribution of suicide and railway suicide in Belgium, 2008-2013: a principal component analysis. (United States)

    Strale, Mathieu; Krysinska, Karolina; Overmeiren, Gaëtan Van; Andriessen, Karl


    This study investigated the geographic distribution of suicide and railway suicide in Belgium over 2008--2013 on local (i.e., district or arrondissement) level. There were differences in the regional distribution of suicide and railway suicides in Belgium over the study period. Principal component analysis identified three groups of correlations among population variables and socio-economic indicators, such as population density, unemployment, and age group distribution, on two components that helped explaining the variance of railway suicide at a local (arrondissement) level. This information is of particular importance to prevent suicides in high-risk areas on the Belgian railway network.

  9. First Do No Harm: Euthanasia of Patients with Dementia in Belgium. (United States)

    Cohen-Almagor, Raphael


    In Memory of Ed Pellegrino. Euthanasia in Belgium is not limited to terminally ill patients. It may be applied to patients with chronic degenerative diseases. Currently, people in Belgium wish to make it possible to euthanize incompetent patients who suffer from dementia. This article explains the Belgian law and then explores arguments for and against euthanasia of patients with dementia. It probes the dementia paradox by elucidating Dworkin's distinction between critical and experiential interests, arguing that at the end-of-life this distinction is not clearcut. It argues against euthanasia for patients with dementia, for respecting patients' humanity and for providing them with more care, compassion, and good doctoring.

  10. The Hyphen of National Culture : The Paradox of National Distinctiveness in Belgium and the Netherlands, 1860-1918

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tollebeek, Jo


    At the turn of the 20th century, intellectuals and artists in Belgium and the Netherlands were keen to define their respective national identities. One of the most striking ways of doing this was based on a paradox: in both Belgium and the Netherlands the idea came into being that their national dis

  11. 75 FR 61699 - Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, and Taiwan: Final... (United States)


    ... International Trade Administration Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium, Italy, South Africa, South Korea... orders on stainless steel plate in coils (SSPC) from Belgium, Italy, South Africa, South Korea, and... from Allegheny Ludlum Corporation, North American Stainless and the United Steel, Paper and...

  12. 75 FR 58351 - Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium: Extension of Time Limits for Preliminary and Final... (United States)


    ... International Trade Administration Stainless Steel Plate in Coils from Belgium: Extension of Time Limits for... countervailing duty order on stainless steel plate in coils from Belgium in accordance with section 751(c) of the... notices of intent to participate on behalf of Allegheny Ludlum Corporation and the United Steel, Paper...

  13. Reading Comprehension of Flemish Deaf Children in Belgium: Sources of Variability in Reading Comprehension after Cochlear Implantation (United States)

    van der Kant, Anne; Vermeulen, Anneke; De Raeve, Leo; Schreuder, Robert


    This paper reports the results of two studies of reading comprehension of Flemish children in Belgium. In the northern part of Belgium (Flanders), Dutch is the official language. The Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Flanders are called Flemish. Dutch is also the national language of the Netherlands. Despite both groups using Dutch, cultural…

  14. Euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions: a mortality follow-back study in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Block, L.; Deschepper, R.; Bilsen, J.J.; Bossuyt, N.; Casteren, van V.; Deliens, L.H.J.


    BACKGROUND: This study compares prevalence and types of medical end-of-life decisions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities of Belgium. This is the first nationwide study that can make these comparisons and the first measurement after implementation of the euthanasia law (2002).

  15. An empirical study of the underground economy in the Kingdom of Belgium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rezaei, Shahamak; Goli, Marco; Dana, Léo-Paul


    This article investigates the underground economy in Belgium. Although several government initiatives are attempting to combat underground economic activities, we found illegal foreign workers identifying opportunities and fulfilling market needs. Underground employment thus thrives in a variety ...... of sectors, including the building sector, cleaning houses, delivery jobs, garage business horticulture, hotels, industrial cleaning, and social work....

  16. Different measles outbreaks in Belgium, January to June 2016 - a challenge for public health. (United States)

    Grammens, Tine; Maes, Virginie; Hutse, Veronik; Laisnez, Valeska; Schirvel, Carole; Trémérie, Jean Marie; Sabbe, Martine


    During the first half of 2016, several outbreaks of measles were reported in the three regions of Belgium. Main challenges for public health were severe complications occurring in adults, nosocomial transmission and infection in healthcare workers. Here, we describe those outbreaks and lessons learnt for public health.

  17. The diet and consumption of dominant fish species in the upper Scheldt estuary, Belgium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maes, J.; De Brabandere, Loreto; Ollevier, F.;


    Seasonal changes in the diet composition and trophic niche overlap were examined for the dominant members of the fish assemblage of the turbid low-salinity zone of the Scheldt estuary (Belgium). Samples of fish were taken in the cooling water of a power plant. Juveniles of eight species dominated...

  18. The stock market performance of the central banks of Belgium and Japan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goldberg, Lawrence G.; Kabir, Rezaul


    Most central banks issue stock that is held by the government and/or commercial banks and is not tradable. In contrast, stocks of the central banks of Belgium and Japan are traded on the Brussels and Tokyo stock exchanges. The purpose of the paper is to examine this unique phenomenon of stock market

  19. Constitutional and Judicial Language Protection in Multilingual States: A Brief Overview of South Africa and Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I. Bambust (Isabelle); A. Kruger (Albert); T. Kruger (Thalia)


    markdownabstract__Abstract__ The purpose of this contribution is to provide a very modest comparison of judicial language protection in South Africa and in Belgium. First of all, the authors sketch briefly the historical context and the constitutional status of languages in both countries. It is di

  20. Current Trends in Environmental Education in the French-Speaking Areas of Belgium. (United States)

    Goffin, Louis


    The current status of environmental education in French-speaking Belgium is described, with attention given to the development of environmental interest and awareness, the evolution of an environmental education information dissemination network, other governmental and nongovernmental groups involved, school syllabuses, teacher training…

  1. Type 2 diabetes in primary care in belgium: need for structured shared care.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goderis, G.; Borgermans, L.D.A.; Heyrman, J.; Broeke, C.V.; Grol, R.P.T.M.; Boland, B.; Mathieu, C.


    OBJECTIVE: To picture the profile of type 2 diabetic patients in Belgium and to study the quality of care in the primary care setting, with regard, to multi-factorial approach of the disease. METHODS: Observational study of all known DM2-patients registered by 120 volunteer general practitioners. Qu

  2. Education, Ethnic Homogenization and Cultural Hybridization (Brussels, Belgium, and Cape Town, South Africa). (United States)

    Leman, Johan, Ed.


    The eight chapters of this theme issue examine the ways in which autochthonous communities regard the supply side of education. The supply side is segregational in nature, and immigrants themselves move toward ethnic homogenization. The focus is on urban minorities in Brussels (Belgium). Compares the situation in Cape Town (South Africa). (SLD)


    NARCIS (Netherlands)



    In this paper, the small, but persistent interest rate differentials via-a-vis Germany which have existed in Austria, the Netherlands, and Belgium are analysed. These interest differentials may be thought of to consist of three parts: expected exchange rate movements within the band, expected change

  4. Flexicurity and human resources management for older workers in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bredgaard, Th.; Tros, F.; Blanpain, R.; Dickens, L.


    This article presents the findings of a comparative survey done in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Belgium. Against the background of the European debates on active ageing as well as on flexicurity, the main goal of this survey is to investigate to what extent 'flexicurity arrangements' are be

  5. ZTE Partners with KPN Group Belgium to Deploy Packet-Switched Core Network

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    27 August 2012--ZTE Corporation has signed a deal on a packet-switched core network (CN) for KPN Group Belgium (KPNGB). KPNGB will deploy ZTE's packet-switched CN equipment, which supports unified radio access. The contract is the second of its kind between ZTE and KPNfollows from a construction project with KPN Germany (E-Plus) that was completed in September 2010.

  6. Kettneraspis, Radiaspis and Ceratarges (Trilobita) from the Middle Devonian of the Rochefort area (Ardennes, Belgium)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viersen, van A.P.


    The Middle Eifelian trilobite fauna of the Belgian Ardennes shows close affinities with that of the German Eifel. Two trilobite taxa are recorded from Middle Eifelian strata near the town of Jemelle, on the southern border of the Dinant Synclinorium, Belgium. Kettneraspis bayarti sp. nov. is closely

  7. Lifecourse determinants and incomes in retirement: Belgium and the United Kingdom compared

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dewilde, C.


    In this paper, the impact of lifecourse family and labour market experiences on household incomes of older people in Belgium and the United Kingdom (UK) is analysed. To this end, panel data and life-history information fromthe Panel Study of Belgian Households and the British Household Panel Survey

  8. Trade openness, real exchange rates and job reallocation : Evidence from Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    I. Colantone (Italo)


    textabstractThis paper investigates the impact of real exchange rate movements on job reallocation at the industry level. The analysis focuses on the manufacturing sector of Belgium, using data for 82 NACE 3-digit industries, over the time span 1996-2002. I find that real exchange rate changes do ha

  9. Ray-finned fishes (Osteichthyes, Actinopterygii) from the type Maastrichtian, the Netherlands and Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Friedman, M.


    Ray-finned fishes are a diverse, but understudied, component of the Maastrichtian marine fauna of the southeast Netherlands (Limburg) and northeast Belgium (Liège-Limburg). The most extensive reviews of fishes from these uppermost Cretaceous deposits were made in the early and mid-Twentieth Century,

  10. First isolation of Trichinella britovi from a wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Belgium.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schynts, F; Giessen, Joke van der; Tixhon, S; Pozio, E; Dorny, P; Borchgrave, J de


    Since 1992, when the European Union Council Directive requires that wild boars (Sus scrofa) hunted in EU for commercial purpose should be examined for Trichinella, the infection has not been detected in wild boars from Belgium, despite serological evidence of the presence of anti-Trichinella antibod

  11. Louse-borne relapsing fever in a refugee from Somalia arriving in Belgium. (United States)

    Darcis, Gilles; Hayette, Marie-Pierre; Bontems, Sebastien; Sauvage, Anne-Sophie; Meuris, Christelle; Van Esbroeck, Marjan; Leonard, Philippe


    We report a case of louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF) in a refugee from Somalia who had arrived in Belgium a few days earlier. He complained of myalgia and secondarily presented fever. Blood smears revealed spirochetes later identified as Borrelia recurrentis. LBRF should be considered in countries hosting refugees, particularly those who transit through endemic regions.

  12. Interpersonal violence against children in sport in the Netherlands and Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vertommen, Tine; Schipper-van Veldhoven, Nicolette; Wouters, Kristien; Kampen, J.K.; Brackenridge, Celia H.; Rhind, Daniel J.A.; Neels, Karel; Eede, Van Den Filip


    The current article reports on the first large-scale prevalence study on interpersonal violence against children in sport in the Netherlands and Belgium. Using a dedicated online questionnaire, over 4,000 adults prescreened on having participated in organized sport before the age of 18 were surveyed

  13. Physician-assisted death: attitudes and practices of community pharmacists in East Flanders, Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bilsen, J.J.; Bauwens, M.; Bernheim, J.L.; Stichele, R.V.; Deliens, L.H.J.


    This study investigates attitudes and practices of community pharmacists with respect to physician-assisted death. Between 15 February and 15 April 2002, we sent anonymous mail questionnaires to 660 community pharmacists in the eastern province of Flanders, Belgium. The response rate was 54% (n = 35

  14. The conditional returns to origin-country human capital among Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kanas, A.M.; Tubergen, F.A. van


    This study extends the analysis of the economic returns to pre-migration human capital by examining the role of the receiving context, co-ethnic residential concentration, and post-migration investments in human capital. It uses large-scale survey data on Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in Belgium.

  15. A tale of two charters : Political crisis, political realignment and administrative reform in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.G.J. Van de Walle (Steven); N. Thijs (Nick); G. Bouckaert (Geert)


    markdownabstractCharters are official commitments to quality and reform. Belgium introduced its Charter of the User of Public Services in 1993. The federal administration’s Copernicus reform began in 1999 and had a strong external outlook. It therefore may be considered as a second User Charter. In

  16. Insect Visitors and Potential Pollinators of Orchis militaris (Orchidaceae) in Southern Belgium (United States)

    Henneresse, Thomas; Tyteca, Daniel


    As part of a research project on the food deception strategy in Orchis militaris (L.), the objective of this study was to identify insect visitors and potential pollinators of this orchid species in Belgium. In 2013, insects were collected over 2 d per site in five localities distributed in Southern Belgium (Wallonia). A total of 104 insects belonging to 49 species were caught. Dipterans were the most abundant visitors (50% of total specimens), followed by Hymenopterans (32%). Rhingia campestris Meigen, Bombylius venosus Mikan, Apis mellifera (L.), and Bombus lapidarius (L.) were the most abundant species. Only five specimens bore one to more than 10 pollinia: four honeybees (A. mellifera) and one bumblebee worker (B. lapidarius). These two species should be considered as potential pollinators in the study area, but probably not confirmed ones. PMID:27694346

  17. Risk assessment of heavy metal pollution in alluvial soils and sediments of the Grote Beek river (Belgium)


    Cappuyns, Valérie; Swennen, Rudy


    Consoil 2003 RISK ASSESSMENT OF HEAVY METAL POLLUTION IN ALLUVIAL SOILS AND SEDIMENTS OF THE GROTE BEEK RIVER (BELGIUM) Valérie Cappuyns, Rudy Swennen and Katrien De Nil Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Fysico-chemische Geologie, Celestijnenlaan 200C, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium Tel. +3216327297, Fax. +3216327981, e-mail: 1. Introduction Wastewater discharge from the processing of phosphate ores has contributed to pollution by heavy metals ...

  18. Current status of chrono stratigraphic units named from Belgium and adjacent areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Léon Dejonghe


    @@ The recommendations of the InternationalCommission on Stratigraphy edited in 1976by Hedberg and in 1994 by Salvador havegenerally been well accepted by the Belgiancommunity of geologists as represented bynational stratigraphic subcommissions set upunder the Belgian National Committee ofGeological Sciences. However, the applica-tion of these recommendations has takensome time and the need has been felt for doc-uments to synthesise the current situationregarding stratigraphic units named fromBelgium and adjacent areas.

  19. In situ and laboratory mechanical characterization of a loess sequence from Middle Belgium


    Delvoie, Simon; Charlier, Robert; Collin, Frédéric


    A 10 m thick loess (aeolian silt) layer located beside the Romont quarry (Eben-Emael, Middle Belgium) has been investigated in order to characterize the mechanical behaviour of the silty material. Cone penetration tests (CPT) have been performed with different cones (M1-type, M2-type and electric) in order to evaluate the influence of the cone on the mechanical behaviour interpretation. Concurrently, laboratory tests have been performed on undisturbed samples from core drillings. Laboratory t...

  20. Water displacement by sewer infrastructure in the Grote Nete catchment, Belgium, and its hydrological regime effects


    Vrebos, D.; T. Vansteenkiste; Staes, J.; Willems, P.; Meire, P.


    Urbanization and especially impervious areas, in combination with wastewater treatment infrastructure, can exert several pressures on the hydrological cycle. These pressures were studied for the Grote Nete catchment in Belgium (8.18% impervious area and 3.89% effective impervious area), based on a combination of empirical and modelbased approaches. The effective impervious area, combined with the extent of the wastewater collection regions which do not coincide with the natural catchment boun...

  1. Neonatal thyroid-stimulating hormone concentrations in Belgium: a useful indicator for detecting mild iodine deficiency?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie Vandevijvere

    Full Text Available It has been proposed that neonatal thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH concentrations are a good indicator of iodine deficiency in the population. A frequency of neonatal TSH concentrations above 5 mU/L below 3% has been proposed as the threshold indicating iodine sufficiency. The objective of the present study was to evaluate feasibility and usefulness of nation-wide neonatal TSH concentration screening results to assess iodine status in Belgium. All newborns born in Belgium during the period 2009-2011 (n = 377713 were included in the study, except those suffering from congenital hypothyroidism and premature neonates. The frequency of neonatal TSH concentrations above 5 mU/L from 2009 to 2011 in Belgium fluctuated between 2.6 and 3.3% in the centres using the same TSH assay. There was a significant inverse association between neonatal TSH level and birth weight. The longer the duration between birth and screening, the lower the TSH level. Neonatal TSH levels were significantly lower in winter than in spring or autumn and significantly lower in spring and summer than in autumn while significantly higher in spring compared to summer. In conclusion, despite that pregnant women in Belgium are mildly iodine deficient, the frequency of neonatal TSH concentrations above 5 mU/L was very low, suggesting that the neonatal TSH threshold proposed for detecting iodine deficiency needs to be re-evaluated. Although neonatal TSH is useful to detect severe iodine deficiency, it should not be recommended presently for the evaluation of iodine status in mildly iodine deficient regions.

  2. Secularizing funerary culture in nineteenth-century Belgium: A product of political and religious controversy. (United States)

    De Spiegeleer, Christoph; Tyssens, Jeffrey


    Modern historiography of collective attitudes, practices, and conflicts surrounding death often focuses on the institutional history of cemeteries and nonreligious funerals in 19th-century France. Institutional and cultural discussions concerning funerals and cemeteries also divided nineteenth-century Belgium. This article explores emblematic civil burials and the secularization of cemeteries in major Belgian cities. The article distinguishes different dimensions of the secularization of death and highlights the particular nature of Belgian funerary conflicts and burial reform within a broader European context.

  3. Effectiveness of Administrative Appeals Within the Framework of Administrative Justice in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludo VENY


    Full Text Available This article outlines the various forms of administrative appeal in Belgium. Furthermore, the administrative appeals regarding the adjudication or refusal of a building permit, the openness of administration, the income tax and the suspension of an unemployment benefits are examined. In each case an inventory of legal norms is made, the case law analysed and the national literature on the topic reviewed.

  4. Unemployment persistence in Belgium : An in-depth econometric analysis of the flows out of unemployment/


    Dejemeppe, Muriel


    Finding an explanation for the rise and persistence of European unemployment has been one of the main research programmes of labour economists during the last decade. In this doctoral thesis, we contribute to this literature by questioning the causes of unemployment persistence in Belgium. To that purpose, we conduct an in-depth econometric analysis of the flows out of unemployment in this country. In Chapters 2 and 3, we study the behaviour of the exit rate out of unemployment over duration ...

  5. Establishing specialized health services for professional consultation in euthanasia: experiences in the Netherlands and Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilsen Johan


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg have adopted laws decriminalizing euthanasia under strict conditions of prudent practice. These laws stipulate, among other things, that the attending physician should consult an independent colleague to judge whether the substantive criteria of due care have been met. In this context initiatives were taken in the Netherlands and Belgium to establish specialized services providing such consultants: Support and Consultation for Euthanasia in the Netherlands (SCEN and Life End Information Forum (LEIF in Belgium. The aim of this study is to describe and compare these initiatives. Methods We studied and compared relevant documents concerning the Dutch and Belgian consultation service (e.g. articles of bye-laws, inventories of activities, training books, consultation protocols. Results In both countries, the consultation services are delivered by trained physicians who can be consulted in cases of a request for euthanasia and who offer support and information to attending physicians. The context in which the two organisations were founded, as well as the way they are organised and regulated, is different in each country. By providing information on all end-of-life care matters, the Belgian LEIF seems to have a broader consultation role than the Dutch SCEN. SCEN on the other hand has a longer history, is more regulated and organised on a larger scale and receives more government funding than LEIF. The number of training hours for physicians is equal. However, SCEN-training puts more emphasis on the consultation report, whereas LEIF-training primarily emphasizes the ethical framework of end-of-life decisions. Conclusion In case of a request for euthanasia, in the Netherlands as well as in Belgium similar consultation services by independent qualified physicians have been developed. In countries where legalising physician-assisted death is being contemplated, the development of such a

  6. Multi-level governance of climate change in Belgium. Modest subnational policies in a complex setting


    Happaerts, Sander


    This paper analyzes subnational climate policies in Belgium as a crucial case of multi-level policy-making in Europe. In Belgian federalism, the subnational governments have a large autonomy to conduct their own climate policies, while the scope to act at the federal level is very limited. Moreover, the federal system had produced complex and ineffective coordination patterns, where the federal and the subnational governments each have the possibility to block agreements, e.g. on the intra-Be...

  7. Ethics on the dental treatment of patients with mental disability: results of a Netherlands - Belgium survey. (United States)

    Marks, Luc; Adler, Naomi; Blom-Reukers, Helen; Elhorst, Jan H; Kraaijenhagen-Oostinga, Annelies; Vanobbergen, Jacques


    This study evaluates several ethical dilemmas of by dental practitioners treating persons with mental disabilities (PMD) by dentists in the Netherlands and Belgium. Ethical dental care for PMD is a hot topic. Worldwide different treatment strategies are used in the dental treatment of this patient group. In addition, cultural aspect seems to play an important role in the choices made. The latter can explain the difficulty in creating European and worldwide guidelines on this issue. A questionnaire was sent to dental practitioners interested in treating PMD persons both in the Netherlands and in Belgium including questions on the use of behaviour management techniques, use and attitude towards sedation and physical fixation and the cooperation with other health care personal. Behaviour management techniques and sedation are frequently used. Dentist of the Netherlands and Belgium in general reject the restraint of PMD persons. However, limited use of manual restraint in accordance with the carers and the close surrounding of the patient seems to be accepted. Dental practitioners are sometimes confronted with an emotional dilemma in treating PMD and the majority feels that it is a continuous challenge to obtain optimal result of the dental treatment.

  8. Changes in medical end-of-life practices during the legalization process of euthanasia in Belgium. (United States)

    Bilsen, Johan; Vander Stichele, Robert; Broeckaert, Bert; Mortier, Freddy; Deliens, Luc


    Changes in medical practices during transitions in regulating healthcare are rarely investigated. In this study, we investigated changes in medical end-of-life decisions with a possible or certain life-shortening effect (ELDs) that occurred during the legalization process of euthanasia in Belgium. We took representative random samples from deaths reported to registries in Flanders, Belgium in 1998 (n=3999) at the beginning of the process and in 2001 (N=5005), at the end of the process. The reporting physicians received an anonymous mail questionnaire about possible ELDs preceding the death involved. We found no significant shifts in the epidemiology of diseases between 1998 and 2001. The overall incidence of ELDs did not change. The incidence decreased for euthanasia, administering life-ending drugs without patient's explicit request, and alleviation of pain and symptoms with life-shortening co-intention. Incidence increased for alleviation of pain and symptom without life-shortening intention, and remained stable for non-treatment decisions. All decisions in 2001 were more often discussed with patients, their relatives and nurses. In 2001, continuous deep sedation was reported in 8.3% of deaths. We can conclude that physicians' end-of-life practices have substantially changed during the short but tumultuous legalization process of euthanasia in Belgium. Although follow-up research is needed to investigate the continuance of these changes, it is important for policy makers to keep in mind that social factors related to transitions in healthcare regulation may play an important role in the physicians' actual behaviour.


    Belien, T; Thys, T; Fassotte, C; Walrant, C; Tomme, M; Bolen, M; Bylemans, D


    The vinegar fly Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera Drosophilidae), spotted wing drosophila, is a new invasive fruit pest that recently became established in Europe. Unlike other fruit flies that typically only infest overripe and rotten fruit, D. suzukii females oviposit in ripe fruit leading to considerable economic losses of fruit during production. In 2011 and 2012 D. suzukii was detected at several places in Belgium. In 2013, a large-scale monitoring in frame of the project "FLY ALERT" (FOD) was executed using traps with liquid attractant (apple cider vinegar) at more than 100 locations across Belgium during the whole fruit growing season. At 16 locations we also compared the efficacy of a 'bottle type' trap with a 'cup type' trap. The results show that D. suzukii has expanded its distribution in Belgium. Remarkably, in 2013 as well as in 2012 the first detections were made only in the second part of the growing season (August) and the populations reached their peak only at the very end of the season (November). In the bottle type trap the first flies were caught 2-3 weeks earlier than in the cup type trap. In addition, also the population peaks were on average 1 week earlier when monitored with the bottle trap compared to when monitored with the cup trap. In 2014, after an exceptional mild winter adult D. suzukii flies were continuously detected throughout the winter and early spring. The implications of these findings for the phenology of D. suzukii in the Northwest climate region of Europe are discussed.

  10. Belgian citizens' and broiler producers' perceptions of broiler chicken welfare in Belgium versus Brazil. (United States)

    Vanhonacker, F; Tuyttens, F A M; Verbeke, Wim


    New EU regulations require more stringent country-of-origin labeling, while imports of broiler meat from non-EU countries are increasing. In light of these trends, we have studied citizens' and producers' perceptions of broiler meat originating from Belgium versus Brazil and their perception of broiler production in Belgium versus Brazil. A particular focus was the association between country of origin and perceived level of animal welfare. We also investigated the perception of scaling-up and outdoor access in terms of perceived level of animal welfare. Cross-sectional survey data was collected among Flemish citizens (n = 541) and broiler producers (n = 114). In accordance with literature on general farm animal welfare, both stakeholder types claimed to allocate great importance to broiler welfare and generally agreed with the Welfare Quality model of broiler welfare. Citizens disagreed with the producers that 1) consumers are not willing to pay more for higher welfare products, 2) that broilers suffer little, 3) that broiler welfare in current Belgian production units is generally non-problematic, 4) that scaling-up production units would not have a positive impact on profitability nor a profoundly negative impact on broiler welfare, and 5) that the impact of providing broilers with outdoor access is negative for consumers, farmers, and broilers. Country of origin had a strong influence on the perception of both broiler production and broiler meat. Belgian citizens, and producers (much more than citizens) considered nearly all aspects related to broiler production and broiler meat to be significantly superior for chicken produced in Belgium compared to Brazil. Further research should focus on how these perceptions influence purchase intentions and production decisions. Future avenues for research are to quantify market opportunities for country-of-origin labeling and to investigate to which extent stakeholders' perceptions correspond with reality.

  11. [Recent population policy measures in Belgium, especially with respect to fertility]. (United States)

    Bosman, E


    Policy measures affecting fertility, recently adopted in Belgium, are reviewed. The author notes that although responsibility for population matters has been delegated to the respective language groups, the responsibility for family law, divorce, abortion, social security, taxation, and labor policy remains a national responsibility. There are currently no measures in these areas adopted primarily for demographic reasons. Differences between the approaches taken by the French- and Dutch-speaking communities are noted. The author suggests that the French-speaking community has focused on problems relating to contraception and abortion, and the Dutch-speaking community has emphasized social welfare and family policy

  12. Strategic Partnerships and Open Innovation in the Biotechnology Industry in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Pierre Segers


    Full Text Available Strategic partnerships in the biotechnology industry allow new technology-based firms to gain a foothold in this high-cost, high-risk industry. In this article, we examine the impact of strategic partnerships and open innovation on the success of new biotechnology firms in Belgium by developing multiple case studies of firms in regional biotechnology clusters. We find that, despite their small size and relative immaturity, new biotechnology firms are able to adopt innovative business models by providing R&D and services to larger firms and openly cooperating with them through open innovation.

  13. Twenty-two years screening for toxoplasmosis in pregnancy: Liege-Belgium. (United States)

    Henri, T; Jacques, S; Rene, L


    Between 1966 and 1987, in Liége--Belgium, 20,901 pregnant women were screened for toxoplasmosis. In this period an increase in seronegative women from 30% to 53% and a decrease in the seroconversion rate from 6.4% to 1.2% was observed. This decrease could be the result of advice and prophylactic measures. Due to the low rate of seroconversion (actually less than 1%), the cost/effectiveness of a systematic screening and fetal diagnosis should be investigated.

  14. Satellite Derived Forest Phenology and Its Relation with Nephropathia Epidemica in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Miguel Barrios


    Full Text Available The connection between nephropathia epidemica (NE and vegetation dynamics has been emphasized in recent studies. Changing climate has been suggested as a triggering factor of recently observed epidemiologic peaks in reported NE cases. We have investigated whether there is a connection between the NE occurrence pattern in Belgium and specific trends in remotely sensed phenology parameters of broad-leaved forests. The analysis of time series of the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index revealed that changes in forest phenology, considered in literature as an effect of climate change, may affect the mechanics of NE transmission.

  15. Smog policy in the Netherlands differs from Belgium; Smogbeleid in Nederland anders dan in Belgie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bezemer, A. [Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu IenM, Den Haag (Netherlands)


    A brief overview is given of policy with regard to and measures to be taken in case of high concentrations of particulates (smog) in Belgium and the Netherlands [Dutch] Wanneer in Belgie voor twee achtereenvolgende dagen een hoge concentratie fijn stof wordt verwacht, treedt het 'SMOG90'-alarm in werking. De maximumsnelheid op een aantal snel- en ringwegen in dichtbevolkte gebieden wordt dan verlaagd van 120 naar 90 km/u. Waarom wordt in Nederland een dergelijke maatregel niet genomen?.

  16. Oil and Gas Security. Emergency Response of IEA Countries - Belgium 2010 update

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    This publication provides a detailed look at the specific systems in Belgium for responding to an oil supply crisis. Initially prepared as a chapter in the overarching publication on the emergency response mechanisms in various IEA member countries, the IEA has started a new cycle of reviews which now includes reviewing gas emergency policies. Rather than waiting for the completion of the current review cycle to renew the full larger publication, the IEA will be making available updates to the country chapters as these become available following the country's review.

  17. Job insecurity: Review of the literature and a summary of recent studies from Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De Witte, Hans


    Full Text Available This contribution offers a short overview of research on job insecurity, with an emphasis on recent findings from the research tradition on job insecurity of the Work, Organisational & Personnel Psychology (WOPP, a research group from Leuven, Belgium. Topics covered include the definition of job insecurity, prevalence and risk groups, consequences of job insecurity for health and well-being, for organisations, trade unions and political topics, new operationalisations of job insecurity and their correlates, moderators of the job insecurity – outcomes relationship, and explanations for the harmful impact of job insecurity.

  18. About three cases of ulceroglandular tularemia, is this the re-emergence of Francisella tularensis in Belgium? (United States)

    Dupont, E; Van Eeckhoudt, S; Thissen, X; Ausselet, N; Fretin, D; Stefanescu, I; Glupczynski, Y; Delaere, B


    Tularemia is a zoonosis caused by Francisella tularensis that can be transmitted by several ways to human being and cause different clinical manifestations. We report three clinical cases of tularemia with ulceroglandular presentation in young males acquired during outdoor activities in Southern Belgium. Confirmation of the diagnosis was established by serology. Only three cases of tularemia have been reported in Belgium between 1950 and 2012 by the National Reference Laboratory CODA-CERVA (Ref Lab CODA-CERVA) but re-emergence of tularemia is established in several European countries and F. tularensis is also well known to be present in animal reservoirs and vectors in Belgium. The diagnosis of tularemia has to be considered in case of suggestive clinical presentation associated with epidemiological risk factors.

  19. Incidence, diversity and characteristics of spores of psychrotolerant spore formers in various REPFEDS produced in Belgium. (United States)

    Samapundo, S; Devlieghere, F; Xhaferi, R; Heyndrickx, M


    The major objectives of this study were to determine the incidence of psychrotolerant spore formers from REPFEDS marketed in Belgium, and their diversity and characteristics. Spore formers in general were found as spores on 38.3% of the food samples and in 85% food products types evaluated. 76% of the food samples containing spore formers had spores before enrichment. A total of 86 spore formers were isolated from the samples. 28 of 86 bacterial spore formers (32.6%) were capable of vegetative growth at 7 °C. 96% (27/28) of these psychrotolerant spore formers were determined to belong to Bacillus or related genera. According to a (GTG)5-PCR analysis, 24 of these 28 isolates were genetically distinct from each other. 10.7% (3/28) of the bacilli were determined to belong to the Bacillus cereus group, namely B. cereus (chicken curry and Edam cheese) and Bacillus mycoides (Emmental cheese). Almost half of the bacilli (12/27) were putatively identified as Bacillus pumilus, which occurs ubiquitously in nature and has been associated with outbreaks of foodborne disease. Only one psychrotolerant clostridium, Clostridium tyrobutyricum, was isolated in the study. The results of this study show the highly diverse ecology and spoilage potential of psychrotolerant spore formers in REPFEDs marketed in Belgium.

  20. Spatial continuities and discontinuities in two successive demographic transitions: Spain and Belgium, 1880-2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ron Lesthaeghe


    Full Text Available This is a study of how the synergisms between cultural and structural factors, which played a major role during the historical fertility and nuptiality transition (first demographic transition or FDT, have continued to condition demographic innovations connected to the "second demographic transition" (SDT. The continuity or discontinuity from the "first" to the "second" demographic transition is studied for spatial aggregates over more than a century in two national contexts, i.e., Belgium and Spain. Special attention is paid to the role of successive secularization waves in shaping the geographical patterns of both transitions. The study also shows that the maps of the two aspects of the SDT, i.e., the "postponement" and the "non-conformism" transitions respectively, are shaped by different determinants. Explanations are offered using the "Ready, Willing, and Able" paradigm, which allows us to uncover the different conditioning and limiting factors involved. The "non-conformist" transitions (control of marital fertility during the FDT and rise of cohabitation and non-conventional family formation during the SDT more closely mirror the history of secularization and the "Willingness" condition, whereas the fertility postponement aspect of the SDT mainly reflects female education and employment, or the "Readiness" condition. This generalization holds in both countries. However, in Belgium spatial continuity from FDT to SDT is connected to stable patterns of secularization, whereas in Spain it is linked to long standing differences with respect to female literacy and education.

  1. Media awards for responsible reporting of suicide: Experiences from Australia, Belgium and Denmark

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meier Michella


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Media awards to encourage responsible reporting of suicide have been introduced in several countries, including Australia, Belgium and Denmark. Aims This study aimed to examine the experiences of Australian, Belgian and Danish award recipients in preparing stories on suicide, and consider the impacts of the awards for these recipients and for media professionals more broadly. Method We conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with the majority (14 out of 15 of past recipients of the awards in the three countries of interest. Results Media awards appear to show promise as a method of reinforcing national and international media guidelines on reporting suicide. The recipients of awards were proud to have had their achievements recognized in this way, and had developed a heightened awareness of the issues inherent in reporting suicide. Although relatively few had prepared subsequent stories on suicide, a number had been given opportunities to provide advice to other media professionals about how best to approach this sensitive topic. Recipients viewed the awards as an important means by which good quality reporting can be rewarded, and a springboard for raising community awareness about suicide. Conclusion The experience from Australia, Belgium and Denmark suggests that media awards which recognize responsible reporting of suicide are extremely worthwhile.

  2. 500 years of coppice-with-standards management in Meerdaal Forest (Central Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vandekerkhove K


    Full Text Available For centuries, coppice and coppice-with-standards were the main forest management systems in the northern and central parts of present Belgium. A high population density and a low forest cover in the whole region resulted in a high demand for wood, therefore strict regulations and management regimes were necessary to prevent overexploitation. We illustrate this with a well-documented case, that of Meerdaal Forest in Central Belgium, with reference to other sites in the region. Meerdaal Forest is a woodland 30 km east of Brussels. For centuries its high quality timber stands, especially oak, were managed as coppice-with-standards, with a gradually increasing share of standard trees. Using archive documents and ancient maps, we have reconstructed how this coppice-with-standard management has been developed and optimized over a period of about 500 years. Changes in cutting cycles and configurations were discerned, with a gradual increase of the importance of the standard layer over time. The analysis also showed how wood production could be successfully combined with other sources of income like grazing and pannage. We conclude that former managers of Meerdaal Forest, notwithstanding their lack of scholarship and reference works, developed a state-of-the-art sustainable and flexible management regime that allowed to provide high revenues during many centuries.

  3. Culicoides monitoring in Belgium in 2011: analysis of spatiotemporal abundance, species diversity and Schmallenberg virus detection. (United States)

    DE Regge, N; DE Deken, R; Fassotte, C; Losson, B; Deblauwe, I; Madder, M; Vantieghem, P; Tomme, M; Smeets, F; Cay, A B


    In 2011, Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were collected at 16 locations covering four regions of Belgium with Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute (OVI) traps and at two locations with Rothamsted suction traps (RSTs). Quantification of the collections and morphological identification showed important variations in abundance and species diversity between individual collection sites, even for sites located in the same region. However, consistently higher numbers of Culicoides midges were collected at some sites compared with others. When species abundance and diversity were analysed at regional level, between-site variation disappeared. Overall, species belonging to the subgenus Avaritia together with Culicoides pulicaris (subgenus Culicoides) were the most abundant, accounting for 80% and 96% of all midges collected with RSTs and OVI traps, respectively. Culicoides were present during most of the year, with Culicoides obsoletus complex midges found from 9 February until 27 December. Real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction screening for Schmallenberg virus in the heads of collected midges resulted in the first detection of the virus in August 2011 and identified C. obsoletus complex, Culicoides chiopterus and Culicoides dewulfi midges as putative vector species. At Libramont in the south of Belgium, no positive pools were identified.

  4. Hybridization and Sexual Reproduction in the Invasive Alien Fallopia (Polygonaceae) Complex in Belgium (United States)

    Tiébré, Marie-Solange; Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Saad, Layla; Mahy, Grégory


    Background and Aims The knotweed complex, Fallopia spp. (Polygonaceae), belongs to the most troublesome invasive species in Europe and North America. Vegetative regeneration is widely recognized as the main mode of reproduction in the adventive regions. However, the contribution of sexual reproduction to the success of these invasive species has only been detailed for the British Isles. An examination was made as to how hybridization may influence the sexual reproduction of the complex in Belgium and to determine how it may contribute to the dispersal of the species. Methods Studies were made of floral biology, reproductive success, seed rain, seed bank, germination capacity, seedling survival and dispersal capacity in order to characterize the reproductive biology of the species. Moreover, chromosome counts and flow cytometry were used to assess the hybrid status of seedlings produced by sexual reproduction. Key Results In the area investigated, extensive sexual reproduction by hybridization within the complex, including one horticultural species, was demonstrated. A small percentage of seeds may be dispersed outside the maternal clone (>16 m) allowing the formation of genetically differentiated individuals. Seed germination was possible even after a winter cold period. Conclusions The extensive sexual reproduction by hybridization could further contribute to the dramatic invasive success of knotweeds in Belgium and should not be underestimated when considering control and management measures. PMID:17210609

  5. An airborne gamma-ray spectrometry survey of nuclear sites in Belgium. (United States)

    Sanderson, D C W; Cresswell, A J; Hardeman, F; Debauche, A


    As part of a wider study to define the existing background levels in Belgium an airborne gamma-ray survey was conducted in two areas associated with nuclear sites. In the Mol area, the survey zone included areas surrounding the SCK-CEN nuclear research centre, and its associated neighbourhood which includes radioactive waste stores, fuel manufacture and fabrication facilities and an international accelerator laboratory. In the vicinity of Fleurus, the survey included the IRE complex with radiochemical laboratories, irradiation facilities and stores, and isotope production accelerators. The survey was conducted using a twin engined helicopter equipped with a combined scintillation and semiconductor spectrometer. The system was installed and tested in the UK, and then transferred to Belgium for operations. The complete survey was conducted successfully within 1 week. The results provide a comprehensive record of the radiation environment of the nuclear sites at time of survey, and show a range of signals associated with the types of activity present in each area. They confirm that radiation fields are largely confined to the operational sites, and provide a traceable record against which future changes could be assessed. The demonstration of efficient deployment between two European countries, coupled with rapid mapping of many different radiometric signals around these sites confirms the utility of the airborne gamma spectrometry approach for accurate definition of enhanced radiation fields. This has important implications for emergency response.

  6. Recommendations for further improvement of the deceased organ donation process in Belgium. (United States)

    Hoste, Pieter; Ferdinande, Patrick; Hoste, Eric; Vanhaecht, Kris; Rogiers, Xavier; Eeckloo, Kristof; Van Deynse, Dominique; Ledoux, Didier; Vandewoude, Koenraad; Vogelaers, Dirk


    Belgium has achieved high deceased organ donation rates but according to the medical record data in the Donor Action database, deceased potential donors are still missed along the pathway. Between 2010 and 2014, 12.9 ± 3.3% of the potential donors after brain death (DBD) and 24.6 ± 1.8% of the potential donors after circulatory (DCD) death were not identified. Conversion rates of 41.7 ± 2.1% for DBD and 7.9 ± 0.9% for DCD indicate room for further improvement. We identify and discuss different issues in the monitoring of donation activities, practices and outcomes; donor pool; legislation on deceased organ donation; registration; financial reimbursement; educational and training programs; donor detection and practice clinical guidance. The overall aim of this position paper, elaborated by a Belgian expert panel, is to provide recommendations for further improvement of the deceased organ donation process up to organ procurement in Belgium.

  7. Occurrence and potential health risk of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in different water catchments in Belgium. (United States)

    Ehsan, Amimul; Geurden, Thomas; Casaert, Stijn; Paulussen, Jef; De Coster, Lut; Schoemaker, Toon; Chalmers, Rachel; Grit, Grietje; Vercruysse, Jozef; Claerebout, Edwin


    Human wastewater and livestock can contribute to contamination of surface water with Cryptosporidium and Giardia. In countries where a substantial proportion of drinking water is produced from surface water, e.g., Belgium, this poses a constant threat on drinking water safety. Our objective was to monitor the presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in different water catchment sites in Belgium and to discriminate between (oo)cysts from human or animal origin using genotyping. Monthly samples were collected from raw water and purified drinking water at four catchment sites. Cryptosporidium and Giardia were detected using USEPA method 1623 and positive samples were genotyped. No contamination was found in purified water at any site. In three catchments, only low numbers of (oo)cysts were recovered from raw water samples (Giardia (92 %) and Cryptosporidium (96 %), especially in winter and spring. Genotyping of Giardia in 38 water samples identified the presence of Giardia duodenalis assemblage AI, AII, BIV, BIV-like, and E. Cryptosporidium andersoni, Cryptosporidium suis, Cryptosporidium horse genotype, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Cryptosporidium hominis were detected. The genotyping results suggest that agriculture may be a more important source of surface water contamination than human waste in this catchment. In catchment sites with contaminated surface water, such as the Blankaart, continuous monitoring of treated water for the presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia would be justified and (point) sources of surface water contamination should be identified.

  8. Interpersonal violence against children in sport in the Netherlands and Belgium. (United States)

    Vertommen, Tine; Schipper-van Veldhoven, Nicolette; Wouters, Kristien; Kampen, Jarl K; Brackenridge, Celia H; Rhind, Daniel J A; Neels, Karel; Van Den Eede, Filip


    The current article reports on the first large-scale prevalence study on interpersonal violence against children in sport in the Netherlands and Belgium. Using a dedicated online questionnaire, over 4,000 adults prescreened on having participated in organized sport before the age of 18 were surveyed with respect to their experiences with childhood psychological, physical, and sexual violence while playing sports. Being the first of its kind in the Netherlands and Belgium, our study has a sufficiently large sample taken from the general population, with a balanced gender ratio and wide variety in socio-demographic characteristics. The survey showed that 38% of all respondents reported experiences with psychological violence, 11% with physical violence, and 14% with sexual violence. Ethnic minority, lesbian/gay/bisexual (LGB) and disabled athletes, and those competing at the international level report significantly more experiences of interpersonal violence in sport. The results are consistent with rates obtained outside sport, underscoring the need for more research on interventions and systematic follow-ups, to minimize these negative experiences in youth sport.

  9. Universities and the State in Belgium: Past and Present Dimensions of Higher Education in a Divided Society. Yale Higher Education Research Group Working Paper 29. (United States)

    Geiger, Roger L.

    This paper, part of a series of studies on higher education in different countries, traces the origins of higher education in Belgium to the 1970's. From 1835-1876, Belgium universities were shaped by polarization bewteen Catholics and liberals, uncertainty about the basic institutional patterns in higher education, and the legislative intrusion…

  10. Sistemas de Documentacion e Informacion Educativa en Belgica, Paises Bajos y Francia (Educational Documentation and Information Systems in Belgium, Holland, and France). (United States)

    Rossi Etchelouz, Nelly Yvis

    This booklet describes the working and organization of the information and documentation systems in Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. The discussion begins with a look at the Belgium educational system and how information services operate within that system. The central library, specialized services, and specialized information centers are all…

  11. Spatial analysis of extreme precipitation deficit as an index for atmospheric drought in Belgium (United States)

    Zamani, Sepideh; Van De Vyver, Hans; Gobin, Anne


    The growing concern among the climate scientists is that the frequency of weather extremes will increase as a result of climate change. European society, for example, is particularly vulnerable to changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme events such as heat waves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and wind storms, as seen in recent years [1,2]. A more than 50% of the land is occupied by managed ecosystem (agriculture, forestry) in Belgium. Moreover, among the many extreme weather conditions, drought counts to have a substantial impact on the agriculture and ecosystem of the affected region, because its most immediate consequence is a fall in crop production. Besides the technological advances, a reliable estimation of weather conditions plays a crucial role in improving the agricultural productivity. The above mentioned reasons provide a strong motivation for a research on the drought and its impacts on the economical and agricultural aspects in Belgium. The main purpose of the presented work is to map atmospheric drought Return-Levels (RL), as first insight for agricultural drought, employing spatial modelling approaches. The likelihood of future drought is studied on the basis of precipitation deficit indices for four vegetation types: water (W), grass (G), deciduous (D) and coniferous forests (C) is considered. Extreme Value Theory (EVT) [3,4,5] as a branch of probability and statistics, is dedicated to characterize the behaviour of extreme observations. The tail behaviour of the EVT distributions provide important features about return levels. EVT distributions are applicable in many study areas such as: hydrology, environmental research and meteorology, insurance and finance. Spatial Generalized Extreme Value (GEV) distributions, as a branch of EVT, are applied to annual maxima of drought at 13 hydro-meteorological stations across Belgium. Superiority of the spatial GEV model is that a region can be modelled merging the individual time series of

  12. Obtaining a Permit-To for a Hale-Uav in Belgium (United States)

    Everaerts, J.; Lewyckyj, N.


    Ever since 2000, VITO has been working on the Pegasus project. This involves a solar High Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HALE-UAV) as a stratospheric platform for Earth Observation. This aircraft, called Mercator, is designed to fly for prolonged duration at altitudes up to 20 km. The technology has been proven by the aircraft's manufacturer, QinetiQ (UK) by a series of test flights over the past years, culminating in a world record flight in duration of over 14 days duration. All test flights, however, were conducted in test ranges, where other air traffic does not pose a concern. Pegasus aims to demonstrate the viability of stratospheric Earth Observation in Belgium, as a proof of concept for other areas around the world. The Belgian air space is completely different from a test range. More than 1 million aircraft movements take place over Belgium and Luxembourg every year, with routes to Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, and London. Although Pegasus will usually be flying above this dense traffic, it does interfere with it during ascent and landing, and needs to be monitored during the cruise phase for safety reasons. Air traffic management in Belgium is a shared responsibility of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) Belgocontrol (civil), ATCC (military) and Eurocontrol MUAC (high altitude). In 2010, VITO applied for a permit-to-fly for a test flight of one day duration. Although the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had issued a regulation on UAVs in 2007, it was the first application for a permit to fly in controlled airspace. The Belgian CAA decided to use it as a test for the procedures as well. A prerequisite for flying in controlled airspace was that the aircraft has to carry a mode-S transponder and navigation lights. During first half of 2010, the ANSPs collaborated on a Temporary Operations Instruction and studied the safety impact of this flight on their operations. As an outcome, they decided that the Pegasus aircraft would be


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Everaerts


    Full Text Available Ever since 2000, VITO has been working on the Pegasus project. This involves a solar High Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (HALE-UAV as a stratospheric platform for Earth Observation. This aircraft, called Mercator, is designed to fly for prolonged duration at altitudes up to 20 km. The technology has been proven by the aircraft’s manufacturer, QinetiQ (UK by a series of test flights over the past years, culminating in a world record flight in duration of over 14 days duration. All test flights, however, were conducted in test ranges, where other air traffic does not pose a concern. Pegasus aims to demonstrate the viability of stratospheric Earth Observation in Belgium, as a proof of concept for other areas around the world. The Belgian air space is completely different from a test range. More than 1 million aircraft movements take place over Belgium and Luxembourg every year, with routes to Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, and London. Although Pegasus will usually be flying above this dense traffic, it does interfere with it during ascent and landing, and needs to be monitored during the cruise phase for safety reasons. Air traffic management in Belgium is a shared responsibility of Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs Belgocontrol (civil, ATCC (military and Eurocontrol MUAC (high altitude. In 2010, VITO applied for a permit-to-fly for a test flight of one day duration. Although the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA had issued a regulation on UAVs in 2007, it was the first application for a permit to fly in controlled airspace. The Belgian CAA decided to use it as a test for the procedures as well. A prerequisite for flying in controlled airspace was that the aircraft has to carry a mode-S transponder and navigation lights. During first half of 2010, the ANSPs collaborated on a Temporary Operations Instruction and studied the safety impact of this flight on their operations. As an outcome, they decided that the Pegasus

  14. 77 FR 32517 - Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Notice of Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty... (United States)


    .... First, they allege that AS Belgium's sales patterns and ] customer structure in both the home market and... provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the merchandise subject to this.... affiliate, Aperam USA, which then resold the merchandise to unaffiliated customers in the United States....

  15. Differences in mortality between different groups of older migrants and non-migrants in Belgium, 2001 to 2009

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reus-Pons, Matias; Vandenheede, Hadewijch; Janssen, Fanny; Kibele, Eva U.B.


    Background: European societies are rapidly ageing and becoming multicultural, and Belgium is part of the countries ahead in this transition. Differences in mortality between migrants and non-migrants in Europe have been shown to depend on age, sex, socio-economic status, migrant background and count

  16. Does fish origin matter to European consumers? Insights from a consumer survey in Belgium, Norway and Spain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanhonacker, F.; Altintzoglou, T.; Luten, J.B.; Verbeke, W.


    Purpose – This study aims to gain insights into the relevance and market potential of fish origin (farmed or wild) among consumers in Belgium, Norway and Spain. Design/methodology/approach – Cross-sectional data were collected through a consumer survey (n=1,319), conducted in November-December 2007

  17. New environmental policy instruments to realize forest expansion in Flanders (northern Belgium): A base for smart regulation?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gossum, Van P.; Ledene, L.; Arts, B.J.M.; Vreese, De R.; Langenhove, Van G.; Verheyen, K.


    This paper evaluates the current instrument mix, designs options for smart regulation and estimates the support base of new instruments for the forest expansion policy in Flanders (northern Belgium). The framework applied is a combination of theories on instrument choice (ICT), policy transfer and l

  18. The complex agenda-setting power of protest: demonstrations, media, parliament, government, and legislation in Belgium, 1993-2000

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Walgrave; R. Vliegenthart


    We conducted pooled time-series analyses to assess how number and size of demonstrations affect the political agenda in Belgium (1993-2000). Taking twenty-five issues into account, this study finds that protest matters for the political agenda setting. This study also advances scholarly understandin

  19. Converge or not converge: the European Union and higher education policies in the Netherlands, Belgium/Flanders and Germany

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rakic, Vojin


    This article examines the impact of European integration on higher education policies of the Netherlands, Belgium/Flanders and Germany. The analysis of higher education policies in the three countries is part of a broader project, which focuses on a majority of E.U. member states. The selection of t

  20. Outplacement and Re-Employment Measures during Organizational Restructuring in Belgium: Overview of the Literature and Results of Qualitative Research (United States)

    De Witte, Hans; Vandoorne, Jan; Verlinden, Roel; De Cuyper, Nele


    Purpose: Aims to review the research literature and legislation on outplacement and re-employment interventions in Belgium and present results of qualitative research and case studies of companies, regarding interventions during organizational restructuring. Design/methodology/approach: Comprises a literature review, qualitative (semi-structured…

  1. Assessment of personal exposure from radiofrequency-electromagnetic fields in Australia and Belgium using on-body calibrated exposimeters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bhatt, Chhavi Raj; Thielens, Arno; Billah, Baki; Redmayne, Mary; Abramson, Michael J; Sim, Malcolm R; Vermeulen, Roel; Martens, Luc; Joseph, Wout; Benke, Geza


    The purposes of this study were: i) to demonstrate the assessment of personal exposure from various RF-EMF sources across different microenvironments in Australia and Belgium, with two on-body calibrated exposimeters, in contrast to earlier studies which employed single, non-on-body calibrated expos


    G, Peusens; K, De Jonghe; I, De Roo; S, Steyer; T, Olivier; F, Fauche; F, Rys; D, Bylemans; T, Beliën


    Among the numerous diseases that can attack pome fruit trees, apple proliferation and pear decline, both caused by a phytoplasma ('Candidatus Phytoplasma mali' (AP) and 'Ca. P. pyri' (PD), respectively), may result into important losses of quality and quantity of the crop. Until a few years ago, no scientific and reliable data on their presence in Belgium was available and so a 2-year survey was organised to obtain more detailed information on the status of both pathogens. Root and leaf samples collected in commercial orchards were analysed using molecular detection tools and tested positive for both phytoplasmas. Additionally, the presence and infectivity of Psyllidae, vectors of AP and PD, was assessed during this survey but no infected Cacopsylla-species were found. Lab trials revealed its vector capacity at the end of summer and autumn and its migration pattern 80 m in line and 10.5 m across trees in an orchard.

  3. The 39th CERN School of Computing goes to Belgium: apply now!

    CERN Multimedia

    Alberto Pace, CSC Director


    Applications are now open for CERN’s 39th School of Computing. The CSC:2016 (see here) will take place from 28 August to 10 September 2016 in Mol, Belgium, in collaboration with SCK•CEN and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.   The two-week programme consists of more than 50 hours of lectures and hands-on exercises, all on advanced, interesting and challenging computing topics. It covers three main themes: data technologies, base technologies and physics computing. In particular, we will explore: Many-core performance optimisation Concurrent programming Key aspects of multi-threading Writing code for tomorrow’s hardware today Storage technologies, reliability and performance Cryptography, authentication, authorisation and accounting Data replication, caching, monitoring, alarms and quota Writing secure software Observing software with an attacker's eyes Software engineering for physics computing Statistical methods and pr...

  4. Should the "in situ" simulation become the new way in Belgium? Experience of an academic hospital. (United States)

    Pospiech, A; Lois, F; Van Dyck, M; Kahn, D; De Kock, M


    The place of simulation in medical education, particularly in anesthesia, appears to be more and more evident. However, the history of simulation in Belgium showed that the associated costs remain a barrier. The use of 'in situ' simulation, defined as the practice of simulation in the usual workplace, could solve the problem of providing access to this educational tool. Indeed, it allows reducing equipment and manpower costs: the needed equipment comes from the hospital, and supervision and organization are provided by staff members. It also provides access to simulation for a larger number of individuals on site. The environment is more realistic because the participants operate in their usual workplace, with their customary equipment and team. Furthermore, 'in situ' simulation allows participation of the paramedical staff. This allows developing skills related to teamwork and communication. Despite those numerous advantages, several difficulties persist. The associated logistic and organizational constraints can be cumbersome.

  5. Silky bent grass resistance to herbicides: one year of monitoring in Belgium. (United States)

    Henriet, F; Bodson, B; Morales, R Meza


    Silky bent grass (Apera spica-venti (L.) P. Beauv.) is a common weed of cereal crops widely spread in Northern and Easthern Europe (Germany, Czech Republic,...), Northern Asia, Siberia and Canada. Up to now, no resistant case has been detected in Belgium but some chemical weeding failures have been observed in Wallonia fields. During summer 2011, 37 seed samples of Apera spica-venti were collected in Wallonia and submitted to resistance tests in controlled conditions. Three modes of action were tested: acetyl coenzyme-A carboxylase inhibitors (pinoxaden and cycloxydim), acetolactate synthase inhibitors (mesosulfuron+iodosulfu-ron, pyroxsulam and sulfometuron) and photosynthesis inhibitors (isoproturon). One susceptible standard population was included in the test in order to validate it and to permit wild populations classification according to "R" rating system developed by Moss et al (2007). Most of populations were susceptible but some populations showed resistance to at least one of the three tested modes of action.

  6. Seasonal Patterns in the Fish and Crustacean Community of a Turbid Temperate Estuary (Zeeschelde Estuary, Belgium) (United States)

    Maes, J.; Taillieu, A.; Van Damme, P. A.; Cottenie, K.; Ollevier, F.


    Fish and crustaceans were sampled for 1 year in the upper reaches of a temperate estuary characterized by high turbidity and a tidal range of up to 5 m. Samples were taken in the cooling-water circuit of the Doel Nuclear Power station (Zeeschelde, Belgium). Between July 1994 and June 1995, 55 fish species, two shrimp species and four crab species were recorded. The fish community was composed of 36 marine species, 16 freshwater species and three diadromous species. Shrimps, Gobiidae and Clupeidae dominated the samples both in numbers and biomass. An exceptionally clear seasonal succession was observed in the species composition. It is argued that young fish and crustaceans use the highly turbid Zeeschelde Estuary as a refuge from predators.

  7. Food contamination with polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins in Belgium. Effects on the body burden. (United States)

    Van Larebeke, N; Covaci, A; Schepens, P; Hens, L


    The core paper of this debate shows that persistent organic pollutant residues of the 12 chemicals targeted for a phase out under the Stockholm Convention are present in almost all categories of food in the US food supply. For dioxins, the study does not use measured data, but is based upon potential dioxin residues in selected food items. Polychlorinated biphenyls are not included in the study. In this paper we discuss selected data of polychlorinated biphenyl and dioxin concentrations in Belgian food. Some of these exposures are chronic, others are attributable to incidents. Both result in high body burdens in Belgium. The paper also compares the current concentrations in food with the recent standards launched by the EU for dioxins in food, and discusses whether these values adequately protect European citizens.

  8. Optical dating of relict sand wedges and composite-wedge pseudomorphs in Flanders, Belgium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Ghysels, Günther; Murray, Andrew S.;


    We report on quartz Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating of the infill of 14 relict sand wedges and composite-wedge pseudomorphs at 5 different sites in Flanders, Belgium. A laboratory dose recovery test indicates that the single-aliquot regenerative-dose (SAR) procedure is suitable...... appear to have been commonplace in Flanders during the Late Pleniglacial (Oxygen Isotope Stage 2; OIS2); more specifically, around the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, similar to 21 kyr ago) and the transition period between the LGM and the start of the Lateglacial (similar to 15 kyr ago). Optical dating...... at one site has revealed two significantly older wedge levels, the younger inset into the older; the younger wedge has an age of 36 +/- 4 kyr (Middle Pleniglacial; OIS3), the older wedge 129 +/- 11 kyr, which points to formation during the Late Saalian (OIS6). Our OSL ages of the wedges and host...

  9. Legal and ethical aspects of organ donation after euthanasia in Belgium and the Netherlands. (United States)

    Bollen, Jan; Ten Hoopen, Rankie; Ysebaert, Dirk; van Mook, Walther; van Heurn, Ernst


    Organ donation after euthanasia has been performed more than 40 times in Belgium and the Netherlands together. Preliminary results of procedures that have been performed until now demonstrate that this leads to good medical results in the recipient of the organs. Several legal aspects could be changed to further facilitate the combination of organ donation and euthanasia. On the ethical side, several controversies remain, giving rise to an ongoing, but necessary and useful debate. Further experiences will clarify whether both procedures should be strictly separated and whether the dead donor rule should be strictly applied. Opinions still differ on whether the patient's physician should address the possibility of organ donation after euthanasia, which laws should be adapted and which preparatory acts should be performed. These and other procedural issues potentially conflict with the patient's request for organ donation or the circumstances in which euthanasia (without subsequent organ donation) traditionally occurs.

  10. Cultural Landscapes and Neolithisation Processes: Outline of a model for the Scheldt basin (Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erick N. Robinson


    Full Text Available Recent research has indicated the continuation of a hunting-fishing-gathering way of life in the lower Scheldt basin (Belgium for over a millennium after the first arrival of agriculture in the middle Scheldt. Current evidence suggests multiple hiatuses in cultural change from the late 6th-late 5th millennium BC. This article provides the outline of a model that seeks to explain these hiatuses from the perspective of indigenous hunter-fisher-gatherer cultural landscapes. The outline investigates the significance of palaeoecological and social contexts in relation to contact and cultural transmission processes during the transition to agriculture. Recent ethnoarchaeological research from hunter-fisher-gatherers in temperate and boreal environments is referenced as a structural analogy for illuminating the important relationship between territoriality and social mediation within hunter-gatherer groups at the Mesolithic-Neolithic interface.

  11. Sensitive but Sane: Male Visionaries and their Emotional Display in Interwar Belgium

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    Tine Van Osselaer


    Full Text Available When a wave of Marian apparitions swept over Belgium in 1932-1935 many ‘visionaries’ (c. 200, among them a remarkably high number of men, claimed to encounter the divine. Focusing on these male visionaries and their emotional expressivity, this article aims not only at contributing to a better understanding of Catholic constructions of masculinity, it also accords with the increased attention for the historicity of emotions and, more specifically, for men’s emotional comportment. The male visionaries present a particularly interesting case since they had to live up to multiple expectations about their emotions. Whereas their visibility and trustworthiness as visionaries were founded on their capacity to display their emotions (in accordance with a tradition of emotional mysticism, these men also had to show ‘masculine’ rationality and coolness in order to provethat their experiences were not triggered by exaggerated piety or neurosis.

  12. Measuring dispositional cancer worry in China and Belgium: a cross-cultural validation. (United States)

    Bernat, Jennifer Kim; Jensen, Jakob D


    Dispositional cancer worry (DCW) is the uncontrollable tendency to dwell on cancer independent of relevant stimuli (e.g., diagnosis of the disease). Past research has suggested that DCW has two underlying dimensions: severity and frequency. Available measures of DCW severity and frequency were translated and validated in two countries: China and Belgium. Participants (N = 623) completed translated scales, as well as measures of general dispositional worry, cancer fear, and perceived risk. In both locations, DCW measures were reliable (Cronbach's alphas ranged from .78 - .93) and demonstrated strong convergent, divergent, and concurrent validity. Severity and frequency factors loaded as expected in exploratory factor analysis. Future research should pursue longitudinal tests of DCW's predictive validity and explore DCW in theoretical models predicting the relationship between worry and cancer prevention and early detection behaviors.

  13. Breastfeeding or bottled milk? Poverty and feeding choices in the native and immigrant population in Belgium. (United States)

    Vanderlinden, Karen; Levecque, Katia; Van Rossem, Ronan


    In many European countries, mothers in poverty show a preference for bottled milk over breastfeeding. What remains unknown is whether the impact of poverty on feeding choices differs between immigrants and natives. We first assessed whether being born into poverty indicates a higher chance of being bottle-fed, then evaluated whether region of origin of the mother moderates the impact of poverty on feeding choice. Based on population data from nearly all newborns in Belgium in 2004 (N = 34,314), we performed several binary logistic analyses to answer these research questions. Analyses showed a strong difference in feeding choices between native and migrant mothers in poverty: for Belgian mothers, the choice to breastfeed significantly decreased; no such effect was observed for migrant women. Southern European mothers living in poverty have an even higher chance of breastfeeding than those who are better off. We suggest possible explanations and set a direction for future research regarding breastfeeding choices for migrant mothers.

  14. Econophysics of a religious cult: the Antoinists in Belgium [1920-2000

    CERN Document Server

    Ausloos, Marcel R


    In the framework of applying econophysics ideas in religious topics, the finances of the Antoinist religious movement organized in Belgium between 1920 and 2000 are studied. The interest of investigating financial aspects of such a, sometimes called, sect stems in finding characteristics of conditions and mechanisms under which definitely growth AND decay features of communities can be understood. The legally reported yearly income and expenses between 1920 and 2000 are studied. A three wave asymmetric regime is observed over a trend among marked fluctuations at time of crises. The data analysis leads to propose a general mechanistic model taking into account an average GDP growth, an oscillatory monetary inflation and a logistic population drift.

  15. Measuring personal exposure from 900MHz mobile phone base stations in Australia and Belgium using a novel personal distributed exposimeter. (United States)

    Bhatt, Chhavi Raj; Thielens, Arno; Redmayne, Mary; Abramson, Michael J; Billah, Baki; Sim, Malcolm R; Vermeulen, Roel; Martens, Luc; Joseph, Wout; Benke, Geza


    The aims of this study were to: i) measure personal exposure in the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) 900MHz downlink (DL) frequency band with two systems of exposimeters, a personal distributed exposimeter (PDE) and a pair of ExpoM-RFs, ii) compare the GSM 900MHz DL exposures across various microenvironments in Australia and Belgium, and iii) evaluate the correlation between the PDE and ExpoM-RFs measurements. Personal exposure data were collected using the PDE and two ExpoM-RFs simultaneously across 34 microenvironments (17 each in Australia and Belgium) located in urban, suburban and rural areas. Summary statistics of the electric field strengths (V/m) were computed and compared across similar microenvironments in Australia and Belgium. The personal exposures across urban microenvironments were higher than those in the rural or suburban microenvironments. Likewise, the exposure levels across the outdoor were higher than those for indoor microenvironments. The five highest median exposure levels were: city centre (0.248V/m), bus (0.124V/m), railway station (0.105V/m), mountain/forest (rural) (0.057V/m), and train (0.055V/m) [Australia]; and bicycle (urban) (0.238V/m), tram station (0.238V/m), city centre (0.156V/m), residential outdoor (urban) (0.139V/m) and park (0.124V/m) [Belgium]. Exposures in the GSM900 MHz frequency band across most of the microenvironments in Australia were significantly lower than the exposures across the microenvironments in Belgium. Overall correlations between the PDE and the ExpoM-RFs measurements were high. The measured exposure levels were far below the general public reference levels recommended in the guidelines of the ICNIRP and the ARPANSA.

  16. Radiological impact of almost a century of phosphate industry in Flanders, Belgium. (United States)

    Paridaens, J; Vanmarcke, H


    In Belgium, since about 1920, the phosphate industry has been an important industrial activity. It is principally situated in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, and produces mainly phosphoric acid, fertilizers, and cattle food. At its height, between 1980 and 1990, it processed between 1.5 and 2.0 Mt of phosphate ore of varying origin per year. In total, more than 60 Mt of ore were handled, containing about 72 TBq of 226Ra and 3.5 TBq of 232Th. Three different processing techniques in six large production sites gave rise to 50 Mt of phosphogypsum and 2.7 Mt of calcium fluoride sludge, all mainly stored on large deposits. In addition, limited recycling of phosphogypsum as building material has occurred in the past. Also, 10 Mt of phosphogypsum was discharged into a large tidal river. One plant still produces 0.25 Mt of gypsum per year. Liquid effluents, containing 13 TBq of radium chloride, were discharged into two small rivers, thus contaminating over 200 ha of land. Approximately 8 TBq of 226Ra and 0.6 TBq thorium ended up in finished products such as fertilizers. Despite these large production figures, so far the radiological impact for the Flemish population has been limited, but this might worsen in the future. The major risk consists in establishing residential areas on land that is contaminated with 226Ra because of liquid effluents or on forgotten gypsum deposits. Doing so might lead to enhanced indoor radon concentrations. In three isolated cases, we found houses built on gypsum deposits where the increased indoor radon levels raised the annual radiation dose to the inhabitants by about 4 mSv.

  17. House Sparrows Do Not Constitute a Significant Salmonella Typhimurium Reservoir across Urban Gradients in Flanders, Belgium.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lieze Oscar Rouffaer

    Full Text Available In recent decades major declines in urban house sparrow (Passer domesticus populations have been observed in north-western European cities, whereas suburban and rural house sparrow populations have remained relatively stable or are recovering from previous declines. Differential exposure to avian pathogens known to cause epidemics in house sparrows may in part explain this spatial pattern of declines. Here we investigate the potential effect of urbanization on the development of a bacterial pathogen reservoir in free-ranging house sparrows. This was achieved by comparing the prevalence of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Typhimurium in 364 apparently healthy house sparrows captured in urban, suburban and rural regions across Flanders, Belgium between September 2013 and March 2014. In addition 12 dead birds, received from bird rescue centers, were necropsied. The apparent absence of Salmonella Typhimurium in fecal samples of healthy birds, and the identification of only one house sparrow seropositive for Salmonella spp., suggests that during the winter of 2013-2014 these birds did not represent any considerable Salmonella Typhimurium reservoir in Belgium and thus may be considered naïve hosts, susceptible to clinical infection. This susceptibility is demonstrated by the isolation of two different Salmonella Typhimurium strains from two of the deceased house sparrows: one DT99, typically associated with disease in pigeons, and one DT195, previously associated with a passerine decline. The apparent absence (prevalence: <1.3% of a reservoir in healthy house sparrows and the association of infection with clinical disease suggests that the impact of Salmonella Typhimurium on house sparrows is largely driven by the risk of exogenous exposure to pathogenic Salmonella Typhimurium strains. However, no inference could be made on a causal relationship between Salmonella infection and the observed house sparrow population declines.

  18. The engagement and retention of non-profit employees in Belgium and South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Renard


    Full Text Available Orientation: A lack of qualitative research exists that investigates work engagement and retention within Belgium and South Africa, particularly within the non-profit sector.Research purpose: The study aimed to gather in-depth qualitative data pertaining to the factors that promote work engagement and retention amongst non-profit employees working within these two countries.Motivation for the study: Because of scarce funding and resources, non-profit organisations are pressured to retain their talented employees, with high levels of turnover being a standard for low-paid, human-service positions. However, when individuals are engaged in their work, they display lower turnover intentions, suggesting the importance of work engagement in relation to retention.Research design, approach and method: Non-probability purposive and convenience sampling was used to organise in-depth interviews with 25 paid non-profit employees working on either a full-time or a part-time basis within Belgium and South Africa. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the qualitative data produced.Main findings: Participants were found to be absorbed in, dedicated to and energised by their work, and revealed numerous aspects promoting their retention including working towards a purpose, finding fulfilment in their tasks and working in a caring environment.Practical/managerial implications: Non-profit organisations should develop positive work environments for their employees to sustain their levels of work engagement, as well as place significance on intrinsic rewards in order to retain employees.Contribution: This study provides insights into the means by which non-profit employees across two nations demonstrate their enthusiasm, pride and involvement in the work that they perform. It moreover sheds light on the factors contributing to such employees intending to leave or stay within the employment of their organisations.

  19. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in human milk: a biomonitoring study in rural areas of Flanders (Belgium). (United States)

    Croes, K; Colles, A; Koppen, G; Govarts, E; Bruckers, L; Van de Mieroop, E; Nelen, V; Covaci, A; Dirtu, A C; Thomsen, C; Haug, L S; Becher, G; Mampaey, M; Schoeters, G; Van Larebeke, N; Baeyens, W


    To collect information on the concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the rural areas in Flanders (Belgium), 84 breastfeeding mothers were recruited in rural communities in East and West Flanders and Flemish Brabant in 2009-2010. Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners, organochlorine pesticides, brominated flame retardants, perfluorinated compounds, polychlorinated dibenzodioxines and dibenzofurans, and dioxin-like PCBs were measured in individual milk samples and in a pooled milk sample, while some additional pollutants were only measured in the pooled sample. For most pollutants, the concentrations in this study were lower or comparable to the concentrations measured in the pooled Belgian sample of the WHO human milk study of 2006, except for the pesticides dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane DDT (+25% for ΣDDT and metabolites) and trans-nonachlor (+94%), and for the brominated flame retardant hexachlorocyclododecane HBCD (+153%). Perfluorinated compounds were for the first time determined in human milk samples from Belgium and the concentrations were comparable to those from other European countries. Also, interesting associations were found between the concentrations of POPs measured in human milk and personal characteristics as well as dietary habits of the study population. PFOS en PFOA concentrations were significantly higher in milk of primiparous participants compared to mothers who gave birth to their second child. Lower brominated PBDE congeners increased with increasing BMI of the mothers (p=0.01 for BDE 47, p=0.02 for BDE 99 and p=0.02 for BDE 100). Participants consuming milk or dairy products daily had significant higher concentrations of ΣDDTs (p=0.03) and oxychlordane (p=0.047) in their human milk samples.

  20. The 2008-2010 Seismic Sequence in the Brabant Massif 20 km South of Brussels, Belgium (United States)

    Lecocq, T.; Camelbeeck, T.


    Between 12 July 2008 and December 2010, more than 300 earthquakes occurred some 20 km to the south of Brussels. The second event was the largest, with magnitude ML=3.2. The location of this sequence is odd regarding the current seismic activity in Belgium, where most of the events occur more to the south (Mons Basin) or to the east (Ardenne and Lower Rhine Embayment-related structures). The only known events to be located in this region are part of a similar seismic sequence that occurred between 1953 and 1957, also with the largest event (ML=4.0) at the beginning. We present the relocations of the 300 earthquakes, precisely located thanks to the rapid deployment of a temporary seismic network and discuss their location compared with the 1953-1957 sequence. We discuss the impact of this sequence of which 60 events (0.6 ≤ ML ≤ 3.2) were felt (heard only, sometimes) by the local population. For each of these, a macroseismic intensity map can be drawn thanks to the high responsiveness of the citizens who spontaneously filled in a Did You Feel It? inquiry on the website. This responsiveness also makes us confident that the low magnitude events were really felt (heard), indeed the DYFI? form was submitted long before any information about the occurrence of the earthquake was published on the website. We finally discuss the quality of the information provided by the citizens and their integration in the Belgian Emergency Earthquake Report System developed during this sequence in order to inform the authorities, the media and the public about the occurrence and the impact of any earthquake in and around Belgium.

  1. Wild cervids are host for tick vectors of babesia species with zoonotic capability in Belgium. (United States)

    Lempereur, Laetitia; Wirtgen, Marc; Nahayo, Adrien; Caron, Yannick; Shiels, Brian; Saegerman, Claude; Losson, Bertrand; Linden, Annick


    Babesiosis is a tick-borne disease caused by different species of intraerythrocytic protozoan parasites within the genus Babesia. Different species of Babesia are described as potentially zoonotic and cause a malaria-like disease mainly in immunocompromised humans. Interest in the zoonotic potential of Babesia is growing and babesiosis has been described by some authors as an emergent zoonotic disease. The role of cervids to maintain tick populations and act as a reservoir host for some Babesia spp. with zoonotic capability is suspected. To investigate the range and infection rate of Babesia species, ticks were collected from wild cervids in southern Belgium during 2008. DNA extraction was performed for individual ticks, and each sample was evaluated for the absence of PCR inhibition using a PCR test. A Babesia spp. genus-specific PCR based on the 18S rRNA gene was applied to validated tick DNA extracts. A total of 1044 Ixodes ricinus ticks were collected and 1023 validated samples were subsequently screened for the presence of Babesia spp. DNA. Twenty-eight tick samples were found to be positive and identified after sequencing as containing DNA representing: Babesia divergens (3), B. divergens-like (5), Babesia sp. EU1 (11), Babesia sp. EU1-like (3), B. capreoli (2), or unknown Babesia sp. (4). This study confirms the presence of potentially zoonotic species and Babesia capreoli in Belgium, with a tick infection rate of 2.7% (95% CI 1.8,3.9%). Knowledge of the most common reservoir source for transmission of zoonotic Babesia spp. will be useful for models assessing the risk potential of this infection to humans.

  2. Dioxin levels in fertilizers from Belgium: determination and evaluation of the potential impact on soil contamination. (United States)

    Elskens, M; Pussemier, L; Dumortier, P; Van Langenhove, K; Scholl, G; Goeyens, L; Focant, J F


    Dioxins are harmful persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to which humans are exposed mostly via the consumption of animal products. They can enter the food chain at any stage, including crop fertilization. Fertilizers belong to several categories: synthetic chemicals providing the essential elements (mostly N, P and K) that are required by the crops but also organic fertilizers or amendments, liming materials, etc. Ninety-seven samples of fertilizers were taken in Belgium during the year 2011 and analyzed after a soft extraction procedure for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) using GC-IDHRMS. Only small qualitative differences could be observed between the main fertilizer categories since the PCDD:PCDF:DL-PCB average ratio obtained with the results expressed in TEQ was often close to 30:30:40 (typically for sewage sludge) or 40:30:30 (typically for compost). The median dioxin levels determined were generally lower than recorded previously and were the highest for sewage sludge and compost (5.6 and 5.5 ng TEQ/kg dry weight (dw), respectively). The levels in other fertilizers were lower including manure for which the median value was only 0.2 ng TEQ/kg dw. Several fertilization scenarios relying on the use of those fertilizers were assessed taking into consideration the application conditions prevailing in Belgium. From this assessment it could be concluded that the contribution of fertilizers to the overall soil contamination will be low by comparison of other sources of contamination such as atmospheric depositions. At the field scale, intensive use of compost and sewage sludge will increase dramatically the dioxin inputs compared with other fertilization practices but this kind of emission to the soil will still be relatively low compared to the dioxin atmospheric depositions.

  3. Ethics policies on euthanasia in nursing homes: a survey in Flanders, Belgium. (United States)

    Lemiengre, Joke; Dierckx de Casterlé, Bernadette; Verbeke, Geert; Van Craen, Katleen; Schotsmans, Paul; Gastmans, Chris


    In many European countries there is a public debate about the acceptability and regulation of euthanasia. In 2002, Belgium became the second country after the Netherlands to enact a law on euthanasia. Although euthanasia rarely occurs, the complexity of the clinical-ethical decision making surrounding euthanasia requests and the need for adequate support reported by caregivers, means that healthcare institutions increasingly need to consider how to responsibly handle euthanasia requests. The development of written ethics policies on euthanasia may be important to guarantee and maintain the quality of care for patients requesting euthanasia. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence, development, position, and communication of written ethics policies on euthanasia in Flemish nursing homes. Data were obtained through a cross-sectional mail survey of general directors of all Catholic nursing homes in Flanders, Belgium. Of the 737 nursing homes invited to participate, 612 (83%) completed the questionnaire. Of these, only 15% had a written ethics policy on euthanasia. Presence of an ethics committee and membership of an umbrella organization were independent predictors of whether a nursing home had such a written ethics policy. The Act on Euthanasia and euthanasia guidelines advanced by professional organizations were the most frequent reasons (76% and 56%, respectively) and reference sources (92% and 64%, respectively) for developing ethics policies on euthanasia. Development of ethics policies occurred within a multidisciplinary context. In general, Flemish nursing homes applied the Act on Euthanasia restrictively by introducing palliative procedures in addition to legal due care criteria. The policy was communicated to the consulting general practitioner and nurses in 74% and 89% of nursing homes, respectively. Although the overall prevalence of ethics policies on euthanasia was low in Flemish nursing homes, institution administrators displayed growing

  4. House Sparrows Do Not Constitute a Significant Salmonella Typhimurium Reservoir across Urban Gradients in Flanders, Belgium. (United States)

    Rouffaer, Lieze Oscar; Lens, Luc; Haesendonck, Roel; Teyssier, Aimeric; Hudin, Noraine Salleh; Strubbe, Diederik; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Pasmans, Frank; Martel, An


    In recent decades major declines in urban house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations have been observed in north-western European cities, whereas suburban and rural house sparrow populations have remained relatively stable or are recovering from previous declines. Differential exposure to avian pathogens known to cause epidemics in house sparrows may in part explain this spatial pattern of declines. Here we investigate the potential effect of urbanization on the development of a bacterial pathogen reservoir in free-ranging house sparrows. This was achieved by comparing the prevalence of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serotype Typhimurium in 364 apparently healthy house sparrows captured in urban, suburban and rural regions across Flanders, Belgium between September 2013 and March 2014. In addition 12 dead birds, received from bird rescue centers, were necropsied. The apparent absence of Salmonella Typhimurium in fecal samples of healthy birds, and the identification of only one house sparrow seropositive for Salmonella spp., suggests that during the winter of 2013-2014 these birds did not represent any considerable Salmonella Typhimurium reservoir in Belgium and thus may be considered naïve hosts, susceptible to clinical infection. This susceptibility is demonstrated by the isolation of two different Salmonella Typhimurium strains from two of the deceased house sparrows: one DT99, typically associated with disease in pigeons, and one DT195, previously associated with a passerine decline. The apparent absence (prevalence: house sparrows and the association of infection with clinical disease suggests that the impact of Salmonella Typhimurium on house sparrows is largely driven by the risk of exogenous exposure to pathogenic Salmonella Typhimurium strains. However, no inference could be made on a causal relationship between Salmonella infection and the observed house sparrow population declines.

  5. Which transition comes first? Urban and demographic transitions in Belgium and Sweden

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    Philippe Bocquier


    Full Text Available Background: Several theories compete to explain the main drivers of urbanisation, past and present, in relation to both demographic transition and economic development. One hypothesis is that rural-to-urban migration is the driver of urbanisation; another is that urban mortality decline actually triggered urban transition. Objective: This paper reconsiders the relationship between demographic (vital migration and urban transitions by analysing the long-term contribution of natural and migratory movements to urban transition. The respective contributions of birth, death, and migration and their timing will indicate whether economic development, through labour force migration, or vital transition mainly determines urban transition. Methods: After examining the spatial dimension of the demographic transition theory, we use 19th and 20th century series on Sweden and Belgium to better identify the migration component of urban transition through the computation of growth difference between urban and rural areas, accounting for the often neglected reclassification effect. Results: In both Sweden and Belgium, migration is the direct or indirect (through reclassification engine of urban transition and its contribution precedes the onset of vital transition, while the vital transition has a secondary, unstable, and negative role in the urban transition. Conclusions: Changes in the economic sphere are reinstated as the underlying cause of population change, acting through the shift of human capital in space. Methodological consequences are then drawn for analysing vital and urban transitions in an increasingly interdependent world. Contribution: The paper contributes to the theoretical literature on urban and demographic transitions in relation to economic development. The proposed method evaluates migration contribution without having to measure it.

  6. Antibiotic prescribing in relation to diagnoses and consultation rates in Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden: use of European quality indicators (United States)

    Tyrstrup, Mia; van der Velden, Alike; Engstrom, Sven; Goderis, Geert; Molstad, Sigvard; Verheij, Theo; Coenen, Samuel; Adriaenssens, Niels


    Objective To assess the quality of antibiotic prescribing in primary care in Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden using European disease-specific antibiotic prescribing quality indicators (APQI) and taking into account the threshold to consult and national guidelines. Design A retrospective observational database study. Setting Routine primary health care registration networks in Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden. Subjects All consultations for one of seven acute infections [upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), sinusitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, bronchitis, pneumonia and cystitis] and the antibiotic prescriptions in 2012 corresponding to these diagnoses. Main outcome measures Consultation incidences for these diagnoses and APQI values (a) the percentages of patients receiving an antibiotic per diagnosis, (b) the percentages prescribed first-choice antibiotics and (c) the percentages prescribed quinolones. Results The consultation incidence for respiratory tract infection was much higher in Belgium than in the Netherlands and Sweden. Most of the prescribing percentage indicators (a) were outside the recommended ranges, with Belgium deviating the most for URTI and bronchitis, Sweden for tonsillitis and the Netherlands for cystitis. The Netherlands and Sweden prescribed the recommended antibiotics (b) to a higher degree and the prescribing of quinolones exceeded the proposed range for most diagnoses (c) in Belgium. The interpretation of APQI was found to be dependent on the consultation incidences. High consultation incidences were associated with high antibiotic prescription rates. Taking into account the recommended treatments from national guidelines improved the results of the APQI values for sinusitis in the Netherlands and cystitis in Sweden. Conclusion Quality assessment using European disease-specific APQI was feasible and their inter-country comparison can identify opportunities for quality improvement. Their interpretation, however, should take

  7. Reconstructing historical atmospheric mercury deposition in Western Europe using: Misten peat bog cores, Belgium

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    Allan, Mohammed, E-mail: [Argiles, Geochimie et Environnement sedimentaires, Departement de Geologie, Universite de Liege, Allee du 6 Aout B18 Sart Tilman B4000-Liege (Belgium); Le Roux, Gael [Universite de Toulouse, INP, UPS, EcoLab (Laboratoire Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement), ENSAT, Avenue de l' Agrobiopole, 31326 Castanet Tolosan (France); CNRS, EcoLab, 31326 Castanet Tolosan (France); Sonke, Jeroen E. [Geosciences Environnement Toulouse, CNRS/IRD/Universite de Toulouse 3, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse (France); Piotrowska, Natalia [Department of Radioisotopes, GADAM Centre of Excellence, Institute of Physics, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice (Poland); Streel, Maurice [PPM, Departement de Geologie, Universite de Liege, Allee du 6 Aout B18 Sart Tilman B4000-Liege (Belgium); Fagel, Nathalie [Argiles, Geochimie et Environnement sedimentaires, Departement de Geologie, Universite de Liege, Allee du 6 Aout B18 Sart Tilman B4000-Liege (Belgium)


    Four sediment cores were collected in 2008 from the Misten ombrotrophic peat bog in the Northern part of the Hautes Fagnes Plateau in Belgium. Total mercury (Hg) concentrations were analyzed to investigate the intra-site variability in atmospheric Hg deposition over the past 1500 years. Mercury concentrations in the four cores ranged from 16 to 1100 {mu}g kg{sup -1}, with the maxima between 840 and 1100 {mu}g kg{sup -1}. A chronological framework was established using radiometric {sup 210}Pb and {sup 14}C dating of two cores (M1 and M4). Pollen horizons from these two cores were correlated with data from two additional cores, providing a consistent dating framework between all the sites. There was good agreement between atmospheric Hg accumulation rates in the four cores over time based on precise age dating and pollen chronosequences. The average Hg accumulation rate before the influence of human activities (from 500 to 1300 AD) was 1.8 {+-} 1 {mu}g m{sup -2} y{sup -1} (2SD). Maximum Hg accumulation rates ranged from 90 to 200 {mu}g m{sup -2} y{sup -1} between 1930 and 1980 AD. During the European-North American Industrial Revolution, the mean Hg accumulation rate exceeded the pre-Industrial values by a factor of 63. Based on comparisons with historical records of anthropogenic activities in Europe and Belgium, the predominant regional anthropogenic sources of Hg during and after the Industrial Revolution were coal burning and smelter Hg emissions. Mercury accumulation rates and chronologies in the Misten cores were consistent with those reported for other European peat records. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Study of Hg concentration in four cores from Belgian peat bog. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Reconstruction of Hg deposition over last 1500 years. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Maximum Hg accumulation rates ranging from 90 to 200 {mu}g m{sup -2} y{sup -1} are recorded between 1930 and 1980 AD. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The average Hg

  8. Cité et territoire celtique à travers l'exemple du Belgium

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    Fichtl, Stephan


    Full Text Available [es] El origen de las ciudades de Belgium (Bellovaci, Ambiarli y Atrebates se puede situar a fines del s. iv o comienzos del s. Ill a.C. Se vincula a la llegada de una nueva población que se instala en el Noroeste de la Galia, resultado de una migración negociada. Rápidamente, el territorio se estructura con la fundación de una primera serie de grandes santuarios: Gournay-sur-Aronde, Rubemont-sur-Ancre, Moeuvres. Esta organización del territorio necesitó para realizarse muchas décadas y no es hasta comienzos del s. II cuando comenzó a estabilizarse. La organización se apoya siempre en dichos santuarios cuyo papel seguirá siendo preponderante hasta la época de La Tène final, cuando los oppida no harán nada más que superponerse a estos sitios. [fr] L'origine des cités du Belgium (Bellovaques, Ambiens et Atrébates peut être placée à la fin du IVe s. ou au début du Ille s. av. J.-C. Elle est liée à l'arrivée d'une nouvelle population qui s'installe dans le nord-ouest de la Gaule suite à une migration négociée. Très rapidement le territoire se structure autour de la fondation d'une première série de grands sanctuaires: Gournay-sur-Aronde, Ribemont-sur-Ancre, Moeuvres. Cette organisation du territoire a nécessité plusieurs décennies et ce n'est qu'au début du IIe s. que le territoire commence à se stabiliser. L'organisation s'appuie toujours sur les sanctuaires dont le rôle restera encore prépondérant à La Tène finale, les oppida ne venant que se superposer à ces sites.

  9. Factors associated with the continuum of care of HIV-infected patients in Belgium

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    Dominique Van Beckhoven


    Full Text Available Introduction: We studied factors associated with the continuum of HIV care in Belgium. Methods: Data of the national registration of new HIV diagnosis and of the national cohort of HIV-infected patients in care were combined to obtain estimates of and factors related with proportions of HIV-infected patients in each step of the continuum of care from diagnosis to suppressed viral load (VL. Factors associated with ignorance of HIV seropositivity were analyzed among patients co-infected with HIV and STI in the Belgian STI sentinel surveillance network. Associated factors were identified by multivariate logistic regression. Results: Among 4038 individuals diagnosed with HIV between 2007 and 2010, 90.3% were linked to care. Of 11684 patients in care in 2010, 90.8% were retained in care up to the following year, 88.3% of those were on ART, of whom 95.3% had suppressed VL (<500 cp/ml (Figure 1. In multivariate analyses, factors associated with ignoring HIV+ status were being younger (p<0.001, being heterosexual compared to MSM, and of a region of origin other than Belgium, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. Non-Belgian regions of origin were associated with lower entry and retention in care (p<0.001 for both. Preoperative HIV testing was associated with lower entry in care (p=0.003. MSM had a higher retention in care (p<0.001, whilst IDU had lower retention (p=0.004. Low CD4 at first clinical contact and clinical reasons for HIV testing were independently associated with being on ART (p<0.001 for both; whilst prenatal HIV diagnosis was associated with lower proportion on ART (p=0.016 and lower proportion with suppressed VL among those on ART (p=0.005. Older age was associated with both being on ART and having suppressed VL among those on ART (p=0.007 and p<0.001 respectively, independently of time since HIV diagnosis (Table 1. Conclusions: Regions of origin and risk groups (MSM/heterosexual/IDU are the main factors associated with ignorance of HIV

  10. Ground-penetrating radar research in Belgium: from developments to applications (United States)

    Lambot, Sébastien; Van Meirvenne, Marc; Craeye, Christophe


    Ground-penetrating radar research in Belgium spans a series of developments and applications, including mainly ultra wideband radar antenna design and optimization, non-destructive testing for the characterization of the electrical properties of soils and materials, and high-resolution subsurface imaging in agricultural engineering, archeology and transport infrastructures (e.g., road inspection and pipe detection). Security applications have also been the topic of active research for several years (i.e., landmine detection) and developments in forestry have recently been initiated (i.e., for root zone and tree trunk imaging and characterization). In particular, longstanding research has been devoted to the intrinsic modeling of antenna-medium systems for full-wave inversion, thereby providing an effective way for retrieving the electrical properties of soils and materials. Full-wave modeling is a prerequisite for benefiting from the full information contained in the radar data and is necessary to provide robust and accurate estimates of the properties of interest. Nevertheless, this has remained a major challenge in geophysics and electromagnetics for many years, mainly due to the complex interactions between the antennas and the media as well as to the significant computing resources that are usually required. Efforts have also been dedicated to the development of specific inversion strategies to cope with the complexity of the inverse problems usually dealt with as well as ill-posedness issues that arise from a lack of information in the radar data. To circumvent this last limitation, antenna arrays have been developed and modeled in order to provide additional information. Moreover, data fusion ways have been investigated, by mainly combining GPR data with electromagnetic induction complementary information in joint interpretation analyses and inversion procedures. Finally, inversions have been regularized by combining electromagnetics models together with soil

  11. Regional aquifer geochemistry below the Boom Clay (NE-Belgium): data analysis and modelling (United States)

    Vandersteen, Katrijn; Leterme, Bertrand


    For more than 35 years, SCK•CEN has been investigating the possibility of high-level and/or long-lived radioactive waste disposal in the Boom Clay in NE-Belgium, including the study of the regional hydrogeology and geochemistry of the aquifer systems surrounding the Boom Clay. This study presents the analysis and modelling of groundwater geochemistry in the confined aquifers below the Boom Clay in NE-Belgium. This so-called deep aquifer system includes, with increasing depth, parts of the Oligocene Aquifer System, The Bartoon Aquitard System and the Ledo-Paniselian-Brusselian Aquifer System. At the end of the Neogene period, during which several marine transgressions and regressions took place, the sea definitely drew back after having deposited shallow marine and estuarine sands and some clay. The original seawater in the pores of the sediments was in first instance gradually diluted as the aquifer was flushed by recharge (fresh) water. Afterwards, water-rock interactions, including cation exchange, began to play a role in the deep aquifer system. This led to changes in groundwater composition over time. Geochemical data (major ions, stable isotopes, radioactive isotopes, dissolved gases) have been collected at a regional scale from the piezometric network in the deep aquifer system. Several measurement campaigns have been performed between 1980 and 2010. Groundwater is currently mainly of Na-HCO3 to Na-Cl type water, and because of the low groundwater velocity, re-equilibration with the host formations generally occurs. The main geochemical indicators (salinity, stable isotopes) point to a mixture between saline water (to the NW) and fresh recharge water (from SE). SE-NW gradients of ion concentrations are observed and can be explained in agreement with the pattern of natural groundwater flow. Building on the concepts emerging from the geochemical data analysis and recent groundwater modelling, a geochemical model was developed in PhreeqC, using geochemical and

  12. First isolation of hepatitis E virus genotype 4 in Europe through swine surveillance in the Netherlands and Belgium.

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    Renate W Hakze-van der Honing

    Full Text Available Hepatitis E virus (HEV genotypes 3 and 4 are a cause of human hepatitis and swine are considered the main reservoir. To study the HEV prevalence and characterize circulating HEV strains, fecal samples from swine in the Netherlands and Belgium were tested by RT-PCR. HEV prevalence in swine was 7-15%. The Dutch strains were characterized as genotype 3, subgroups 3a, 3c and 3f, closely related to sequences found in humans and swine earlier. The HEV strains found in Belgium belonged to genotypes 3f and 4b. The HEV genotype 4 strain was the first ever reported in swine in Europe and an experimental infection in pigs was performed to isolate the virus. The genotype 4 strain readily infected piglets and caused fever and virus shedding. Since HEV4 infections have been reported to run a more severe clinical course in humans this observation may have public health implications.

  13. Relative water level change in the intracoastal zone of Belgium and northern France over the last 2500 years


    S. Louwye; Declercq, E.


    Water level positions during the Subatlantic in the coastal plain of Belgium and Northern France are assessed by means of indicators such as tidal levees, upper tidal flat deposits and mature salt marshes. The indicators are evaluated for the reconstruction of local mean high water and local mean spring high water levels in the intracoastal zone. No significant altitude difference is observed between the indicators genetically related to the Dunkerque II inundation phase, i.e. before the land...

  14. Campsites as Utopias? A Socio-spatial Reading of the Postwar Holiday Camp in Belgium, 1950s to 1970s


    Janina Gosseye; Hilde Heynen


    This paper contrasts the objectives that underlie the development of government-funded holiday camps for family vacations in Belgium with the socio-spatial practices of their initial users. Drawing on oral history, archival material, photographs and site plans, we argue that holidaymakers did not just experience the holiday camp as an environment where they could reconnect with their family and pursue authentic experiences in close contact with nature – as their initiators had intended – but ...

  15. Effectiveness of injectable risperidone long-acting therapy for schizophrenia: data from the US, Spain, Australia, and Belgium

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    Macfadden Wayne


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Because wide variations in mental health care utilization exist throughout the world, determining long-term effectiveness of psychotropic medications in a real-world setting would be beneficial to physicians and patients. The purpose of this analysis was to describe the effectiveness of injectable risperidone long-acting therapy (RLAT for schizophrenia across countries. Methods This was a pragmatic analysis of data from two prospective observational studies conducted in the US (Schizophrenia Outcomes Utilization Relapse and Clinical Evaluation [SOURCE]; registration number for the SOURCE study: NCT00246194 and Spain, Australia, and Belgium (electronic Schizophrenia Treatment Adherence Registry [eSTAR]. Two separate analyses were performed to assess clinical improvement during the study and estimate psychiatric hospitalization rates before and after RLAT initiation. Clinical improvement was evaluated using the Clinical Global Impressions-Severity (CGI-S and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF scales, and change from baseline was evaluated using paired t tests. Psychiatric hospitalization rates were analyzed using incidence densities, and the bootstrap resampling method was used to examine differences between the pre-baseline and post-baseline periods. Results The initial sample comprised 3,069 patients (US, n = 532; Spain, n = 1,345; Australia, n = 784; and Belgium, n = 408. In all, 24 months of study participation, completed by 39.3% (n = 209, 62.7% (n = 843, 45.8% (n = 359, and 64.2% (n = 262 of patients from the US, Spain, Australia, and Belgium, respectively, were included in the clinical analysis. Improvements compared with baseline were observed on both clinical assessments across countries (P P P Conclusions RLAT in patients with schizophrenia was associated with improvements in clinical and functional outcomes and decreased hospitalization rates in the US, Spain, Australia, and Belgium, despite

  16. The occurrence and genetic characterization of Cryptosporidium and Giardia species in foals in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Greece. (United States)

    Kostopoulou, D; Casaert, S; Tzanidakis, N; van Doorn, D; Demeler, J; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, G; Saratsis, A; Voutzourakis, N; Ehsan, A; Doornaert, T; Looijen, M; De Wilde, N; Sotiraki, S; Claerebout, E; Geurden, T


    Faecal samples were collected from foals between the age of 1 week and 6 months in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Greece. A quantitative direct immunofluorescence assay based on the commercial MERIFLUOR Cryptosporidium/Giardia kit was performed to evaluate the presence of (oo) cysts. Parasite positive samples were genotyped, based on the 18S ribosomal DNA gene and the heat shock protein (HSP70) gene for Cryptosporidium and on the β-giardin gene and the triose phosphate isomerase (TPI) gene for Giardia. In total, 134 foals from Belgium, 44 foals from The Netherlands, 30 foals from Germany and 190 foals from Greece were examined. No Cryptosporidium oocysts were identified in faecal samples from foals in Germany and The Netherlands. In Belgium and Greece, 4.5% and 1.1% of the foals examined were Cryptosporidium positive, respectively, all with a low oocyst excretion ranging from 100 to 2450 oocysts per gram of faeces. For Giardia, 14.2%, 11.4%, 10.0% and 11.6% of the foals in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Greece, respectively, were found to excrete cysts, with a range of 50 up to 4,000,000 cysts per gram of faeces. Younger animals secreted significantly more Giardia cysts than older horses (pGiardia infection and diarrhoea was observed. Most Giardia positive samples belonged to assemblage AI and/or BIV, but also assemblage E was detected in two samples. Together with the identification of Cryptosporidium horse genotype, this suggests only a low risk for zoonotic transmission.

  17. Determinants of Social Capital Building and Integration in the Turkish Diaspora in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany


    Imani Giglou, Roya; d'Haenens, Leen; Van Gorp, Baldwin


    This study constructs and tests the building of social capital and integration among Turkish and Kurdish ethnic minorities (N=976) residing in three countries with different integration policy realities according to the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX): Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Through online and offline surveys our study examines the extent to which bridging and bonding social capital, the dominant language of media use as well as the socio-demographic characteristics o...

  18. Increased detection of Aedes albopictus in Belgium: no overwintering yet, but an intervention strategy is still lacking. (United States)

    Deblauwe, Isra; Demeulemeester, Julie; De Witte, Jacobus; Hendy, Adam; Sohier, Charlotte; Madder, Maxime


    In 2013 and 2014, routine surveillance for invasive mosquito species was implemented in Belgium at 13 potential points of entry. Following the introduction of Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse 1895) to Belgium via a used tyre import company (Vrasene, Province of East Flanders) in July 2013, one female and 17 larvae were collected outdoors during a period of intensive surveillance in summer and autumn 2013, but no control measures were implemented. Although climatic conditions were suitable during the winter of 2013-2014, this reproducing population did not overwinter. Lack of genetic variation, incomplete diapause adaptation and egg desiccation due to long dry periods during diapause or competition with endemic species are possible reasons. More studies on the diapause/longevity of Ae. albopictus eggs in northern temperate climatic conditions and on the competition with endemic species in western and central Europe are warranted to assess the potential for this invasive mosquito to overwinter. Furthermore, following the detection of four Ae. albopictus larvae in a shipment of lucky bamboo at the port of Antwerp in August 2014, one female, one male, 11 pupae and six larvae were collected at the destined lucky bamboo company (Lochristi, Province of East Flanders) in autumn 2014. In this case, immediate control measures were successfully implemented at the nursery. Because of increasing threats and the absence of an invasive mosquito species control policy in Belgium, the need for a permanent vector surveillance and control plan has never been so high.

  19. Vaccination Coverage for Infants: Cross-Sectional Studies in Two Regions of Belgium

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    Emmanuelle Robert


    Full Text Available Methods and Objectives. To estimate infant vaccination coverage in the French-speaking region of Belgium (Wallonia and in the Brussels-Capital Region, two cross-sectional studies were performed in 2012. A face-to-face questionnaire was administered by trained investigators. The objective was to evaluate infant vaccination coverage retrospectively in 18- to 24-month-old children. These studies offered the opportunity to assess some factors influencing vaccine uptake in infants. Results and Discussion. Approximately 99% of the children had received the first dose of IPV-DTaP, 90% the fourth dose, 94% the MMR vaccine, 97% the first dose of pneumococcal vaccine, and 90% the third dose. In both regions, when fitting a logistic model, the most associated factor was attendance at maternal and child clinics (MCH. No association was observed between vaccination coverage and the mother’s level of education. For the last immunization session, where the mother was a Belgian native and when she worked more hours, child was better immunized, but only in Brussels. Conclusion. Coverage for the fourth dose of hexavalent vaccine (DTaP-IPV-HBV/Hib needs to be increased. Indeed, additional effort is needed to increase HIB and pertussis coverage rates because the herd immunity threshold for these two diseases has not been reached.

  20. Development Of A PACS System At The University Hospital In Brussels, Belgium . (United States)

    Deconinck, F.; Duerinckx, A. J.; Kuijk, S.; Nyssen, M.; Tombeur, D.


    A prototype PACS system is being designed which will connect an existing nuclear medicine mini NM-PACS with an imaging facility in the medical school, a PET and experimental medical imaging facility, and research imaging facilities in the Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Department of the Free University in Brussels ( VUB, Jette), Belgium. The local nuclear medicine NM-PACS uses SOPHA (Informatek) equipment with parallel DMA connections. The PET and experimental medical imaging facility is based on Apollo workstations. The medical school imaging network connects a VAX 11/785, a VICOM and several other computers, and is physically located next to the hospital. A local radiology Rad-PACS will be based on an Ethernet link. The "global PACS" described in this paper will connect all image processing facilities. Initially, 4 Apollo workstations with a token passing ring network (12 Mbit/sec), a 500 Mbyte storage, and 1kx1k displays will be used. The following subparts of the "global PACS" are novel: a pictorial-menu driven user-interface software for image display, processing and management is being developed to facilitate the use of the PACS hardware . The image data base is distributed over the different areas of the hospital and university. The system will also provide the distributed computing power (parallel processing and acquisition of images) needed for a new HIDAC PET camera being constructed at the university. This PACS project is part of a large scale European effort (EuroPacs) to develop PACS technology.

  1. Holocaust or Benevolent Paternalism? Intergenerational Comparisons on Collective Memories and Emotions about Belgium's Colonial Past

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    Olivier Klein


    Full Text Available After publication of Adam Hochschild's King Leopold's Ghost in 1998, asserting that King Leopold II had been responsible for a "holocaust" in the Congo and the heated public debate this provoked, we set out to study Belgian people's reactions to these accusations. In two studies we compared collective memories of and emotions associated with Belgium's colonial action in the Congo in different generations. Results show higher levels of collective guilt and support for reparative actions among young adults than among older generations. This difference can be explained either by referring to the different ideological backgrounds in which different generations were socialized, as evidenced by stark differences in collective memories of colonialism, or by referring to the influence of national identification. Indeed, people could adapt their representations of colonialism in order to avoid experiencing a social identity threat. However, evidence for the identity-protecting functions of collective memories and collective emotions was only found in the older generations: young people held negative representations of colonialism independently of their level of national identification. We refer to the normative dimension of collective guilt to interpret these results.

  2. Small Business Marketing Capability in the Food Sector: The Cases of Belgium, Hungary and Italy

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    Allesandro Banterle


    Full Text Available The purpose of thie paper is to assess the marketing management capabilities of SMEs producing traditional food products in the EU through thge development of a self-evaluation tool.SMEs represent the greater part of European food firms and they find it very difficult to adapt to market changes, and to compete with big enterprises. In this context, marketing management capabilities play a key role in good SME performance in the market. The self-evaluation tool is developed in the innovative form of an interactive questionnaire published on the web. At the moment, the sample is composed by 60 traditional food producers located in three member states (Belgium, Italy, and Hungary belonging to different sectors (cheese, beer, dry ham, sausage and white pepper. The data were analysed with cluster analysis. The results of the survey revealed that most of the firms analysed show weaknesses in marketing management capabilities. Nevertheless, cluster analysis pointed out a group of firms (22% of the sample with high performances in all the stages of marketing management process, which can be defined market oriented in terms of MARKOR approach. Most firms showed difficulties in analysing the competitive environment in which they operate, and in controlling the achievement of the marketing objectives. Moreover, the survey showed that, generally, micro sized firms perform worse than small and medium enterprises. Nevertheless, in some cases micro firms achieved high performances revealing that the firm size is not a so insuperable constraint to reach good results in marketing.

  3. Economic impact of decreasing stocking densities in broiler production in Belgium. (United States)

    Verspecht, A; Vanhonacker, F; Verbeke, W; Zoons, J; Van Huylenbroeck, G


    Stocking density is a prominent topic in public debates on animal welfare and was one of the reasons for the European Commission to set limits to the stocking density on broiler farms. The objective of this paper was to calculate in detail the financial impact of changes in technical and management variables due to decreasing stocking densities in line with new European Union (EU) regulations. Therefore, the productive performance indicators such as BW, mortality, or feed conversion and farm technical data such as water consumption and heating of 3 independent experiments conducted at a poultry research station in Flanders (Belgium) were combined. Using the partial budget technique only those elements that change with stocking density have been taken into account. Reducing stocking density implies a recalculation of all costs on a reduced number of birds. This yields an economic situation that leaves hardly any profit margin for most of the broiler producers under the present market conditions. It was found that the critical threshold of stocking density for maintaining profitability under the present market and technical conditions is around 46 kg/m(2), thus well above the EU maximum of 42 kg/m(2). It is shown, however, that with changing broiler feed and meat prices, the impact might be less negative in economic terms.

  4. Stability analysis of a human-influenced landslide in eastern Belgium (United States)

    Preuth, Thomas; Glade, Thomas; Demoulin, Alain


    The area of the Pays de Herve in eastern Belgium is strongly affected by recent landslide activity. Dormant landslides are widespread in the region and some of these dormant landslides have been reactivated by human activity such as highway construction, suburban development, or building of industrial sewage pipes. The investigated landslide was reactivated by heavy rainfall events in the late 1990s. During this reactivation an existing industrial sewage pipe was damaged and the chemically loaded waste water drained into the landslide mass. The current landslide movement is assumed to be heavily influenced by the additional water supply as well as by the chemical activity of univalent ions in the clay fraction leading to a decreased shear resistance. Consequently, the movement-triggering rainfall thresholds are reduced and result in a decreased overall slope stability. This study describes a general methodology of field investigation, data collection and laboratory testing for an exploratory study. Influences of chemical properties of soil and soil water and their effects on landslide stability are analysed, discussed and related to findings of other studies. Although no clear empirical evidence for a dependency between slope stability and ionic loaded soil water was found in this study, we suggest the existence for such a relationship. We conclude that this particular landslide would not have moved based on current environmental conditions. The leaking waste water might favour current landslide movement.

  5. Active Use of Parks in Flanders (Belgium: An Exploratory Observational Study

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    Linde Van Hecke


    Full Text Available Parks have the potential to increase physical activity at the community level by providing opportunities to be active. In order to inform interventions to promote physical activity in parks, insight is needed concerning park user characteristics, the activity level of park users, the types of activities performed and associations between park areas and temporal variables with observed physical activity levels. Park user characteristics (sex, age, ethnicity and activity level were recorded within pre-defined park areas in two parks in Ghent (Belgium using the System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC. Most park users were male, adult, and engaged in vigorous-intensity physical activity (48%. Most popular activities were biking (38%, sitting (23% and walking (15%; accordingly, trails were used most and had the highest levels of physical activity compared to other park areas. Parks were used least frequently in the morning, during the weekend and by seniors. Therefore, active park use during morning periods, on weekend days and by seniors should be promoted and urban planners should consider that different park areas can possibly elicit varying activity levels among park users.

  6. Water displacement by sewer infrastructure in the Grote Nete catchment, Belgium, and its hydrological regime effects

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    D. Vrebos


    Full Text Available Urbanization and especially impervious areas, in combination with wastewater treatment infrastructure, can exert several pressures on the hydrological cycle. These pressures were studied for the Grote Nete catchment in Belgium (8.18% impervious area and 3.89% effective impervious area, based on a combination of empirical and model-based approaches. The effective impervious area, combined with the extent of the wastewater collection regions which do not coincide with the natural catchment boundaries, was used as an indicator for the urbanization pressure. Our study revealed changes in the total upstream areas of the subcatchments between −16% and +3%, and in upstream impervious areas between −99% and +64%. These changes lead to important inter-catchment water transfers. Based on simulations with a physically-based and spatially-distributed hydrological catchment model, profound impacts of effective impervious area on infiltration and runoff were found. The model results show that the changes in impervious areas and related water displacements in and between catchments due to the installation of the wastewater treatment infrastructure severely impacted low flows, peak flows and seasonal trends. They moreover show that it is difficult, but of utmost importance, to incorporate these pressures and artificial processes in an accurate way during the development of hydrological models for urbanized catchments.

  7. Paleoparasitological remains revealed by seven historic contexts from "Place d'Armes", Namur, Belgium

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    Gino Chaves da Rocha


    Full Text Available Human occupation for several centuries was recorded in the archaeological layers of "Place d'Armes", Namur, Belgium. Preventive archaeological excavations were carried out between 1996/1997 and seven historical strata were observed, from Gallo-Roman period up to Modern Times. Soil samples from cesspools, latrines, and structures-like were studied and revealed intestinal parasite eggs in the different archaeological contexts. Ascaris lumbricoides, A. suum, Trichuris trichiura, T. suis. Taenia sp., Fasciola hepatica, Diphyllobothrium sp., Capillaria sp. and Oxyuris equi eggs were found. Paleoparasitology confirmed the use of structures as latrines or cesspit as firstly supposed by the archaeologists. Medieval latrines were not only used for rejection of human excrements. The finding of Ascaris sp. and Trichuris sp. eggs may point to human's or wild swine's feces. Gallo-Roman people used to eat wild boar. Therefore, both A. suum and T. suis, or A. lumbricoides and T. trichuris, may be present, considering a swine carcass recovered into a cesspit. Careful sediment analysis may reveal its origin, although parasites of domestic animals can be found together with those of human's. Taenia sp. eggs identified in latrine samples indicate ingestion of uncooked beef with cysticercoid larvae. F. hepatica eggs suggest the ingestion of raw contaminated vegetables and Diphyllobothrium sp. eggs indicate contaminated fresh-water fish consumption. Ascaris sp. and Trichuris sp. eggs indicate fecal-oral infection by human and/or animal excrements.

  8. The hydrogeology of the military inundation at the 1914-1918 Yser front (Belgium) (United States)

    Vandenbohede, Alexander


    Protection against flooding by the sea, drainage of rainwater and integrated management of groundwater and surface-water resources are key issues in low-lying coastal areas. However, under exceptional circumstances, knowledge to keep coastal areas dry and habitable can be used otherwise. Inundation for military purposes is such an example. The hydrogeology of the inundation at the Yser River, Belgium, during the Great War is studied. The inundation started in October 1914 to stop the German advance and lasted until 1918. A water balance and groundwater model are combined to derive the water balance before and during the inundation and to study the impact on the groundwater system. It is concluded that a number of hydrogeological factors contributed to the effectiveness of the inundation. Most importantly, the low-permeability subsoil facilitated loss of inundation water mainly by evaporation. Further, the normal water management strategy of the area (aimed at evacuating excess water towards the sea) was reversed to keep water between the opposing armies. However, the duration of the inundation meant a reorganization of the drainage of areas not inundated; truly an exercise in integrated water management.

  9. Radon risk mapping in southern Belgium: an application of geostatistical and GIS techniques. (United States)

    Zh, H C; Charlet, J M; Poffijn, A


    A data set of long-term radon measurements in approximately 2200 houses in southern Belgium has been collected in an on-going national radon survey. The spatial variation of indoor Rn concentrations is modelled by variograms. A radon distribution map is produced using the log-normal kriging technique. A GIS is used to digitise, process and integrate a variety of data, including geological maps, Rn concentrations associated with house locations and an administrative map, etc. It also allows evaluation of the relationships between various spatial data sets with the goal of producing radon risk maps. Based on geostatistical mapping and spatial analysis, we define three categories of risk areas: high risk, medium risk and low risk area. The correlation between radon concentrations and geological features is proved in this study. High and medium Rn risk zones are dominantly situated in bedrock from the Cambrian to Lower Devonian, although a few medium risk zones are within the Jurassic. It is evident that high-risk zones are related to a strongly folded and fractured context.

  10. Roman road pollution assessed by elemental and lead isotope geochemistry in East Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Renson, Virginie [U.R. Argiles et Paleoclimats, University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout, B18, Sart Tilman, 4000 Liege (Belgium)], E-mail:; Fagel, Nathalie [U.R. Argiles et Paleoclimats, University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout, B18, Sart Tilman, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Mattielli, Nadine [Departement des Sciences de la Terre et de l' Environnement, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, CP160/02, Avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Brussels (Belgium); Nekrassoff, Serge [Station Scientifique des Hautes Fagnes 137, Rue de Botrange, 4950 Robertville (Belgium); Streel, Maurice [U.R.P.P.M., University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout, B18, Sart Tilman, 4000 Liege (Belgium); De Vleeschouwer, Francois [U.R. Argiles et Paleoclimats, University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout, B18, Sart Tilman, 4000 Liege (Belgium)


    The ability of inorganic geochemistry to record environmental change and especially human impact has been evidenced by several studies across Europe, especially in peat, where it is possible to record the impact of agriculture, mining and other industries. However, despite the numerous investigations on the impact of ancient human activities such as ore mining and smelting, little attention has been paid to geochemistry as a tool to solve problems of palaeopollution in the surroundings of archaeological sites. This paper presents geochemical evidence of the impact of a possible early Roman road built in SE Belgian peatland. Increased Zn and Pb concentrations suggest that Pb-Zn ores were transported on the road. Lead isotope analyses suggest that these ores are locally derived, being compatible with those found in the nearby Pb-Zn ore deposits from East Belgium. Present results provide direct evidence that East Belgian Pb-Zn ores were already being mined during Roman times, i.e. earlier than previously suspected (i.e. 14th century) and that Zn appears to be relatively immobile here. On a broader scale, it also demonstrates that such an early road already had an impact on the environment in terms of metal pollution. This paper enlarges on the range of possibilities offered by geochemistry in the field of geoarchaeology.

  11. Regional variation in incidence for smoking and alcohol related cancers in Belgium. (United States)

    Henau, Kris; Van Eycken, Elizabeth; Silversmit, Geert; Pukkala, Eero


    The prevalence of life habits may vary substantially within a country. Incidence maps of strongly related diseases can illustrate the distribution of these life style habits. In this study we explored the spatial variation in Belgium for different cancers related to alcohol and/or tobacco. From the Belgian Cancer Registry, municipality specific World Standardised incidence rates for the years 2004-2011 are used to create detailed smoothed cancer maps by subsite or histology for cancers of oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver and lung. Cancer incidence is compared both visually (from incidence maps) and with Poisson regression analysis using mortality from chronic liver disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as a proxy for alcohol and tobacco prevalence, respectively. The incidence rates for oral cavity, pharyngeal and laryngeal cancer were comparable with the alcohol gradient. However, glottic cancer revealed a pattern that was more comparable with lung cancer. These two tumour types resembled more closely to the smoking pattern. Oesophageal cancer showed two patterns: squamous cell carcinoma was highly comparable with the background alcohol consumption, while adenocarcinoma was unrelated to one of our two proxies. Our approach and results are an encouraging example how data from a young cancer registry can be used in studies describing the regional cancer burden. The results can be useful for primary prevention to increase awareness for the public, authorities and health care professionals in specific subpopulations.

  12. Pressure of non-professional use of pesticides on operators, aquatic organisms and bees in Belgium. (United States)

    Fevery, Davina; Houbraken, Michael; Spanoghe, Pieter


    Various studies focus on professional pesticide use, whereas pressure of non-professional use on human and the environment is often neglected. In this study, an attempt was made to estimate the pressure of non-professional use of pesticides on operators, aquatic organisms and bees in Belgium based on sales figures and by using three exposure models. A classification in non-professional use was made based on type of pesticide, application method and on intensity of non-professional use. Pressure of non-professional use on operators is highest for intensive operators, caused by the use of insecticides in an aerosol spray can. Pressure of non-professional pesticides on aquatic life is mainly generated by the use of herbicides. The aerosol spray induces the highest pressure whereas the trigger application hardly affects operator and environmental exposure. The ordinary non-professional user generates most pressure on aquatic organisms. Pressure of non-professional pesticides on bees is mainly caused by the use of insecticides, especially the active substance imidacloprid in combination with the aerosol spray can application method applied by an intensive operator. In general, both total usage (kg) and pressure of pesticides decreased for the period 2005 to 2012 due to efforts made by the government and industry. The results of this study suggest to pay special attention to aerosol spray applications and the non-professional use of insecticides.

  13. Health communication and consumer behavior on meat in Belgium: from BSE until dioxin. (United States)

    Verbeke, W; Viaene, J; Guiot, O


    This article focuses on the impact of mass media meat-health information on consumer perception, attitude, and behavior toward fresh meat in Belgium. In a situation similar to that which occurred in most other European countries, Belgian fresh meat consumption fell considerably during 1995-1999. A multitude of messages linking meat consumption to human health risks were reported by mass media. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) since 1996 and dioxin in 1999 constituted the major issues. Empirical research, conducted in April 1998, revealed the tremendous negative impact of mass media coverage of meat-health issues on consumer risk perception, health concern, and attitude and behavior toward fresh meat. Oppositely, personal communication through butchers had only a small effect on consumer decision-making in this era dominated by alarming meat-health press. Implications are threefold. First, mass media should be aware of its social responsibilities, which include spreading reliable and correct information to the society. This is especially the case as human health risks are involved. Second, the meat industry urgently needs to reorient itself toward quality, safety, and transparency. Finally, future communication dealing with similar crises situations requires cooperation across the meat chain, government, and those who are responsible for public health promotion and communication.

  14. Epidemiological typing of Acanthamoeba strains isolated from keratitis cases in Belgium. (United States)

    De Jonckheere, J F


    From the corneas of nine keratitis patients and from their contact lenses, contact lens boxes and saline solutions, 15 strains of Acanthamoeba have been isolated. An Acanthamoeba strain was isolated from the swimming pool where one of the patients swam, while in the tapwater of the houses of three patients investigated, no Acanthamoeba could be detected. All the Acanthamoeba isolates from the cornea belong to genotype T4, but are different subtypes of T4. The Acanthamoeba detected on the contact lenses (and/or associated paraphernalia) of a patient are of the same subtype as that isolated from the cornea. The only Acanthamoeba strain isolated from a contact lens which was not related to an Acanthamoeba keratitis infection proved to be another genotype. A strain of Hartmannella from a cornea and two vahlkampfiids isolated from contact lenses had no connection with keratitis. This study confirms that, as found elsewhere, only Acanthamoeba genotype T4 of the 12 known Acanthamoeba genotypes is responsible for keratitis in Belgium. Most cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis cases are due to poor hygiene in the treatment (cleaning and storage) of contact lenses.

  15. The Hydrological response to climate change of the Lesse and the Vesdre catchments (Wallonia, Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bauwens


    Full Text Available The Meuse is an important rain-fed river in North-Western Europe. Nine millions of people live in its catchment splited over five countries. Projected changes in precipitation and temperature characteristics due to climate change would have significant impact on the Meuse River and its tributaries. In this study, we focus on two tributaries of the Meuse in Belgium the Lesse and the Vesdre catchments. The physically based, distributed model EPICGrid, a model which reflects water-soil-plant continuum, is driven by four sets of meteorological information. Two time slices (2020–2050 and 2070–2100 and two scenarios (wet and dry were studied. The meteorological scenarios are produced by the CCI-HYDR Perturbation Tool, a tool specially designed for the Belgian climate and taking into account a broad range of models. Water balance, high-flows and low-flows are calculated. It highlights that towards the end of the century, plants may suffer from water shortage and excess. This may lead to a decrease in evapotranspiration and clear changes in water balances. The seasoning contrast in river discharge may be strongly accentuated.

  16. Implementing and optimising an Electronic Library of Health Care in Belgium: results of a pilot study. (United States)

    Hannes, K; Vander Stichele, R H; Simons, E; Geens, S; Goedhuys, J; Aertgeerts, B


    Health care practitioners are expected to incorporate results from the best available, scientific information into their daily clinical decision-making process. Useful formats of evidence for practitioners include selected reviews, abstracts in which research results are discussed, "quick answer", evidence-based website including for example diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms, drugs prescription and non-drug therapy. An increasing amount of practitioners has access to the World Wide Web, either at home or at the office. However, easy and cheap access to objective and high quality research results is limited. Many practitioners lack the skills to efficiently navigate complicated medical databases. In 2003 an 'Electronic Library of Health Care' was introduced in Belgium. The main goal of the electronic library is to provide a gateway to scientific evidence to Belgian health care practitioners from different disciplines. This paper presents the results of a pilot project to implement the library in the field. It also describes recent developments and adjustments that increased the efficacy of this gateway to evidence.

  17. Statistics, gymnastics and the origins of sport science in Belgium (and Europe). (United States)

    Delheye, Pascal


    This paper analyses the introduction of statistics in the field of gymnastics and its effect on the institutionalisation of physical education as a fully fledged academic discipline. Soon after Belgian independence, Adolphe Quetelet's research already resulted in large-scale anthropometric statistics - indeed, he developed an index that is still being used and is better known under the name of the body mass index. His insights were applied by promoters of gymnastics who wanted to make physical education more scientific. Thus, Clément Lefébure, director of the Ecole Normale de Gymnastique et d'Escrime in Brussels, set up a comparative experiment (with pre- and post-test measurements) by which he intended to show that the 'rational' method of Swedish gymnastics produced much better results than the 'empirical' method of Belgian/German Turnen. Lefébure's experiment, which was cited internationally but which was also strongly contested by opponents, was one of the factors that led to Swedish gymnastics being officially institutionalised in 1908 at the newly founded Higher Institute of Physical Education of the State University of Ghent, the first institute in the world where students could obtain a doctoral degree in physical education. Although it rested actually on very weak scientific foundations, the bastion of Swedish gymnastics built in Belgium in that pre-war period collapsed only in the 1960s. From then on, sport science could develop fully within the institutes for physical education.

  18. Social Reform in Times of Transition. Reflections on Martin Conway’s The Sorrows of Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Wouters


    Full Text Available In his book The Sorrows of Belgium Martin Conway uses the Belgian case to look at the restoration of liberal parliamentary states in Europe between 1945 and 1947. Nico Wouters’ contribution focuses on three elements brought to the fore by Conway: 1 the essential yet ambivalent role played by local government (cities and municipalities, 2 the inability to institutionalise Belgian patriotism as binder for the nation-state and finally, 3 the rift between shifts in class relations and political institutional renewal. His contribution comments on each of these elements, by means of superficial comparisons with the Netherlands.As Conway shows, Belgium’s larger cities were laboratories for new political currents that in the end strengthened centrifugal, regionalist tendencies. On the other hand, the local level as an institutional part of state organisation had a reverse effect in the shorter term. The restoration after the liberation can only be understood when one takes into account how ‘local states’ imposed a compelling framework that limited the opportunities for political renewal. As such, Wouters hypothesises that these local states help to explain in part the institutional conservatism of Belgian elites, a core-element in Conway’s book. On this point Wouters sees mostly similarities with the Netherlands. A Belgian-Dutch difference on the other hand, is that the Dutch did succeed in seamlessly combining an equally conservative post-war restoration with restarting a revitalised collective national identity. Belgium’s failure in this regard was quite evident. Although it is obvious that by 1950 such a renewal had become impossible because of the Royal Question, it is still a question of the extent to which the Belgian state still had some leeway in 1945. The third and most important point is connected to the shifts in social class relations. This concerns mutual power relations, group identities, attitudes and political strategies. The

  19. Size-fractionated aerosol composition at Gent, Belgium. Results from a one-year study (United States)

    Maenhaut, W.; François, F.; Cafmeyer, J.; Okunade, O.


    The "Gent" stacked filter unit (SFU) sampler was used to collect aerosols in separate coarse (2-10 μm) and fine (<2 μm) size fractions at an urban residential site in Gent, Belgium. The samplings were done from May 1993 to July 1994, and two daily samples were taken per week. The samples were analyzed for the particulate mass (PM), black carbon (BC) and up to 29 elements. The elements were measured by PIXE and short-irradiation INAA. The crustal and sea-salt elements were predominantly associated with the coarse particles, but PM, the halogens Br and I, and the typical anthropogenic elements BC, S, V, Ni, Zn, In and Pb exhibited average FINE/COARSE ratios of over 2 (up to 7 for BC and I). The fine and PM10 median concentrations were compared with median levels in the respirable size fraction (<5 μm), as measured at the same site in fall 1986. Overall, the airborne particulate element levels did not seem to have changed much since 1986. Notable exceptions were Br and Pb, which were reduced to one third of the 1986 levels, but both elements were still predominantly attributable to automotive emissions. The fine and coarse multielemental data sets were subjected to multivariate receptor modelling, and the results were compared with the receptor model results from the 1986 fall study.

  20. [Cardiovascular disease prevention and health promotion in the French speaking community of Belgium]. (United States)

    Coppieters, Y; Béduwé, C; Collignon, J L; Hubens, V; Levêque, A


    Cardiovascular diseases remain the first cause of mortality in Belgium and are a priority for the Five-year program of health promotion in the French speaking Community. It is declined in operational programs by priority thematics, including the heart health. With this framework, it appeared necessary to operationalize cardiovascular priorities. A process of systemic and participative planning was set up in order to seek operational strategies and actions, and to cover the whole population and actors concerned with these health problems. The various cardiovascular risk factors, which potentiate one another, are approached together and in a global way. Upstream to the risk factors, social health determinants play an important role in cardiovascular diseases and others diseases like cancers. Tracking cardiovascular risk factors among people 30 to 75 years is also proposed. It makes it possible to identify people at risk and to put forward individual and adapted measures. The plan integrates actions of health promotion (acting on the health determinants and factors which influence them) as well as actions aiming at improving tracking and the accompaniment of the patients in secondary and tertiary prevention. Actions on health determinants and the factors influencing them present moreover the advantage of being often common to many chronic diseases.

  1. The conditional returns to origin-country human capital among Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in Belgium. (United States)

    Kanas, Agnieszka; van Tubergen, Frank


    This study extends the analysis of the economic returns to pre-migration human capital by examining the role of the receiving context, co-ethnic residential concentration, and post-migration investments in human capital. It uses large-scale survey data on Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in Belgium. The analysis demonstrates that regarding employment, Moroccan immigrants, that is, those originating from former French colonies receive larger returns to their origin-country education and work experience in French- vs. Dutch-speaking regions. Other than the positive interaction effect between co-ethnic residential concentration and work experience on employment, there is little evidence that co-ethnic concentration increases the returns to origin-country human capital. Speaking the host-country language facilitates economic returns to origin-country work experience. Conversely, immigrants who acquire host-country credentials and work experience receive lower returns to origin-country education and experience, suggesting that, at least among low-skilled immigrants, pre- and post-migration human capital substitute rather than complement each other.

  2. CSR Initiatives in two Higher Education Institutions from Belgium and Romania

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    Laurent LAHAYE


    Full Text Available The paper reveals the strategic role of CSR in two higher education institutions from Belgium and Romania - ICHEC Brussels Management School and Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Galati as institutions which influence sustainable development, by proving their implications in training students as future responsible citizens. Our main goal of this study was not to realise a comparative analysis of CSR initiatives managed by these two faculties, as we focused our attention on the emphasis of the outcomes related to the CSR projects, in the context in which they were designed in a totally different manner. ICHEC Housing Project provides to the students from ICHEC Brussels Management School the experience of intercultural openness, making them take part of a social work and be conscious of the reality in three countries from South: India, Burkina Faso and Benin. Within the CSR workshop organized by Faculty of Economics and Business Administration from Galati, in partnership with a NGO and four participants from Turkey, Bulgaria, France and Austria helps the students to achieve and develop their skills related to the tools, methods and procedures which can be used in CSR operational management. The project aims at increasing the level of implication of citizens in the process of sustainable development. We are aware that each project described in this paper could be considered as a model and replicated by other higher education institutions from worldwide.

  3. Selenium status in cattle herds in Wallonia (Belgium: overview and health management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Youcef Mehdi


    Full Text Available Aim: Monitoring was performed in order to determine the Selenium (Se status of cattle herds in different agricultural areas in Wallonia (Belgium. Materials and Methods: The study included 114 heifers and 184 cows (82 dairy and 102 beef cows from 66 cattle farms situated in Wallonia. The Se status was assessed by measuring the glutathion peroxydase in red cells and converting it to the equivalent Se blood content. Results: The average blood concentrations of Se were very low. The Ardennes region was an area where the lowest Se status was recorded. The highest levels of Se in dairy cows and beef cows were recorded respectively in the limoneuse region and Famenne areas. The Se content in beef herds was lower compared with that of dairy herds (35 vs. 56 μg/L, p<0.01. Conclusion: On average over all the regions, 87% of animals were classified as deficient and only 13% of the animals were classified as adequate. The heifers from both dairy and beef herds in Wallonia exhibited a deficiency in Se classified as moderate to severe. The beef herds showed larger deficiencies compared with the dairy herds. Selenium deficiency can be prevented by ensuring adequate supplementation of deficient animals in Se deficient regions. An increased consumption of vitamin-mineral supplements, the use of Se-enriched fertilizers and ingredients containing high levels of Se can help to reduce or correct deficiencies recorded in cattle herds in Wallonia.

  4. Groundwater quality assessment of one former industrial site in Belgium using a TRIAD-like approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crevecoeur, Sophie [Aquapole, Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Ecotoxicology (LEAE), University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout 15, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Debacker, Virginie, E-mail: [Aquapole, Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Ecotoxicology (LEAE), University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout 15, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Joaquim-Justo, Celia [Aquapole, Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Ecotoxicology (LEAE), University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout 15, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Gobert, Sylvie [Laboratory of Oceanology, University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout 15, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Scippo, Marie-Louise [Laboratory of Food Analysis, University of Liege, Boulevard de Colonster 20, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Dejonghe, Winnie [Separation and Conversion Technology, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Industriezone Vlasmeer 7, 2400 Mol (Belgium); Martin, Patrick [Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINSc), Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Bruxelles (Belgium); Thome, Jean-Pierre [Aquapole, Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Ecotoxicology (LEAE), University of Liege, Allee du 6 Aout 15, 4000 Liege (Belgium)


    Contaminated industrial sites are important sources of pollution and may result in ecotoxicological effects on terrestrial, aquatic and groundwater ecosystems. An effect-based approach to evaluate and assess pollution-induced degradation due to contaminated groundwater was carried out in this study. The new concept, referred to as 'Groundwater Quality TRIAD-like' (GwQT) approach, is adapted from classical TRIAD approaches. GwQT is based on measurements of chemical concentrations, laboratory toxicity tests and physico-chemical analyses. These components are combined in the GwQT using qualitative and quantitative (using zero to one subindices) integration approaches. The TRIAD approach is applied for the first time on groundwater from one former industrial site located in Belgium. This approach will allow the classification of sites into categories according to the degree of contaminant-induced degradation. This new concept is a starting point for groundwater characterization and is open for improvement and adjustment. - Highlights: > This study presents the first application of the TRIAD approach on groundwater system. > Groundwater Quality TRIAD-like approach is based on measurements of chemical concentrations, laboratory toxicity tests and physico-chemical analyses. > None of the three TRIAD components could reliably predict the other one. - This study presents the first application of the TRIAD approach on groundwater system. None of the TRIAD components (chemistry, physico-chemistry and ecotoxicity) could reliably predict the other one.

  5. Preliminary survey on the impact of Schmallenberg virus on sheep flocks in South of Belgium. (United States)

    Saegerman, C; Martinelle, L; Dal Pozzo, F; Kirschvink, N


    Between late February and May 2012, a preliminary anonym survey was conducted among sheep farmers in south of Belgium in order to contribute to future estimations of the economic losses caused by Schmallenberg virus (SBV). Based on clinical signs consistent with SBV infection, this survey involved 13 meat sheep flocks considered as positive flocks with subsequent SBV detection by RT-qPCR [SBV-positive flocks (PF); total of 961 animals], and 13 meat sheep flocks considered as negative flocks (NF; total of 331 animals). These preliminary results indicated several significant characteristics that were more present in PF than in NF. These include an increased rate of abortions (6.7% in PF versus 3.2% in NF), of lambs born at term but presenting malformations (10.1% in PF versus 2.0% in NF) and of dystocia (10.1% in PF versus 3.4% in NF). Lamb mortality during the first week of life was reported more frequently in PF (8 of 13 PF, 61.5%) than in NF (1 of 13 NF, 7.7%). In PF, the observed prolificacy rate was 2-fold lower (93%) than expected (186%). The implementation of a survey at larger scale, including a high number of breeders, is necessary to allow a more detailed analysis of the SBV impact in the sheep sector.

  6. Optimizing Natural Gas Networks through Dynamic Manifold Theory and a Decentralized Algorithm: Belgium Case Study (United States)

    Koch, Caleb; Winfrey, Leigh


    Natural Gas is a major energy source in Europe, yet political instabilities have the potential to disrupt access and supply. Energy resilience is an increasingly essential construct and begins with transmission network design. This study proposes a new way of thinking about modelling natural gas flow. Rather than relying on classical economic models, this problem is cast into a time-dependent Hamiltonian dynamics discussion. Traditional Natural Gas constraints, including inelastic demand and maximum/minimum pipe flows, are portrayed as energy functions and built into the dynamics of each pipe flow. Doing so allows the constraints to be built into the dynamics of each pipeline. As time progresses in the model, natural gas flow rates find the minimum energy, thus the optimal gas flow rates. The most important result of this study is using dynamical principles to ensure the output of natural gas at demand nodes remains constant, which is important for country to country natural gas transmission. Another important step in this study is building the dynamics of each flow in a decentralized algorithm format. Decentralized regulation has solved congestion problems for internet data flow, traffic flow, epidemiology, and as demonstrated in this study can solve the problem of Natural Gas congestion. A mathematical description is provided for how decentralized regulation leads to globally optimized network flow. Furthermore, the dynamical principles and decentralized algorithm are applied to a case study of the Fluxys Belgium Natural Gas Network.

  7. Potential impact of fertilization practices on human dietary intake of dioxins in Belgium. (United States)

    Dumortier, P; Elskens, M; Focant, J F; Goeyens, L; Vandermeiren, K; Pussemier, L


    Dioxins can enter the food chain at any stage, including crop fertilization. Therefore, we developed a simple method for estimating the introduction of dioxins in the food chain according to various fertilization practices. Using dioxin's contamination data taken from the literature, we estimated that fertilization accounts for approximately 20% of the dioxin inputs on agricultural soils at country scale. For the estimations at the field scale, 6 fertilization scenarios were considered: sludge, compost, digestate, manure, mineral fertilizers, and a common fertilization scenario that corresponds to an average situation in Belgium and combines mineral and organic fertilizers. According to our first estimations, mineral fertilizers, common fertilization practices or manure bring less than 1 ng TEQ/m² while atmospheric deposition or digestate bring between 1 and 3 ng TEQ/m² and sludge or compost bring more than 3 ng TEQ/m². The use of solid fertilizers could potentially increase the dioxin levels in the 30 cm agricultural soil layer by 0 to ~1.5% per year (up to ~9% for the 5 cm thick surface layer). For animals, the increase in dioxin ingestion linked to the fertilization practices is lower than 1% for most scenarios with the exception of the compost scenario. Increases in human dietary intake of dioxin are estimated to be lower than 1% for conventional rearing methods (i.e. grazing animals are reared outdoor while pigs and poultry are reared indoor). Spraying liquid fertilizers on meadows and fodder crops, even if very limited in practice, deserves much more attention because this application method could theoretically lead to higher dioxin's intake by livestock (from 6 to ~300%). Considering an average half-life of dioxins in soils of 13 years, it appears that the risks of accumulation in soils and in the food chain are negligible for the various fertilization scenarios.

  8. Schmallenberg Virus in Belgium: Estimation of Impact in Cattle and Sheep Herds. (United States)

    Poskin, A; Méroc, E; Behaeghel, I; Riocreux, F; Couche, M; Van Loo, H; Bertels, G; Delooz, L; Quinet, C; Dispas, M; Van der Stede, Y


    Schmallenberg virus (SBV) emerged during summer 2011. SBV induced an unspecific syndrome in cattle and congenital signs (abortions, stillbirths and malformations) in domestic ruminants. To study the impact of SBV in Belgium, a phone survey was conducted upon September 2012. Hereto two groups of cattle farmers (A and B) and two groups of sheep farmers (C and D) were randomly selected. Farms from groups A (n = 53) and C (n = 42) received SBV-positive result at RT-PCR in the Belgian National Reference Laboratory (NRL). Farms from groups B (n = 29) and D (n = 44) never sent suspected samples to NRL for SBV analysis but were however presumed seropositive for SBV after the survey. Questionnaires related to reproduction parameters and clinical signs observed in newborn and adult animals were designed and addressed to farmers. As calculated on a basis of farmers' observations, 4% of calves in group A and 0.5% in group B were reported aborted, stillborn or deformed due to SBV in 2011-2012. The impact as observed by sheep farmers was substantially higher with 19% of lambs in group C and 11% in group D that were reported aborted, stillborn or deformed due to SBV in 2011-2012. Interestingly, abortions or stillbirths were not clear consequences of SBV outbreak in cattle farms, and the birth of a deformed animal was an essential condition to suspect SBV presence in cattle and sheep farms. This study contributes to a better knowledge of the impact of the SBV epidemic. The results suggest that SBV impacted Belgian herds mostly by the birth of deformed calves, stillborn lambs and deformed lambs. This work also demonstrates that the birth of a deformed calf or lamb was a trigger for the farmer to suspect the presence of SBV and send samples to NRL for further analyses.

  9. Perception and Understanding of Invasive Alien Species Issues by Nature Conservation and Horticulture Professionals in Belgium (United States)

    Vanderhoeven, Sonia; Piqueray, Julien; Halford, Mathieu; Nulens, Greet; Vincke, Jan; Mahy, Grégory


    We conducted a survey to determine how two professional sectors in Belgium, horticulture professionals and nature reserve managers (those directly involved in conservation), view the issues associated with invasive plant species. We developed and utilized a questionnaire that addressed the themes of awareness, concept and use of language, availability of information, impacts and, finally, control and available solutions. Using co-inertia analyses, we tested to what extent the perception of invasive alien species (IAS) was dependent upon the perception of Nature in general. Only forty-two percent of respondent horticulture professionals and eighty-two percent of nature reserve managers had a general knowledge of IAS. Many individuals in both target groups nonetheless had an accurate understanding of the scientific issues. Our results therefore suggest that the manner in which individuals within the two groups view, or perceive, the IAS issue was more the result of lack of information than simply biased perceptions of target groups. Though IAS perceptions by the two groups diverged, they were on par with how they viewed Nature in general. The descriptions of IAS by participants converged with the ideas and concepts frequently found in the scientific literature. Both managers and horticulture professionals expressed a strong willingness to participate in programs designed to prevent the spread of, and damage caused by, IAS. Despite this, the continued commercial availability of many invasive species highlighted the necessity to use both mandatory and voluntary approaches to reduce their re-introduction and spread. The results of this study provide stakeholders and conservation managers with practical information on which communication and management strategies can be based.

  10. Emission and oxidation of methane in a meromictic, eutrophic and temperate lake (Dendre, Belgium). (United States)

    Roland, Fleur A E; Darchambeau, François; Morana, Cédric; Bouillon, Steven; Borges, Alberto V


    We sampled the water column of the Dendre stone pit lake (Belgium) in spring, summer, autumn and winter. Depth profiles of several physico-chemical variables, nutrients, dissolved gases (CO2, CH4, N2O), sulfate, sulfide, iron and manganese concentrations and δ(13)C-CH4 were determined. We performed incubation experiments to quantify CH4 oxidation rates, with a focus on anaerobic CH4 oxidation (AOM), without and with an inhibitor of sulfate reduction (molybdate). The evolution of nitrate and sulfate concentrations during the incubations was monitored. The water column was anoxic below 20 m throughout the year, and was thermally stratified in summer and autumn. High partial pressure of CO2 and CH4 and high concentrations of ammonium and phosphate were observed in anoxic waters. Important nitrous oxide and nitrate concentration maxima were also observed (up to 440 nmol L(-1) and 80 μmol L(-1), respectively). Vertical profiles of δ(13)C-CH4 unambiguously showed the occurrence of AOM. Important AOM rates (up to 14 μmol L(-1) d(-1)) were observed and often co-occurred with nitrate consumption peaks, suggesting the occurrence of AOM coupled with nitrate reduction. AOM coupled with sulfate reduction also occurred, since AOM rates tended to be lower when molybdate was added. CH4 oxidation was mostly aerobic (∼80% of total oxidation) in spring and winter, and almost exclusively anaerobic in summer and autumn. Despite important CH4 oxidation rates, the estimated CH4 fluxes from the water surface to the atmosphere were high (mean of 732 μmol m(-2) d(-1) in spring, summer and autumn, and up to 12,482 μmol m(-2) d(-1) in winter).

  11. Evaluation of the thermal behaviour of different 'local climate zones' in Belgium (United States)

    Verdonck, Marie-Leen; Demuzere, Matthias; Hooyberghs, Hans; Van Coillie, Frieke


    Urban areas are one of the most important human habitats; already 50% of the world's population is living there and this percentage is expected to rise to 70% by 2050. Global warming and the increasing world population will only put more pressure on the living conditions in these habitats. From a thermal comfort point of view it is clear that there is a need for sustainable urban planning that integrates the thermal behaviour of these new developments. To develop sustainable urban planning it is key to know what the influence of a new development will be on the thermal behaviour of the city. Classifying the city according to the local climate zone (LCZ) scheme can provide insights in the thermal behaviour of a city. The WUDAPT LCZ classification framework makes it possible to do so in a spatially explicit manner. This study presents an evaluation of the thermal behaviour of LCZ in three different Belgian cities (Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent) based on modelled air and surface temperature. First LCZ maps were delineated for the three cities. The maps were built based on Landsat and high resolution LiDAR images conform to the WUDAPT LCZ classification framework. Meter- resolution LiDAR images provide useful information on building height and were used to improve the LCZ maps. An accuracy assessment stage was added to confirm the validity of the maps. Secondly, the LCZ maps were used as input data for the URBCLIM model to model air and surface temperature. With the modelling results we characterized the thermal behaviour of every LCZ. In a next step the results for the different cities are compared and the generic character of the WUDAPT LCZ classification framework is evaluated. The main incentive for this study is to investigate whether LCZ maps can be used to foresee the influence of future urban growth scenario's on the thermal comfort in cities in Belgium.

  12. Determinants of the geographic distribution of Puumala virus and Lyme borreliosis infections in Belgium

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    Tersago Katrien


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases generally display clear spatial patterns due to different space-dependent factors. Land cover and land use influence disease transmission by controlling both the spatial distribution of vectors or hosts, and the probability of contact with susceptible human populations. The objective of this study was to combine environmental and socio-economic factors to explain the spatial distribution of two emerging human diseases in Belgium, Puumala virus (PUUV and Lyme borreliosis. Municipalities were taken as units of analysis. Results Negative binomial regressions including a correction for spatial endogeneity show that the spatial distribution of PUUV and Lyme borreliosis infections are associated with a combination of factors linked to the vector and host populations, to human behaviours, and to landscape attributes. Both diseases are associated with the presence of forests, which are the preferred habitat for vector or host populations. The PUUV infection risk is higher in remote forest areas, where the level of urbanisation is low, and among low-income populations. The Lyme borreliosis transmission risk is higher in mixed landscapes with forests and spatially dispersed houses, mostly in wealthy peri-urban areas. The spatial dependence resulting from a combination of endogenous and exogenous processes could be accounted for in the model on PUUV but not for Lyme borreliosis. Conclusion A large part of the spatial variation in disease risk can be explained by environmental and socio-economic factors. The two diseases not only are most prevalent in different regions but also affect different groups of people. Combining these two criteria may increase the efficiency of information campaigns through appropriate targeting.

  13. Longitudinal study on morbidity and mortality in white veal calves in Belgium

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    Pardon Bart


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mortality and morbidity are hardly documented in the white veal industry, despite high levels of antimicrobial drug use and resistance. The objective of the present study was to determine the causes and epidemiology of morbidity and mortality in dairy, beef and crossbred white veal production. A total of 5853 calves, housed in 15 production cohorts, were followed during one production cycle. Causes of mortality were determined by necropsy. Morbidity was daily recorded by the producers. Results The total mortality risk was 5,3% and was significantly higher in beef veal production compared to dairy or crossbreds. The main causes of mortality were pneumonia (1.3% of the calves at risk, ruminal disorders (0.7%, idiopathic peritonitis (0.5%, enterotoxaemia (0.5% and enteritis (0.4%. Belgian Blue beef calves were more likely to die from pneumonia, enterotoxaemia and arthritis. Detection of bovine viral diarrhea virus at necropsy was associated with chronic pneumonia and pleuritis. Of the calves, 25.4% was treated individually and the morbidity rate was 1.66 cases per 1000 calf days at risk. The incidence rate of respiratory disease, diarrhea, arthritis and otitis was 0.95, 0.30, 0.11 and 0.07 cases per 1000 calf days at risk respectively. Morbidity peaked in the first three weeks after arrival and gradually declined towards the end of the production cycle. Conclusions The present study provided insights into the causes and epidemiology of morbidity and mortality in white veal calves in Belgium, housed in the most frequent housing system in Europe. The necropsy findings, identified risk periods and differences between production systems can guide both veterinarians and producers towards the most profitable and ethical preventive and therapeutic protocols.

  14. Mapping wetland loss and restoration potential in Flanders (Belgium: an ecosystem service perspective

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    Kris Decleer


    Full Text Available With the case of Flanders (northern part of Belgium we present an integrated approach to calculate accurate losses of wetlands, potentials for restoration, and their ecosystem services supplies and illustrate how these insights can be used to evaluate and support policy making. Flanders lost about 75% of its wetland habitats in the past 50-60 years, with currently only 68,000 ha remaining, often in a more or less degraded state. For five different wetland categories (excluding open waters we calculated that restoration of lost wetland is still possible for an additional total area of about 147,000 ha, assuming that, with time and appropriate measures and techniques, the necessary biophysical and ecological conditions can more or less be restored or created. Wetland restoration opportunities were mapped according to an open and forested landscape scenario. Despite the fact that for 49,000 ha wetland restoration is justifiable by the actual presence of an appropriate spatial planning and/or protection status, the official Flemish nature policy only foresees 7,400 to 10,600 ha of additional wetland (open waters excluded by 2050. The benefits of a more ambitious wetland restoration action program are underpinned by an explorative and quantified analysis of ecosystem service supply for each of the two scenarios, showing that the strongly increased supply of several important regulating and cultural ecosystem services might outweigh the decrease of food production, especially if extensive farming on temporary wet soils remains possible. Finally, we discuss the challenges of wetland restoration policies for biodiversity conservation and climate change.

  15. Relationship between Fusarium spp. diversity and mycotoxin contents of mature grains in southern Belgium. (United States)

    Hellin, Pierre; Dedeurwaerder, Géraldine; Duvivier, Maxime; Scauflaire, Jonathan; Huybrechts, Bart; Callebaut, Alfons; Munaut, Françoise; Legrève, Anne


    Over a 4-year period (2010-13), a survey aiming at determining the occurrence of Fusarium spp. and their relations to mycotoxins in mature grains took place in southern Belgium. The most prevalent species were F. graminearum, F. avenaceum, F. poae and F. culmorum, with large variations between years and locations. An even proportion of mating type found for F. avenaceum, F. culmorum, F. cerealis and F. tricinctum is usually a sign of ongoing sexual recombination. In contrast, an unbalanced proportion of mating type was found for F. poae and no MAT1-2 allele was present in the F. langsethiae population. Genetic chemotyping indicates a majority of deoxynivalenol (DON)-producing strains in F. culmorum (78%, all 3-ADON producers) and F. graminearum (95%, mostly 15-ADON producers), while all F. cerealis strains belong to the nivalenol (NIV) chemotype. Between 2011 and 2013, DON, NIV, enniatins (ENNs) and moniliformin (MON) were found in each field in various concentrations. By comparison, beauvericin (BEA) was scarcely detected and T-2 toxin, zearalenone and α- and β-zearalenols were never detected. Principal component analysis revealed correlations of DON with F. graminearum, ENNs and MON with F. avenaceum and NIV with F. culmorum, F. cerealis and F. poae. BEA was associated with the presence of F. tricinctum and, to a lesser extent, with the presence of F. poae. The use of genetic chemotype data revealed that DON concentrations were mostly influenced by DON-producing strains of F. graminearum and F. culmorum, whereas the concentrations of NIV were influenced by the number of NIV-producing strains of both species added to the number of F. cerealis and F. poae strains. This study emphasises the need to pay attention to less-studied Fusarium spp. for future Fusarium head blight management strategies, as they commonly co-occur in the field and are associated with a broad spectrum of mycotoxins.

  16. Additional requirements for leak-before-break application to primary coolant piping in Belgium

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    Roussel, G. [AIB Vincotte Nuclear, Brussels (Belgium)


    Leak-Before-Break (LBB) technology has not been applied in the first design of the seven Pressurized Water Reactors the Belgian utility is currently operating. The design basis of these plants required to consider the dynamic effects associated with the ruptures to be postulated in the high energy piping. The application of the LBB technology to the existing plants has been recently approved by the Belgian Safety Authorities but with a limitation to the primary coolant loop. LBB analysis has been initiated for the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 plants to allow the withdrawal of some of the reactor coolant pump snubbers at both plants and not reinstall some of the restraints after steam generator replacement at Doel 3. LBB analysis was also found beneficial to demonstrate the acceptability of the primary components and piping to the new conditions resulting from power uprating and stretch-out operation. LBB analysis has been subsequently performed on the primary coolant loop of the Tihange I plant and is currently being performed for the Doel 4 plant. Application of the LBB to the primary coolant loop is based in Belgium on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements. However the Belgian Safety Authorities required some additional analyses and put some restrictions on the benefits of the LBB analysis to maintain the global safety of the plant at a sufficient level. This paper develops the main steps of the safety evaluation performed by the Belgian Safety Authorities for accepting the application of the LBB technology to existing plants and summarizes the requirements asked for in addition to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission rules.

  17. A methodology to determine pesticides pollution sources in water catchments: study case (Belgium). (United States)

    Limbourg, Q; Noel, S; Huyghebaert, B; Capette, L; Hallet, V


    In the Walloon Region (Belgium), a Committee of Investigation was created in 2007 to investigate and determine the potential pesticides pollution sources in drinkable water catchments. This Committee, constituted by a multidisciplinary team of experts i.e agronomists, soil scientists, phyto-chemists, hydrogeologists, is coordinated by the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W) and funded by the Société Publique de Gestion des Eaux (SPGE). The diagnosis method is inspired of the AQUAPLAINE method (Arvalis, France), and is composed of four steps: 1/preparing the diagnosis using existing data, 2/diagnosis using data bank completed by field observations, 3/meeting and discussion with the pesticide users, 4/final diagnosis and remediation proposal. In a rural district of Walloon Region, a water producer who possesses two catchments ("Les marroniers" (P1) and "Puits N2" (P2)) has problems with pesticides. The pollution started in 1998 with atrazine and bromacile detected in the two catchments. In 2004, 2,6-dichlorobenzamide, metabolite of dichlobenil, was also detected in the catchments. At present, all these pesticides are still found in the catchment P1 and only the 2,6 dichlorobenzamide is found in the other catchment. These active ingredients are not used in agriculture expect atrazine. Indeed, the main user of these products is the public sector. An investigation was realised to locate the main sites which are treated with these pesticides in this commune. The conclusion of this study is that the local authority used dichlobenil, bromacile and atrazine to weed the public areas. In more, the filling and the cleaning areas of sprayer, used for the treatment, are located near the catchments.

  18. Assessment of Rock Slope Stability in Limestone Quarries in the Tournai's Region (Belgium) Using Structural Data (United States)

    Tshibangu, Jean-Pierre; Deloge, K. Pierre-Alexandre; Deschamps, Benoît; Coudyzer, Christophe

    The Tournais region is characterised by famous outcrops of carboniferous limestone which is mined out for cement and raw material production. The four main quarries found in the Region, i.e. Gaurain-Ramecroix, Milieu, Antoing and Lemay; are owned by the three main cement producers in Belgium: Italcimenti, Holcim and CBR. The global production of limestone is about 20 millions tons per year, giving big pits with depths up to 150 m. With the growth of the pits, the quarries are approaching each other leading to the problem of managing the reserves contained in the separating walls and their mechanical stability. The limestone deposit is composed of different seams having varying thickness, chemical com- position and even mechanical properties. The deposit has an overall horizontal dip and is intersected by two main sets of discontinuities with a spacing of about 10 m or less. It is also crossed by a set of east to west faults but the quarries are implanted in the in between areas, so to not be crossed by these faults. The layers and specially the shallow ones are characterised by a typical karstic weathering giving open or filled cavities. This paper presents the global work quarried out in order to study the stability of the Lemays quarry. First a description of the orientation and spacing of discontinuities is presented, and an attempt made to correlate to the development of weathering. Mechanical laboratory tests have been performed and a qualification of the rock mass assessed. A coupled approach is then presented using a mining planning analysis and mechanical simulation (i.e. Finite Element method).

  19. Cost–effectiveness of screening for active cases of tuberculosis in Flanders, Belgium (United States)

    Smit, G Suzanne A; Apers, Ludwig; Arrazola de Onate, Wouter; Beutels, Philippe; Dorny, Pierre; Forier, An-Marie; Janssens, Kristien; Macq, Jean; Mak, Ruud; Schol, Sandrina; Wildemeersch, Dirk; Speybroeck, Niko


    Abstract Objective To assess the cost–effectiveness of the tuberculosis screening activities currently funded by the Flemish government in Flanders, Belgium. Methods After estimating the expenses for 2013–2014 of each of nine screening components – which include high-risk groups, contacts and people who are seeking tuberculosis consultation at a centre for respiratory health care – and the associated costs per active case of tuberculosis identified between 2007 and 2014, we compared the cost–effectiveness of each component. The applied perspective was that of the Flemish government. Findings The three most cost-effective activities appeared to be the follow-up of asylum seekers who were found to have abnormal X-rays in initial screening at the Immigration Office, systematic screening in prisons and contact investigation. The mean costs of these activities were 5564 (95% uncertainty interval, UI: 3791–8160), 11 603 (95% UI: 9010–14 909) and 13 941 (95% UI: 10 723–18 201) euros (€) per detected active case, respectively. The periodic or supplementary initial screening of asylum seekers and the screening of new immigrants from high-incidence countries – which had corresponding costs of €51 813 (95% UI: 34 855–76 847), €126 236 (95% UI: 41 984–347 822) and €418 359 (95% UI: 74 975–1 686 588) – appeared much less cost-effective. Between 2007 and 2014, no active tuberculosis cases were detected during screening in the juvenile detention centres. Conclusion In Flanders, tuberculosis screening in juvenile detention centres and among new immigrants and the periodic or supplementary initial screening of asylum seekers appear to be relatively expensive ways of detecting people with active tuberculosis. PMID:28053362

  20. Muslim consumer trust in halal meat status and control in Belgium. (United States)

    Bonne, Karijn; Verbeke, Wim


    This paper focuses on public trust of Belgian Muslims in information sources of halal meat and their confidence in key actors and institutions for monitoring and controlling the halal meat chain. Cross-sectional consumer data were collected through a survey with 367 Muslims during the summer of 2006 in Belgium. Findings reveal that Islamic institutions and especially the Islamic butcher receive in general most confidence for monitoring and controlling the halal status of meat, and for communicating about halal meat. However, based on Muslims' confidence, four distinct market segments were identified: indifferent (29.1%), concerned (9.7%), confident (33.1%) and Islamic idealist (26.7%). These segments differ significantly with respect to trust in information sources and institutions, health and safety perception of halal meat, perceived halal meat consumption barriers, behavioural variables (halal meat consumption frequency and place of purchase), and socio-cultural (acculturation and self-identity) and individual characteristics. Indifferent consumers are rather undecided about who should monitor the halal status of meat, and they are most open to purchasing halal meat in the supermarket. Concerned Muslim consumers display higher confidence in Belgian than in Islamic institutions, which associates with perceiving a lack of information, poor hygiene and safety concern as barriers to purchasing halal meat. Confident consumers display a clear preference for Islamic institutions to monitor and communicate about halal. Islamic idealists, who are typified by younger age, second generation and high Muslim self-identity, differ from the confident consumers through their very low confidence in local Belgian sources and institutions.

  1. Immunologic biomarkers in relation to exposure markers of PCBs and dioxins in Flemish adolescents (Belgium). (United States)

    Van Den Heuvel, Rosette L; Koppen, Gudrun; Staessen, Jan A; Hond, Elly Den; Verheyen, Geert; Nawrot, Tim S; Roels, Harry A; Vlietinck, Robert; Schoeters, Greet E R


    In this study, we investigated 17- to 18-year-old boys and girls to determine whether changes in humoral or cellular immunity or respiratory complaints were related to blood serum levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin-like compounds after lifetime exposure in Flanders (Belgium). We obtained blood samples from and administered questionnaires to 200 adolescents recruited from a rural area and two urban suburbs. Physicians recorded medical history and respiratory diseases. We measured immunologic biomarkers such as differential blood cell counts, lymphocyte phenotypes, and serum immunoglobulins. As biomarkers of exposure, we determined the serum concentrations of PCBs (PCB 138, PCB 153, and PCB 180) and dioxin-like compounds [chemical-activated luciferase expression (CALUX) bioassay]. The percentages of eosinophils and natural killer cells in blood were negatively correlated with CALUX toxic equivalents (TEQs) in serum (p = 0.009 and p = 0.05, respectively). Increased serum CALUX TEQs resulted in an increase in serum IgA levels (p = 0.05). Furthermore, levels of specific IgEs (measured by radioallergosorbent tests) of cat dander, house dust mite, and grass pollen were also significantly and negatively associated with the CALUX TEQ, with odds ratios (ORs) equal to 0.63 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.42-0.96], 0.68 (0.5-0.93), and 0.70 (0.52-0.95), respectively. In addition, reported allergies of the upper airways and past use of antiallergic drugs were negatively associated with CALUX TEQs, with ORs equal to 0.66 (0.47-0.93) and 0.58 (0.39-0.85), respectively. We found a negative association between IgGs and marker PCBs in serum (p = 0.009). This study shows that immunologic measurements and respiratory complaints in adolescents were associated with environmental exposure to polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAHs). The negative correlation between PHAHs and allergic responses in adolescents suggested that exposure may entail alterations in the

  2. Assessment of personal exposure from radiofrequency-electromagnetic fields in Australia and Belgium using on-body calibrated exposimeters. (United States)

    Bhatt, Chhavi Raj; Thielens, Arno; Billah, Baki; Redmayne, Mary; Abramson, Michael J; Sim, Malcolm R; Vermeulen, Roel; Martens, Luc; Joseph, Wout; Benke, Geza


    The purposes of this study were: i) to demonstrate the assessment of personal exposure from various RF-EMF sources across different microenvironments in Australia and Belgium, with two on-body calibrated exposimeters, in contrast to earlier studies which employed single, non-on-body calibrated exposimeters; ii) to systematically evaluate the performance of the exposimeters using (on-body) calibration and cross-talk measurements; and iii) to compare the exposure levels measured for one site in each of several selected microenvironments in the two countries. A human subject took part in an on-body calibration of the exposimeter in an anechoic chamber. The same subject collected data on personal exposures across 38 microenvironments (19 in each country) situated in urban, suburban and rural regions. Median personal RF-EMF exposures were estimated: i) of all microenvironments, and ii) across each microenvironment, in two countries. The exposures were then compared across similar microenvironments in two countries (17 in each country). The three highest median total exposure levels were: city center (4.33V/m), residential outdoor (urban) (0.75V/m), and a park (0.75V/m) [Australia]; and a tram station (1.95V/m), city center (0.95V/m), and a park (0.90V/m) [Belgium]. The exposures across nine microenvironments in Melbourne, Australia were lower than the exposures across corresponding microenvironments in Ghent, Belgium (pexposures across urban microenvironments were higher than those for rural or suburban microenvironments. Similarly, the exposure levels across outdoor microenvironments were higher than those for indoor microenvironments.

  3. Spatial and temporal RF electromagnetic field exposure of children and adults in indoor micro environments in Belgium and Greece. (United States)

    Vermeeren, Günter; Markakis, Ioannis; Goeminne, Francis; Samaras, Theodoros; Martens, Luc; Joseph, Wout


    Personal radio frequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) exposure, or exposimetry, is gaining importance in the bioelectromagnetics community but only limited data on personal exposure is available in indoor areas, namely schools, crèches, homes, and offices. Most studies are focused on adult exposure, whereas indoor microenvironments, where children are exposed, are usually not considered. A method to assess spatial and temporal indoor exposure of children and adults is proposed without involving the subjects themselves. Moreover, maximal possible daily exposure is estimated by combining instantaneous spatial and temporal exposure. In Belgium and Greece, the exposure is measured at 153 positions spread over 55 indoor microenvironments with spectral equipment. In addition, personal exposimeters (measuring EMFs of people during their daily activities) captured the temporal exposure variations during several days up to one week at 98 positions. The data were analyzed using the robust regression on order statistics (ROS) method to account for data below the detection limit. All instantaneous and maximal exposures satisfied international exposure limits and were of the same order of magnitude in Greece and Belgium. Mobile telecommunications and radio broadcasting (FM) were most present. In Belgium, digital cordless phone (DECT) exposure was present for at least 75% in the indoor microenvironments except for schools. Temporal variations of the exposure were mainly due to variations of mobile telecommunication signals. The exposure was higher during daytime than at night due to the increased voice and data traffic on the networks. Total exposure varied the most in Belgian crèches (39.3%) and Greek homes (58.2%).

  4. An Analysis of Some Highly-Structured Networks of Human Smuggling and Trafficking from Albania and Bulgaria to Belgium

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    Johan Leman


    Full Text Available The authors examine the logistic ecology of 30 large-scale networks that were active in human smuggling and trafficking from Albania and Bulgaria to Belgium (1995–2003. Ten networks were studied in greater detail in order to determine three final profiles of networks, based on their use of structural and operational intermediary structures. They are called the “individual infiltration” and the “structural infiltration” human smuggling patterns, and the “violent-control prostitution” trafficking pattern. It should be noted that the business is organized in such a way that the organizers of the logistical support are never inculpated.

  5. Estimating Soil Organic Carbon stocks and uncertainties for the National inventory Report - a study case in Southern Belgium (United States)

    Chartin, Caroline; Stevens, Antoine; Kruger, Inken; Esther, Goidts; Carnol, Monique; van Wesemael, Bas


    As many other countries, Belgium complies with Annex I of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Belgium thus reports its annual greenhouse gas emissions in its national inventory report (NIR), with a distinction between emissions/sequestration in cropland and grassland (EU decision 529/2013). The CO2 fluxes are then based on changes in SOC stocks computed for each of these two types of landuse. These stocks are specified for each of the agricultural regions which correspond to areas with similar agricultural practices (rotations and/or livestock) and yield potentials. For Southern Belgium (Wallonia) consisting of ten agricultural regions, the Soil Monitoring Network (SMN) 'CARBOSOL' has been developed this last decade to survey the state of agricultural soils by quantifying SOC stocks and their evolution in a reasonable number of locations complying with the time and funds allocated. Unfortunately, the 592 points of the CARBOSOL network do not allow a representative and a sound estimation of SOC stocks and its uncertainties for the 20 possible combinations of land use/agricultural regions. Moreover, the SMN CARBIOSOL is based on a legacy database following a convenience scheme sampling strategy rather than a statistical scheme defined by design-based or model-based strategies. Here, we aim to both quantify SOC budgets (i.e., How much?) and spatialize SOC stocks (i.e., Where?) at regional scale (Southern Belgium) based on data from the SMN described above. To this end, we developed a computation procedure based on Digital Soil Mapping techniques and stochastic simulations (Monte-Carlo) allowing the estimation of multiple (10,000) independent spatialized datasets. This procedure accounts for the uncertainties associated to estimations of both i) SOC stock at the pixelscale and ii) parameters of the models. Based on these 10,000 individual realizations of the spatial model, mean SOC stocks and confidence intervals can be then computed at

  6. Initiation of methane turbulent flux measurements over a grazed grassland in Belgium (United States)

    Dumortier, Pierre; Aubinet, Marc; Chopin, Henri; Debacq, Alain; Jérome, Elisabeth; Beckers, Yves; Heinesch, Bernard


    Methane fluxes emitted by a grazed meadow were measured continuously during the 2012 grazing season at the Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory (50° 18' 44" N; 4° 58' 07" E; 248 m asl.) in Belgium. Measurements were made with the eddy covariance technique, using a fast CH4 analyzer (Picarro G2311-f). Carbon dioxide fluxes (LI-7000) and various micro-meteorological and soil variables, biomass growth and stocking rate evolution were also measured at the site. The site is an intensively pastured meadow of 4.2 ha managed according to the regional usual practices where up to 30 cows are grazing simultaneously. N2O emissions are currently measured through dynamic closed chambers (Beekkerk van Ruth et al., Geophysical Research Abstracts. Vol. 15, EGU2013-3211, 2013) and the carbon budget of the site has already been investigated (Jerome et al. Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 15, EGU2013-6989, 2013). As no CH4 measurements were available, CH4 fluxes were estimated on the basis of dry matter intake by the cows and a conversion factor obtained from a literature review. We want to improve this estimation by measuring CH4 fluxes, identifying their main environmental drivers and understanding diurnal and annual exchange patterns. Methane emissions were found strongly related with cattle stocking rate with a slope of 7.34±0.78 mol CH4 day-1 LSU-1. Up to now, no methane absorption has been observed, the meadow behaving as a methane emitter, even in the absence of cows. In the absence of cows, no significant relation can be established up to now between methane emissions and environmental parameters. No clear diurnal evolution is observed, neither during grazing periods nor during cow free periods. During cow presence periods, fluxes are highly variable, probably due to cow movements in and out the measurement footprint and cow digestion rhythm. Further developments are ongoing in order to improve cattle geo-localization through individual home-made GPS devices and infra

  7. Health risk assessment of dioxin exposure in the City of Menen (Belgium)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nouwen, J.; Provoost, J.; Cornelis, C.; Bronders, J. [Flemish Inst. for Tech. Research (VITO) (Belgium)


    The City of Menen is a well-outlined residential area located in the neighbourhood of two waste incinerators. The waste incinerators (Menen (Belgium) and Roncq (France)) were in full operation since the eighties. Both waste incinerators are still operational and emission measurements indicate that they fulfil the European Union dioxin emission standard of 0.1 ng TEQ/m{sup 3}. Despite of this, new deposition measurements and analysis of milk in this region indicate a high burdening of the local environment with dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dioxin-like PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). It should be noted that formerly the City of Menen was also surrounded by other potential dioxin sources, among them a dye factory, some small illegal cable burning houses, a pressed board manufacturer, and a metal recycling plant. In the past, before 1984, fly ashes of the waste incinerator were locally valorized as road materials and transported. This could be a secondary source. Additionally the Environmental Inspection has regularly noticed some large open wastefires in this region and follows up the situation. On request of the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) an inventory of all measurements in this area was made. An additional sampling of soil, vegetables and eggs was carried out in order to achieve an optimal human risk assessment for the City of Menen. At first instance this risk assessment was carried out by using a deterministic approach. The used human exposure model calculates point estimates based on a combination of unique parameter values. This, however, gives no indication of the variation of the model output. The value of a model parameter is chosen such that a conservative point estimate is obtained for the risk index. Due to variation, it is often unclear how conservative this estimate really is. Hence the variation of the calculated risk index is not known. The calculations of the risk index are subjected to

  8. Organic compounds in urban aerosols from Gent, Belgium: Characterization, sources, and seasonal differences (United States)

    KubáTová, Alena; Vermeylen, Reinhilde; Claeys, Magda; Cafmeyer, Jan; Maenhaut, Willy


    About 100 individual organic compounds were determined in urban aerosols collected at Gent, Belgium. The compounds were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and quantitative data were obtained by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection. Measurements of the particulate mass and of organic and elemental carbon mass were also made. Aerosol samples from a winter and a summer campaign were analyzed in order to examine seasonal differences. The major part of the extractable and elutable organic carbon in both winter and summer aerosols was found to correspond to an unresolved complex mixture that is typical for car exhaust. The prevailing resolved organic compounds in both seasons were n-alkanes and fatty acids, but the distribution patterns of individual components within each class showed seasonal differences. The n-alkane pattern for summer aerosols was clearly affected by emissions from the vegetation, while that of fatty acids revealed a lower relative abundance of unsaturated fatty acids in summer than winter that can be related to more extensive atmospheric oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids during summer. Concentrations of dicarboxylic acids and related products that are believed to be oxidation products of hydrocarbons and fatty acids were highest in summer aerosols. Some individual compounds in the latter class could only be detected in summer samples and showed the highest concentrations on hot summer days that were characterized by maximum temperatures above 25°C and increased ozone concentrations. The latter compounds included novel, recently identified glutaric acid derivatives, namely, 3-isopropyl and 3-acetyl pentanedioic acid, likely originating from atmospheric oxidation of reactive monoterpene or sesquiterpene precursors that still need to be identified. Several compounds were found that are markers of wood combustion, including diterpenoic acids, lignin pyrolysis products, and levoglucosan. The quantitative results obtained for

  9. Euthanasia and other end-of-life decisions: a mortality follow-back study in Belgium

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    Bossuyt Nathalie


    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study compares prevalence and types of medical end-of-life decisions between the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking communities of Belgium. This is the first nationwide study that can make these comparisons and the first measurement after implementation of the euthanasia law (2002. Methods We performed a mortality follow-back study in 2005–2006. Data were collected via the nationwide Sentinel Network of General Practitioners, an epidemiological surveillance system representative of all Belgian GPs. Weekly, all GPs reported the medical end-of-life decisions among all non-sudden deaths of patients in their practice. We compared the northern Dutch-speaking (60% and southern French-speaking communities (40% controlling for population differences. Results We analysed 1690 non-sudden deaths. An end-of-life decision with possible life-shortening effect was made in 50% of patients in the Dutch-speaking community and 41% of patients in the French-speaking community (OR 1.4; 95%CI, 1.2 to 1.8. Continuous deep sedation until death occurred in 8% and 15% respectively (OR 0.5; 95%CI, 0.4 to 0.7. Community differences regarding the prevalence of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide were not significant. Community differences were more present among home/care home than among hospital deaths: non-treatment decisions with explicit life-shortening intention were made more often in the Dutch-speaking than in the French-speaking community settings (OR 2.2; 95%CI, 1.2 to 3.9; while continuous deep sedation occurred less often in the Dutch-speaking community settings (OR 0.5; 95%CI, 0.3 to 0.9. Conclusion Even though legal and general healthcare systems are the same for the whole country, there are considerable variations between the communities in type and prevalence of certain end-of-life decisions, even after controlling for population differences.

  10. Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pollutants in eggs of little owls (Athene noctua) from Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaspers, Veerle [Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Covaci, Adrian [Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium)]. E-mail:; Maervoet, Johan [Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Dauwe, Tom [Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Voorspoels, Stefan [Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Schepens, Paul [Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Eens, Marcel [Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium)


    Residues of brominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in 40 eggs of little owls (Athene noctua), a terrestrial top predator from Belgium. The major organohalogens detected were PCBs (median 2,600 ng/g lipid, range 790-23000 ng/g lipid). PCB 153,138/163, 170, 180 and 187 were the predominant congeners and constituted 71% of total sum PCBs. PBDEs were measurable in all samples, but their concentrations were much lower than for PCBs, with a range from 29-572 ng/g lipid (median 108 ng/g lipid). The most prevalent PBDE congeners in little owl egg samples were BDE 47, 99 and 153. This profile differs from the profile in marine bird species, for which BDE 47 was the dominant congener, indicating that terrestrial birds may be more exposed to higher brominated BDE congeners than marine birds. The fully brominated BDE 209 could be detected in one egg sample (17 ng/g lipid), suggesting that higher brominated BDEs may accumulate in terrestrial food chains. Brominated biphenyl (BB) 153 was determined in all egg samples, with levels ranging from 0.6 to 5.6 ng/g lipid (median 1.3 ng/g lipid). Additionally, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) could be identified and quantified in only two eggs at levels of 20 and 50 ng/g lipid. OCPs were present at low concentrations, suggesting a rather low contamination of the sampled environment with OCPs (median concentrations of sum DDTs: 826 ng/g lipid, sum chlordanes: 1,016 ng/g lipid, sum HCHs: 273 ng/g lipid). Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and octachlorostyrene (OCS) were also found at low median levels of 134 and 3.4 ng/g lipid, respectively. Concentrations of most analytes were significantly higher in eggs collected from deserted nests in comparison to addled (unhatched) eggs, while eggshell thickness did not differ between deserted and addled eggs. No significant correlations were found between eggshell thickness and the analysed organohalogens. - PBDEs are measurable

  11. Cooperation under the RES Directive - Case study on a joint project: An offshore wind park in the North Sea (cooperation between the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, and Luxembourg)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kitzing, Lena; Nysten, Jana; Gephart, Malte;

    the implications of the set-up and thecooperation. We assume that the countries cooperate on the joint project, but not on their supportschemes. The latter aspect might follow in a second step.We show that all involved countries can benefit from the joint project. Belgium benefits fromgaining access to additional......This case study provides an overview of how cooperation on a large joint project could beimplemented. It seeks to make the descriptions as close to reality, hands-on and practical aspossible. That said, the case is not an actually ongoing case, but should be seen as a potential projectidea.......The joint project consists of a 1000 MW offshore wind park located on Dutch territory, to beconnected to an offshore hub on Belgian territory. Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK will togetherundertake the joint project and share the production and the RES benefits. Belgium will be the drivingforce...

  12. Climate change impacts on groundwater resources: modelled deficits in a chalky aquifer, Geer basin, Belgium (United States)

    Brouyère, Serge; Carabin, Guy; Dassargues, Alain

    An integrated hydrological model (MOHISE) was developed in order to study the impact of climate change on the hydrological cycle in representative water basins in Belgium. This model considers most hydrological processes in a physically consistent way, more particularly groundwater flows which are modelled using a spatially distributed, finite-element approach. Thanks to this accurate numerical tool, after detailed calibration and validation, quantitative interpretations can be drawn from the groundwater model results. Considering IPCC climate change scenarios, the integrated approach was applied to evaluate the impact of climate change on the water cycle in the Geer basin in Belgium. The groundwater model is described in detail, and results are discussed in terms of climate change impact on the evolution of groundwater levels and groundwater reserves. From the modelling application on the Geer basin, it appears that, on a pluri-annual basis, most tested scenarios predict a decrease in groundwater levels and reserves in relation to variations in climatic conditions. However, for this aquifer, the tested scenarios show no enhancement of the seasonal changes in groundwater levels. Un modèle hydrologique intégré (MOHISE) a été développé afin d'étudier l'impact du changement climatique sur le cycle hydrologique de bassins versants représentatifs de Belgique. Ce modèle prend en compte tous les processus hydrologiques d'une manière physiquement consistante, plus particulièrement les écoulements souterrains qui sont modélisés par une approche spatialement distribuée aux éléments finis. Grâce à cet outil numérique précis, après une calibration et une validation détaillées, des interprétations quantitatives peuvent être réalisées à partir des résultats du modèle de nappe. Considérant des scénarios de changements climatiques de l'IPCC, l'approche intégrée a été appliquée pour évaluer l'impact du changement climatique sur le cycle de l

  13. Low occurrence of the new species Staphylococcus argenteus in a Staphylococcus aureus collection of human isolates from Belgium. (United States)

    Argudín, M A; Dodémont, M; Vandendriessche, S; Rottiers, S; Tribes, C; Roisin, S; de Mendonça, R; Nonhoff, C; Deplano, A; Denis, O


    Staphylococcus argenteus is a novel Staphylococcus species closely related to Staphylococcus aureus that has been recently described. In this study, we investigated the proportion and the characteristics of S. argenteus recovered from humans in Belgium. S. aureus. human isolates collected in Belgium from 2006 to 2015 (n = 1,903) were retrospectively characterised via the presence of non-pigmented colonies on chocolate agar, spa typing and rpoB sequencing to determine if some of them were in fact S. argenteus. Out of 73 strains non-pigmented on chocolate plates, 3 isolates (0.16 %) showed rpoB sequences, in addition to spa and sequence types (ST2250/t5787, ST2250/t6675, ST3240/t6675), related to S. argenteus. Two of them were methicillin-resistant, harbouring a SCCmec type IV. The three S. argenteus isolates carried genes (sak, scn) of the immune evasion cluster. This first Belgian nationwide analysis showed a low occurrence of S. argenteus. Further studies should be conducted to identify the distribution range and the clinical impact of this new species.

  14. Recommendations for the organization of mental health services for children and adolescents in Belgium: use of the soft systems methodology. (United States)

    Vandenbroeck, Philippe; Dechenne, Rachel; Becher, Kim; Eyssen, Marijke; Van den Heede, Koen


    The prevalence of mental health problems among children and adolescents in Western countries is high. Belgium, like many other Western countries, struggles with the set-up of a coherent and effective strategy for dealing with this complex societal problem. This paper describes the development of a policy scenario for the organization of child and adolescent mental health care services (CAMHS) in Belgium. The development process relied on Soft Systems Methodology including a participatory process with 66 stakeholders and a review of the existing (inter-)national evidence. A diagnostic analysis illustrated that the Belgian CAMHS is a system in serious trouble characterized by fragmentation and compartmentalization. A set of 10 strategic recommendations was formulated to lay down the contours of a future, more effective CAMHS system. They focus on mastering the demands made on scarce and expensive specialized mental health services; strengthening the range of services - in particular for those with serious, complex and multiple mental health problems - and strengthening the adaptive capacity of and the ethical guidance within the future CAMHS system.

  15. Enteroaggregative Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli of serotype O104:H4 in Belgium and Luxembourg

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. De Rauw


    Full Text Available In 2011, a large outbreak of infections caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC O104:H4 occurred in Germany. This exceptionally virulent strain combined virulence factors of enteroaggregative E. coli (EAggEC and STEC. After the outbreak only a few sporadic cases of infection with this rare serotype were reported, most of which were related to travel to the Middle East or North Africa. Here we describe two cases of enteroaggregative STEC (Agg-STEC O104:H4 infection that occurred in Belgium in 2012 and 2013 respectively. In both cases travel in a Mediterranean country preceded the infection. The first strain was isolated from the stool of a 42-year-old woman presenting bloody diarrhoea, who had travelled to Tunisia the week before. The second case involves a 14-year-old girl who, upon her return from Turkey to Belgium, suffered from an episode of bloody diarrhoea and haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Extended typing of the isolates with pulsed field gel electrophoresis revealed that the strains were closely related, though not exactly the same as the 2011 outbreak strain. This report supports the previously made hypothesis that Agg-STEC has a human reservoir and might be imported by travellers coming from an area where the pathogen is endemic. Furthermore, it emphasizes the concern that these bacteria may cause future outbreaks as evenly virulent O104:H4 isolates seem to be widespread.

  16. Accessibility to cochlear implants in Belgium: state of the art on selection, reimbursement, habilitation, and outcomes in children and adults. (United States)

    De Raeve, Leo; Wouters, Annelies


    Belgium, and especially the northern region called Flanders, has been a center of expertise in cochlear implants and early hearing screening for many years. Some of their surgeons and engineers were pioneers in the development of cochlear implants and in 1998 Flanders was the first region in Europe to implement a universal hearing screening program for all neonates. The Belgian National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance has reimbursed cochlear implants in children and adults since 1994 and bilateral implantation in children under the age of 12 years since February 2010. These deaf children, screened and implanted early, achieve higher auditory, speech and language outcomes and increasing numbers are going to regular schools using fewer interpreters. In 2010, 93% of severe-to-profound deaf preschool children in Flanders had received cochlear implants and 25% had bilateral implants. Although on average twice as many adults as children are implanted a year in Belgium, we have less research data available from this adult population. Also very little is published about the growth curves and minimal rehabilitation requirements (intensity, duration etc.) after implantation for both children and adults. So, there still remain many challenges for the future.

  17. Same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption: Socio-political context of the rights of gay and lesbian people in Belgium


    Scali, Thérèse; D'Amore, Salvatore


    Belgium is considered as being on the forefront of a number of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT). In the 1990s, the law on legal cohabitation made it possible for same-sex couples to draw up cohabitation contracts. Belgium then became the second country in Europe to authorise marriage between same-sex partners in 2003, as well as opening up access to parenthood to LGBT people, in 2006. In addition, the Government has launched several programmes to fight against h...

  18. The contribution of micromorphology to study Dark Earth: the example of Brussels (Belgium) (United States)

    Devos, Yannick; Vrydaghs, Luc


    ). DAVID, C., CAMMAS, C., DUREY-BLARY, V., FÉCHANT, C., JESSET, S., JOSSET, D. & NAIZET, F., 2000. Problématique archéologique. Méthodes et techniques appliquées à l'étude des terres noires : état de la recherche. In: Terres Noires - 1. Maison des sciences de la ville, de l'urbanisme et des paysages, Tours, pp. 15-38. (= Documents Sciences de la Ville, 6, 2000). MACPHAIL, R.I., 1994. The reworking of urban stratigraphy by human and natural processes. In: HALL, A.R., KENWARD, H.K. (eds.), Urban-rural connexions: perspectives from environmental archaeology. Symposia of the Association for Environmental Archaeology No. 12. Oxbow, Oxford, pp. 13-43. (= Oxbow Monograph, 47). MACPHAIL, R.I., 2003. Soil microstratigraphy: a micromorphological and chemical approach. In: COWAN, C. (ed.), Urban development in north-west Roman Southwark. Excavations 1974-90. Museum of London Archaeology Service, London, pp.89-105. (= MoLAS Monograph, 16). NICOSIA, C., 2006. Archaeopedological study of medieval ‘Dark Earth' from Firenze, Italy. Unpublished M.Sc. thesis, University Ghent. VERSLYPE, L. & BRULET, R. (eds.), 2004. Terres Noires - Dark Earth. Actes de la table ronde internationale tenue à Louvain-la-Neuve, les 09 et 10 novembre 2001. Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve. (= Collection d'archéologie Joseph Mertens, XIV). VRYDAGHS, L., DEVOS, Y., FECHNER, K. & DEGRAEVE, A., 2007. Phytolith analysis of ploughed land thin sections. Contribution to the early medieval town development of Brussels (Treurenberg site, Belgium). In: MADELLA, M. & ZUCOL, D. (eds.): Plants, people and places. Recent studies in phytolith analysis. Oxbow Books, Oxford: 13-27.

  19. Assessment of the contribution from wood burning to the PM10 aerosol in Flanders, Belgium. (United States)

    Maenhaut, Willy; Vermeylen, Reinhilde; Claeys, Magda; Vercauteren, Jordy; Matheeussen, Christina; Roekens, Edward


    From February 2010 to February 2011 PM10 aerosol samples were simultaneously taken every 4th day at 7 monitoring sites in Flanders, Belgium. Two of the sites (i.e., Borgerhout and Gent) were urban background sites; one (i.e., Mechelen) a suburban background site, and the other four (i.e., Hamme, Lier, Retie, and Houtem) rural background sites, whereby Hamme and Lier were expected to be particularly impacted by biomass burning. The samplings were done for 24h and 47-mm diameter Pallflex® Tissuquartz™ 2500 QAT-UP filters were used. After sampling the PM10 mass concentration was determined by weighing; organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC) were measured by thermal-optical transmission analysis and the wood burning tracers levoglucosan, mannosan, and galactosan were determined by means of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The atmospheric concentrations of levoglucosan and the other two monosaccharide anhydrides showed a very clear seasonal variation at each site, with highest levels in winter, followed by autumn, spring, and summer. The levoglucosan levels for 5 of our 7 sites (i.e., Retie, Lier, Mechelen, Borgerhout, and Gent) were very highly correlated with each other (all between site correlation coefficients r>0.9, except for one value of 0.86) and the levels in the parallel samples of these 5 sites were similar, indicating that wood burning at these 5 sites was a regional phenomenon and that it was taking place in many individual houses on similar occasions (e.g., on cold days, weekends or holidays). The levoglucosan levels at Houtem and the correlation coefficients of the 5 sites with Houtem were lower, which is explained by the fact that the latter site is at less than 20 km from the North Sea so that the air there is often diluted by rather clean westerly maritime air. A peculiar behavior was seen for Hamme, with on many occasions very high levoglucosan levels, which was attributed to the fact that there is wood burning going on in several houses

  20. Cultural Heritage Documentation and Integrated Geomatics Techniques in AN Educational Context: Case Bois-Du (belgium) (United States)

    Stal, C.; Goossens, R.; Carlier, L.; Debie, J.; Haoudy, K.; Nuttens, T.; De Wulf, A.


    The Walloon Region in Belgium played a leading role in the world economy and in the industrial sciences and engineering since the 19th century. Several relicts, such as important industrial buildings or sites, are spread over a large area and are still dominating the current landscape. Some of these remnants are preserved as monuments, representing the industrial, cultural and ecological transition of the region during the last two centuries. Since 2012, UNESCO recognized the importance of four of the best preserved 19th and 20th century coal mining sites and classified them as World Heritage ("Major Mining Sites of Wallonia", Le Grand-Hornu, Bois-du- Luc, Le Bois du Cazier and Blegny Mine). The four recognised mining sites together form a strip of about 170 km long, containing important examples of the so-called 'neo classical architecture' from the early periods of the industrial era in continental Europe. Motivated by this recognition and by the huge touristic and educational potential of the sites, a partnership between the Walloon government and Ghent University was organized. In this first stage, the collaboration focuses on the site of Bois-du-Luc in the municipality of La Louvière, containing a large series of dwellings, several equipments built between 1853 and 1923 by the Société des Charbonnages du Bois-du-Luc, workshops and heaps. Consisting of numerous buildings dating back to the period between 1838 and 1923, this site is one of Europe's oldest collieries. The collaboration between the Walloon government and Ghent University - Department of Geography fits in the hands-on training which students in land surveying and geomatics receive during their Bachelor studies. For the students it is very interesting that their practical exercises are not limited to the university campus, but that they are involved in a real measurement campaign. The project consists of a series of intensive land surveying campaigns, resulting in highly detailed and accurate

  1. Dynamics and fate of SOC in tidal marshes along a salinity gradient (Scheldt estuary, Belgium) (United States)

    Van de Broek, Marijn; Temmermann, Stijn; Merckx, Roel; Wang, Zhengang; Govers, Gerard


    Coastal ecosystems have been attributed the potential to store large amounts of organic carbon (OC), often referred to as blue carbon, of which a considerable amount is stored in tidal marsh soils. Large uncertainties still exist with respect to the amount and controlling factors of soil organic carbon (SOC) stored in these ecosystems. Moreover, most research has focused on SOC dynamics of saltmarshes, while brackish and freshwater marshes are often even more productive and thus receive even larger organic carbon inputs. Therefore, in this study the OC dynamics of tidal marsh soils along an estuarine gradient are studied in order to contribute to our knowledge of 1) the stocks, 2) the controlling factors and 3) the fate of SOC in tidal marshes with different environmental characteristics. This research thus contributes to a better understanding of the potential of coastal environments to store organic carbon under future climatic changes. Soil and vegetation samples are collected in tidal salt-, brackish- and freshwater marshes in the Scheldt estuary (Belgium - The Netherlands). At each tidal marsh, three replicate soil cores up to 1.5m depth in 0.03m increments are collected at locations with both a low and a high elevation. These cores are analyzed for OC, stable C and N isotopes, bulk density and texture. Incubation experiments of topsoil samples were conducted and both aboveground and belowground biomass were collected. The results show that SOC stocks (range: 13,5 - 35,4 kg OC m-2), standing biomass (range: 2000 - 7930 g DW m-2) and potential soil respiration of CO2 (range: 0,03 - 0,12 % per unit OC per day) decrease with increasing salinity. This shows that both the amount of OC from local macrophytes and the quality of the organic matter are important factors controlling the SOC stocks. In addition, based on the analysis of stable C and N isotopes, it appears that when a significant fraction of SOC is derived from local macrophytes, higher SOC stocks are

  2. Incorporating rainfall uncertainty in a SWAT model: the river Zenne basin (Belgium) case study (United States)

    Tolessa Leta, Olkeba; Nossent, Jiri; van Griensven, Ann; Bauwens, Willy


    The European Union Water Framework Directive (EU-WFD) called its member countries to achieve a good ecological status for all inland and coastal water bodies by 2015. According to recent studies, the river Zenne (Belgium) is far from this objective. Therefore, an interuniversity and multidisciplinary project "Towards a Good Ecological Status in the river Zenne (GESZ)" was launched to evaluate the effects of wastewater management plans on the river. In this project, different models have been developed and integrated using the Open Modelling Interface (OpenMI). The hydrologic, semi-distributed Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is hereby used as one of the model components in the integrated modelling chain in order to model the upland catchment processes. The assessment of the uncertainty of SWAT is an essential aspect of the decision making process, in order to design robust management strategies that take the predicted uncertainties into account. Model uncertainty stems from the uncertainties on the model parameters, the input data (e.g, rainfall), the calibration data (e.g., stream flows) and on the model structure itself. The objective of this paper is to assess the first three sources of uncertainty in a SWAT model of the river Zenne basin. For the assessment of rainfall measurement uncertainty, first, we identified independent rainfall periods, based on the daily precipitation and stream flow observations and using the Water Engineering Time Series PROcessing tool (WETSPRO). Secondly, we assigned a rainfall multiplier parameter for each of the independent rainfall periods, which serves as a multiplicative input error corruption. Finally, we treated these multipliers as latent parameters in the model optimization and uncertainty analysis (UA). For parameter uncertainty assessment, due to the high number of parameters of the SWAT model, first, we screened out its most sensitive parameters using the Latin Hypercube One-factor-At-a-Time (LH-OAT) technique

  3. The EUI Data Center at the Royal Observatory of Belgium: challenges and solutions (United States)

    Verbeeck, Cis; Stegen, Koen; Berghmans, David; West, Matthew; Kraaikamp, Emil; Gissot, Samuel; Giordanengo, Boris; Nicula, Bogdan

    ESA’s Solar Orbiter mission is conceived to perform a close-up study of the Sun and the inner heliosphere. With a perihelion close at 0.29 AU and a maximum aphelion at about 0.85 AU, Solar Orbiter ventures closer to the Sun than any spacecraft before. Furthermore, about 3 years after launch, the spacecraft will begin an out-of-ecliptic phase, with inclinations gradually increasing up to 30 degrees. Solar Orbiter will be launched in 2017 and its nominal mission will last until 2024 (with the possibility of an extended mission until 2026). It will provide unique data and imagery of the Sun. The Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) suite onboard Solar Orbiter is composed of two High Resolution Imagers (HRI, one at Lyman-alpha and one at 174 Angstrom), and one dual band Full-Sun imager (FSI) working alternatively at the 174 and 304 Angstrom EUV passbands. The EUI Data Center (EDC), under PI supervision and located at the Royal Observatory of Belgium (Brussels), will be the single point of contact for instrument planning activities and for data deliveries to the Solar Orbiter archive at ESAC (Madrid), and is currently in its design phase. The EUI Data Center will be responsible for delivery to ESAC and the maintenance of the pipeline software that will process EUI data from telemetry packets to higher level data products. It will also ensure the delivery of these data products to the Solar Orbiter Data Archive, and maintain the instrument user manual that documents the processing of EUI non-science TM packets at ESOC (Darmstadt). The EDC will monitor any anomaly affecting the EUI instrument and produce on a regular basis the Instrument Operations Reports including an instrument health and science performance review. Here, we present an overview of the EDC and how it envisages to tackle some specific challenges. Since EUI will only observe during three “science windows” of 10 days each per orbit of about 165 days and in view of a severely limited telemetry, it is

  4. Towards quantifying long-term erosion rates in the Campine Basin, NE Belgium (United States)

    Beerten, Koen; Vanacker, Veerle


    The Campine Basin, NE Belgium, is situated between the uplifting Ardennes Massif and rapidly subsiding Roer Valley Graben. It contains a thick series of marine, estuarine and continental Neogene and Quaternary sediments, locally more than 300 m. As a result of relief inversion during the Quaternary, the Campine Plateau is nowadays a distinct morphological feature in this basin. Its surface elevation dips from 100 m in the south to 30 m in the north over a distance of about 60 km, which is the result of differential uplift. The Campine Plateau is covered by Early and Middle Pleistocene erosion-resistant fluvial sediments from the Rhine and Meuse and can thus be regarded as a fluvial terrace. The age of deposition and time of abandonment of the terrace have not yet been resolved by direct numerical dating. In this study, we apply the cosmogenic radionuclide (CRN) profiling technique that, in ideal circumstances, allows one to constrain the exposure age, burial age and amount of post-depositional erosion of the landform. Samples were taken from a 3.5 m deep cross-section in coarse river sands that were deposited by the river Rhine, and now situated at an altitude of about 50 m (a.s.l.). Nine of them were prepared for CRN measurements according to state-of-the-art techniques. The in-situ 10Be concentration of the samples was determined using accelerator mass spectrometry (ETH, Zurich). The in-situ 10Be concentrations are 1.5x10e5 atoms/g for the uppermost sample (at 0.3 m depth) and 0.9x10e5 at/g for the lowermost sample (at 3.1 m depth), yielding an estimated 0.6x10e5 at/g of radionuclide accumulation following sediment deposition. Using forward modelling, we solved for the exposure duration and erosion rate that best fit the measured in-situ 10Be depth profile data, nuclide inheritance and their associated analytical uncertainties. Model optimisation is here based on the sum of chi-squared between the measured and modelled 10Be concentrations. When taking previous

  5. Characterization of deep geothermal energy resources using Electro-Magnetic methods, Belgium (United States)

    Loveless, Sian; Harcout-Menou, Virginie; De Ridder, Fjo; Claessens, Bert; Laenen, Ben


    Sedimentary basins in Northwest Europe have significant potential for low to medium enthalpy, deep geothermal energy resources. These resources are currently assessed using standard exploration techniques (seismic investigations followed by drilling of a borehole). This has enabled identification of geothermal resources but such techniques are extremely costly. The high cost of exploration remains one of the main barriers to geothermal project development due to the lack of capital in the geothermal industry. We will test the possibility of using the Electro-Magnetic (EM) methods to aid identification of geothermal resources in conjunction with more traditional exploration methods. An EM campaign could cost a third of a seismic campaign and is also often a passive technology, resulting in smaller environmental impacts than seismic surveys or drilling. EM methods image changes in the resistivity of the earth's sub-surface using natural or induced frequency dependant variations of electric and magnetic fields. Changes in resistivity can be interpreted as representing different subsurface properties including changes in rock type, chemistry, temperature and/or hydraulic transmissivity. While EM techniques have proven to be useful in geothermal exploration in high enthalpy areas in the last 2-3 years only a handful of studies assess their applicability in low enthalpy sedimentary basins. Challenges include identifying which sub-surface features cause changes in electrical resistivity as low enthalpy reservoirs are unlikely to exhibit the hydrothermally altered clay layer above the geothermal aquifer that is typical for high enthalpy reservoirs. Yet a principal challenge is likely to be the high levels of industrialisation in the areas of interest. Infrastructure such as train tracks and power cables can create a high level of background noise that can obfuscate the relevant signal. We present our plans for an EM campaign in the Flemish region of Belgium. Field

  6. Anisothecium staphylinum (Whitehouse) Sipman, Rubers & Riemann comb. nov. found in Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, with a remark on its costal anatomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sipman, H.; Rubers, W.V.; Riemann, B.


    Dicranella staphylina Whitehouse, a species recently described from Great Britain, is now recorded from Belgium, Denmark and The Netherlands. A new combination, Anisothecium staphylinum (Whitehouse) Sipman, Rubers & Riemann, is proposed. A study of the costal anatomy revealed that A. staphylinum in

  7. A partial braincase and other skeletal remains of Oligocene angel sharks (Chondrichthyes, Squatiniformes) from northwest Belgium, with comments on squatinoid taxonomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mollen, F.H.; Bakel , van B.W.M.; Jagt, J.W.M.

    A detailed redescription of a chondrocranium from the basal Boom Clay Formation (Rupelian, Upper Oligocene) at the SVK clay pit, Sint-Niklaas (province of Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium), previously assigned to the sawshark Pristiophorus rupeliensis, is presented. The chondrocranium is re-identified as th

  8. Tracking and Sense of Futility: The Impact of Between-School Tracking versus Within-School Tracking in Secondary Education in Flanders (Belgium) (United States)

    Van Houtte, Mieke; Stevens, Peter A. J.


    It has been established since the 1960s that tracking yields negative consequences for students in lower tracks. As this research has been carried out mainly in the USA and UK, the effects of tracking have been demonstrated in systems of within-school tracking mostly. However, in many European countries--such as Belgium (Flanders)--tracking is…

  9. Risk assessment, risk management and risk-based monitoring following a reported accidental release of poliovirus in Belgium, September to November 2014

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duizer, Erwin; Rutjes, Saskia; de Roda Husman, Ana Maria; Schijven, Jack


    On 6 September 2014, the accidental release of 10(13) infectious wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) particles by a vaccine production plant in Belgium was reported. WPV3 was released into the sewage system and discharged directly to a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and subsequently into rivers that fl

  10. Toward a balanced framework to evaluate and improve the internal functioning of non-profit economic development business incubators : A study in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vanderstraeten, J.; Matthyssens, P.; van Witteloostuijn, A.


    Non-profit organisations, such as economic development incubators, may adapt the balanced scorecard and strategy map in their efforts to improve their internal functioning. In this paper, we employ qualitative research among non-profit economic development incubators in Antwerp, Belgium, to modify t

  11. The implications of K-Ar glauconite dating of the Diest Formation on the paleogeography of the Upper Miocene in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandenberghe, N.; Harris, W.B.; Wampler, J.M.; Houthuys, R.; Louwye, S.; Adriaens, R.; Vos, K.; Lanckacker, T.; Matthijs, J.; Deckers, J.; Verhaegen, J.; Laga, P.; Westerhoff, W.E.; Munsterman, D.K.


    The glauconite-rich Diest Formation in central and north Belgium contains sands in the Campine subsurface and the hilly Hageland area that can be distinguished from each other. The Hageland Diest Sands member contains no stratigraphically relevant fossils while in the Campine subsurface dinoflagella

  12. The Formation and Development of Illicit Performance and Image Enhancing Drug Markets: Exploring Supply and Demand, and Control Policies in Belgium and the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van de Ven, K.


    This research explores the understudied phenomenon of performance and image enhancing drug (PIED) markets by examining the structure and formation of the market for PIEDs in the Netherlands and Belgium. Furthermore, this study aims to understand and analyse the actors that operate in the PIED dealin

  13. How Darwinism Has Affected Catholic as Well as Non-Catholic Psycho-Pedagogical Constructs in Belgium from the 1870s to the 1930s (United States)

    Depaepe, Marc; De Bont, Raf; Dams, Kristof


    On the basis of their individual preliminary studies, the authors consider in this article the impact of Darwinism on psycho-pedagogical constructs in Belgium in the period before the Second World War. Their findings are put together around three positions, which are, in fact, hypotheses for further research: (1) The "influence" of Darwin on…

  14. A partial braincase and other skeletal remains of Oligocene angel sharks (Chondrichthyes, Squatiniformes) from northwest Belgium, with comments on squatinoid taxonomy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mollen, F.H.; Bakel , van B.W.M.; Jagt, J.W.M.


    A detailed redescription of a chondrocranium from the basal Boom Clay Formation (Rupelian, Upper Oligocene) at the SVK clay pit, Sint-Niklaas (province of Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium), previously assigned to the sawshark Pristiophorus rupeliensis, is presented. The chondrocranium is re-identified as th

  15. Subjective Well-Being and Social Capital in Belgian Communities. The Impact of Community Characteristics on Subjective Well-Being Indicators in Belgium (United States)

    Hooghe, Marc; Vanhoutte, Bram


    In this article, we investigate the effect of individual and community level characteristics on subjective well-being in Belgium. Various indicators for subjective well-being are being used in a multilevel analysis of the 2009 SCIF survey (n = 2,080) and the 2006 Belgian ESS sample (n = 1,798). On the individual level, most hypotheses on the…

  16. 10 years of 1:1 taping in Belgium - A selection of murder cases involving fibre examination. (United States)

    De Wael, K; Lepot, L; Lunstroot, K; Gason, F


    Since 2002, the 1:1 tape lifting technique on murder victims has been introduced in Belgium. Thirty-six murder cases for which a fibre examination was carried out in our laboratory between 2002 and 2012 are reviewed. These cases all involved the collection of microtraces on 39 victims using a 1:1 taping or similar technique, called semi 1:1 taping. The degree of "positive outcomes" for investigative and comparative fibre cases is high. Especially in cases where the modus operandi of suspects had to be verified, the examination of the 1:1 tape lifting led to very useful fibre results. The findings from some of these fibre cases are used to illustrate the advantages, drawbacks and points of interest of the two collection techniques. These are also compared with the zonal taping technique, another microtrace collection technique applied on victims at the crime scene.

  17. Reliability and Validity of the Roberts UCLA Loneliness Scale (RULS-8 With Dutch-Speaking Adolescents in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc Goossens


    Full Text Available The internal consistency and construct validity of the RULS-8, a brief measure of loneliness for use with adolescents, was examined in three samples of Dutch-speaking adolescents in Belgium (for a total of 'N' = 6,236. The measure showed high levels of internal consistency (ranging between .80 and .82, strong convergence with the original 20-item instrument ('r' = .92; Sample 1; 'N' = 282, excellent fit with its hypothesized factor structure through confirmatory factor analysis (Sample 2; 'N' = 1,144, measurement invariance across gender, and significant correlations in the expected direction with a set of indicators of psychological adaptation and maladaptation (Sample 3; 'N' = 4,810. Based on these results, the 8-item short form is recommended for use with Dutch-speaking adolescents when administration of the full form seems less advisable due to time constraints. Suggestions for potential use of the short form and for future research on its reliability and validity are outlined.

  18. Convenience, food and family lives. A socio-typological study of household food expenditures in 21st-century Belgium. (United States)

    Daniels, Sarah; Glorieux, Ignace


    This article aims to uncover the extent to which convenience foods have become embedded in today's diets. The paper focuses on households' food expenditures, collected by Statistics Belgium in 2005. The results show that households' reliance on (semi-) convenience food items and away-from-home consumption clearly differs over the life-course and amongst different social groups. Findings show that single-living households (single men in particular) look for more convenience in their food preparation patterns compared to couples and households with children. The consumption of semi-convenient meal components seems to be more closely related to the conventional definition of home-cooking, with older-generation, lower-educated, non-working and 'traditional' nuclear households being more likely to spend a larger share of their food budget on non-convenient and 'shortcut' ingredients.

  19. Development of a decision support system for setting up a wind energy policy across the Walloon Region (southern Belgium)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lejeune, P. [Unit of Forest and Nature Management, Gembloux Agricultural University, 2, Passage des Deportes, B-5030 Gembloux (Belgium); Feltz, C. [Unit of Soil, Ecology and Territory, Gembloux Agricultural University, 2, Passage des Deportes, B-5030 Gembloux (Belgium)


    Wallonia (the region covering southern Belgium) is committed to making a significant increase in its wind-powered electricity production capacity by 2010. Therefore, a decision support system designed to evaluate and map environmental and landscape constraints fundamental to the building of wind farms was developed for the whole Walloon Region (17,000 km{sup 2}). This system is a geodatabase using 40 criteria (landscape or environmental) corresponding to three constraint levels (exclusion, highly sensitive and sensitive). This geodatabase also has analysis functions developed in the ArcGIS 9 software environment that are used to update the overall constraints map, to analyse sensitivity with respect to constraint criteria-defining parameters as well as to perform full diagnostic studies on wind farm projects. (author)

  20. 'Would you eat cultured meat?': Consumers' reactions and attitude formation in Belgium, Portugal and the United Kingdom. (United States)

    Verbeke, Wim; Marcu, Afrodita; Rutsaert, Pieter; Gaspar, Rui; Seibt, Beate; Fletcher, Dave; Barnett, Julie


    Cultured meat has evolved from an idea and concept into a reality with the August 2013 cultured hamburger tasting in London. Still, how consumers conceive cultured meat is largely an open question. This study addresses consumers' reactions and attitude formation towards cultured meat through analyzing focus group discussions and online deliberations with 179 meat consumers from Belgium, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Initial reactions when learning about cultured meat were underpinned by feelings of disgust and considerations of unnaturalness. Consumers saw few direct personal benefits but they were more open to perceiving global societal benefits relating to the environment and global food security. Both personal and societal risks were framed in terms of uncertainties about safety and health, and possible adverse societal consequences dealing with loss of farming and eating traditions and rural livelihoods. Further reflection pertained to skepticism about 'the inevitable' scientific progress, concern about risk governance and control, and need for regulation and proper labeling.

  1. Growth-expectations among women entrepreneurs: embedded in networks and culture in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and in Belgium and France

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cheraghi, Maryam; Setti, Zakia; Schøtt, Thomas


    and secular-rational culture differ in roles for women, which influence women entrepreneurs' networking and expectations. The design compares cultures, with data from three traditional societies, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia and two secular-rational societies, France and Belgium, surveyed in the Global...... Entrepreneurship Monitor, randomly sampling 39,336 women, including 2,306 entrepreneurs. Analyses show that women entrepreneurs have growth-expectations based on their background and increased by their competence and opportunity-motive, which also promote business networks around their firms. Formation......An entrepreneur usually has an expectation for the firm, expecting expansion, stability or contraction. Expectation is influenced by the entrepreneur's attributes, but expectation is also embedded in the micro-environment of networking and the macro-environment of culture. Traditional culture...

  2. Anti-gay sentiment among adolescents in Belgium and Canada: a comparative investigation into the role of gender and religion. (United States)

    Hooghe, Marc; Claes, Ellen; Harell, Allison; Quintelier, Ellen; Dejaeghere, Yves


    Previous research has indicated that opposition toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trangender (LGBT) rights remains prevalent among Western populations. In this article, we investigate the determinants of anti-gay attitudes among adolescents in two liberal democracies, Belgium (n = 6,330) and Canada (n = 3,334). The analysis indicates that hostile feelings toward LGBT rights are particularly widespread among boys, while the effects of socioeconomic status and parental education remain limited. Various religious denominations proved to have a strong and significant negative impact on tolerance, with especially high scores for Islam. Religious practice, too, contributes to a negative attitude toward LGBT rights. The consequences of these findings with regard to tolerance for gay rights among Islamic youth in Western democracies are discussed.

  3. Impact of emotional stability and attitude on consumption decisions under risk: the Coca-Cola crisis in Belgium. (United States)

    Verbeke, Wim; Van Kenhove, Patrick


    This article focuses on consumer reactions during and after the Coca-Cola crisis of June 1999 in Belgium. The research tests for associations between the personality trait "emotional stability," attitude toward the brand, and self-reported behavior. Cross-sectional data are collected from a sample of Coca-Cola drinkers between 19 and 22 years old. The data are analyzed through the specification and estimation of a structural equation model and ANOVA. A direct and positive effect of attitude toward the brand on the behavioral response is found. No direct effect of emotional stability on behavior is revealed. However, indirect effects of personality mediated by attitude are discovered. Further, emotional stability is found to correlate negatively with importance attached to information during the crisis. Fast and transparent communication with specific attention to lower emotional stability groups, as well as the inclusion of personality and attitude measurements in future health and food safety studies, are recommended.

  4. Comparison of the pathogenic, antigenic and molecular characteristics of two encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) isolates from Belgium and Greece. (United States)

    Koenen, F; Vanderhallen, H; Papadopoulos, O; Billinis, C; Paschaleri-Papadopoulou, E; Brocchi, E; De Simone, F; Carra, E; Knowles, N J


    The pathogenicity of two porcine encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) isolates for sows in gestation and young piglets was studied. One virus originated from a case of reproductive failure in pigs in Belgium and the other from a case of acute myocarditis in pigs in Greece. Sows in the mid-gestation period and one- to two-month old piglets were inoculated with each isolate. The molecular relationship between both isolates was studied by determining the nucleotide sequence located across the junction of the 1C and 1D capsid-coding genes. Antigenic analysis was performed using a panel of 35 monoclonal antibodies raised against an Italian field isolate of EMCV. All three approaches revealed differences between both isolates and also confirmed that there was no link between the two outbreaks of disease.

  5. Placoderm Assemblage from the Tetrapod-Bearing Locality of Strud (Belgium, Upper Famennian) Provides Evidence for a Fish Nursery (United States)

    Clément, Gaël; Daeschler, Edward B.; Dupret, Vincent


    The placoderm fauna of the upper Famennian tetrapod-bearing locality of Strud, Belgium, includes the antiarch Grossilepis rikiki, the arthrodire groenlandaspidid Turrisaspis strudensis and the phyllolepidid Phyllolepis undulata. Based on morphological and morphometric evidence, the placoderm specimens from Strud are predominantly recognised as immature specimens and this locality as representing a placoderm nursery. The Strud depositional environment corresponds to a channel in an alluvial plain, and the presence of a nursery in such environment could have provided nutrients and protection to the placoderm offspring. This represents one of the earliest pieces of evidence for this sort of habitat partitioning in vertebrate history, with adults living more distantly from the nursery and using the nursery only to spawn or give live birth. PMID:27552196

  6. Development and verification of a real-time stochastic precipitation nowcasting system for urban hydrology in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Foresti


    Full Text Available The Short-Term Ensemble Prediction System (STEPS is implemented in real-time at the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI of Belgium. The main idea behind STEPS is to quantify the forecast uncertainty by adding stochastic perturbations to the deterministic Lagrangian extrapolation of radar images. The stochastic perturbations are designed to account for the unpredictable precipitation growth and decay processes and to reproduce the dynamic scaling of precipitation fields, i.e. the observation that large scale rainfall structures are more persistent and predictable than small scale convective cells. This paper presents the development, adaptation and verification of the system STEPS for Belgium (STEPS-BE. STEPS-BE provides in real-time 20 member ensemble precipitation nowcasts at 1 km and 5 min resolution up to 2 h lead time using a 4 C-band radar composite as input. In the context of the PLURISK project, STEPS forecasts were generated to be used as input in sewer system hydraulic models for nowcasting urban inundations in the cities of Ghent and Leuven. Comprehensive forecast verification was performed in order to detect systematic biases over the given urban areas and to analyze the reliability of probabilistic forecasts for a set of case studies in 2013 and 2014. The forecast biases over the cities of Leuven and Ghent were found to be small, which is encouraging for future integration of STEPS nowcasts into the hydraulic models. Probabilistic forecasts of exceeding 0.5 mm h-1 are reliable up to 60–90 min lead time, while the ones of exceeding 5.0 mm h-1 are only reliable up to 30 min. The STEPS ensembles are slightly under-dispersive and represent only 80–90 % of the forecast errors.

  7. A multi-level analysis of the relationship between environmental factors and questing Ixodes ricinus dynamics in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Sen


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ticks are the most important pathogen vectors in Europe. They are known to be influenced by environmental factors, but these links are usually studied at specific temporal or spatial scales. Focusing on Ixodes ricinus in Belgium, we attempt to bridge the gap between current “single-sided” studies that focus on temporal or spatial variation only. Here, spatial and temporal patterns of ticks are modelled together. Methods A multi-level analysis of the Ixodes ricinus patterns in Belgium was performed. Joint effects of weather, habitat quality and hunting on field sampled tick abundance were examined at two levels, namely, sampling level, which is associated with temporal dynamics, and site level, which is related to spatial dynamics. Independent variables were collected from standard weather station records, game management data and remote sensing-based land cover data. Results At sampling level, only a marginally significant effect of daily relative humidity and temperature on the abundance of questing nymphs was identified. Average wind speed of seven days prior to the sampling day was found important to both questing nymphs and adults. At site level, a group of landscape-level forest fragmentation indices were highlighted for both questing nymph and adult abundance, including the nearest-neighbour distance, the shape and the aggregation level of forest patches. No cross-level effects or spatial autocorrelation were found. Conclusions Nymphal and adult ticks responded differently to environmental variables at different spatial and temporal scales. Our results can advise spatio-temporal extents of environment data collection for continuing empirical investigations and potential parameters for biological tick models.

  8. Cultural differences affecting euthanasia practice in Belgium: one law but different attitudes and practices in Flanders and Wallonia. (United States)

    Cohen, Joachim; Van Wesemael, Yanna; Smets, Tinne; Bilsen, Johan; Deliens, Luc


    Since 2002, Belgium has had a national law legalising euthanasia. The law prescribes several substantive due care requirements and two procedural due care requirements, i.e. consultation with an independent physician and reporting of euthanasia to a Federal Control Committee. A large discrepancy in reporting rates between the Dutch-speaking (Flanders) and the French-speaking (Wallonia) parts of Belgium has led to speculation about cultural differences affecting the practice of euthanasia in both regions. Using Belgian data from the European Values Study conducted in 2008 among a representative sample of the general public and data from a large-scale mail questionnaire survey on euthanasia of 480 physicians from Flanders and 305 from Wallonia (conducted in 2009), this study presents empirical evidence of differences between both regions in attitudes towards and practice of euthanasia. Acceptance of euthanasia by the general population was found to be slightly higher in Flanders than in Wallonia. Compared with their Flemish counterparts, Walloon physicians held more negative attitudes towards performing euthanasia and towards the reporting obligation, less often labelled hypothetical cases correctly as euthanasia, and less often defined a case of euthanasia having to be reported. A higher proportion of Flemish physicians had received a euthanasia request since the introduction of the law. In cases of a euthanasia request, Walloon physicians consulted less often with an independent physician. Requests were more often granted in Flanders than in Wallonia (51% vs 38%), and performed euthanasia cases were more often reported (73% vs 58%). The study points out some significant differences between Flanders and Wallonia in practice, knowledge and attitudes regarding euthanasia and its legal requirements which are likely to explain the discrepancy between Wallonia and Flanders in the number of euthanasia cases reported. Cultural factors seem to play an important role in the

  9. Acid sphingomyelinase (Asm) deficiency patients in The Netherlands and Belgium: disease spectrum and natural course in attenuated patients. (United States)

    Hollak, C E M; de Sonnaville, E S V; Cassiman, D; Linthorst, G E; Groener, J E; Morava, E; Wevers, R A; Mannens, M; Aerts, J M F G; Meersseman, W; Akkerman, E; Niezen-Koning, K E; Mulder, M F; Visser, G; Wijburg, F A; Lefeber, D; Poorthuis, B J H M


    Niemann-Pick disease (NPD) is a neurovisceral lysosomal storage disorder caused by acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) deficiency, which can be categorized as either Niemann-Pick disease type A [NPD-A], with progressive neurological disease and death in early childhood, or as Niemann-Pick disease type B [NPD-B], with a more variable spectrum of manifestations. Enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with recombinant sphingomyelinase is currently studied as potential treatment for NPD-B patients. The objective of this study is to characterize the clinical features of patients with ASM deficiency in the Netherlands and Belgium with focus on the natural disease course of NPD-B patients. Prospective and retrospective data on ASM deficient patients were collected in The Netherlands and part of Belgium. Patients with NPD-B that could be followed prospectively were evaluated every 6-12 months for pulmonary function tests, 6 minute walk test (6 MWT), imaging (bone marrow infiltration measured by QCSI, organ volumes by MRI and CT scan of the lungs) and biochemical markers. Twenty-five patients with ASM deficiency were identified (13 males, 12 females, median age 13years, range 1-59 years). Nine patients had died at the time of the study, including four NPD-A patients at the age of 1,1, 2, 3 and five NPDB patents at the age of 5, 6, 43, 56 and 60 years. There was a high prevalence of homozygosity and compound heterozygosity for the common p.Arg608del mutation in 43% and 19% of NPD-B patients, respectively. In NPD-B patients, thrombocytopenia was present in most, while anemia and leucopenia were less common (33% and 6 % respectively). HDL cholesterol was reduced in most patients. Pulmonary disease was severe in several patients. Follow-up up to 11 years revealed a gradual decrease in platelet count. Detailed investigations in 6 NPD-B patients with follow-up in 4 patients revealed remarkable stable disease parameters up to 6 years, with some decline in pulmonary function and 6 MWT. Bone

  10. Accessibility to primary health care in Belgium: an evaluation of policies awarding financial assistance in shortage areas (United States)


    Background In many countries, financial assistance is awarded to physicians who settle in an area that is designated as a shortage area to prevent unequal accessibility to primary health care. Today, however, policy makers use fairly simple methods to define health care accessibility, with physician-to-population ratios (PPRs) within predefined administrative boundaries being overwhelmingly favoured. Our purpose is to verify whether these simple methods are accurate enough for adequately designating medical shortage areas and explore how these perform relative to more advanced GIS-based methods. Methods Using a geographical information system (GIS), we conduct a nation-wide study of accessibility to primary care physicians in Belgium using four different methods: PPR, distance to closest physician, cumulative opportunity, and floating catchment area (FCA) methods. Results The official method used by policy makers in Belgium (calculating PPR per physician zone) offers only a crude representation of health care accessibility, especially because large contiguous areas (physician zones) are considered. We found substantial differences in the number and spatial distribution of medical shortage areas when applying different methods. Conclusions The assessment of spatial health care accessibility and concomitant policy initiatives are affected by and dependent on the methodology used. The major disadvantage of PPR methods is its aggregated approach, masking subtle local variations. Some simple GIS methods overcome this issue, but have limitations in terms of conceptualisation of physician interaction and distance decay. Conceptually, the enhanced 2-step floating catchment area (E2SFCA) method, an advanced FCA method, was found to be most appropriate for supporting areal health care policies, since this method is able to calculate accessibility at a small scale (e.g. census tracts), takes interaction between physicians into account, and considers distance decay. While at

  11. Detection of Shiga-like toxin producing Escherichia coli from raw milk cheeses produced in Wallonia [Belgium].

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Lioui M.


    Full Text Available Shiga-like toxin Escherichia coli (STEC implicated in aqueous diarrhoea, haemorrhagic colitis and haemolytic uraemic syndrome, has become a serious health problem in various countries. In Belgium, all cases are sporadic and no outbreak has been detected so far. Cattle are thought to be a reservoir for E. coli O157:H7, and many foodborne diseases have been associated with the consumption of minced beef, beefburgers and raw milk. Recently, foodborne outbreaks were concerned with different unusual foods such as acidic products. Although some data suggest that STEC are not prevalent within dairy products, the aim of this work was to assess the prevalence of E. coli O157 and non-O157 STEC in raw milk cheeses produced in the southern part of Belgium (Wallonia. For this purpose, 153 frozen samples of soft and semi-soft cheeses made with raw cow, ewe and goat milk were analysed for the presence of E. coli O157 and STEC. By using a dynabeads immunomagnetic separation technique (Dynabeads anti-E. coli O157, Dynal followed by streaking onto sorbitol MacConckey agar, no sample was found contaminated by E. coli O157 serotype. By using polymerase chain reaction achieved from a loopful of confluent bacterial material growing onto MacConckey agar, the use of consensus primers detected stx genes in 11.1/ of the samples but Shiga-like toxin producing strains could be isolated only in five of them (3.3/. The isolation rate seems to be optimum for samples with a thermotolerant coliform count arround or below 102 cfu per g. The five Shiga-like toxin isolates were identified as belonging to the species Hafnia alvei or Enterobacter amnigenius without any accessory virulence factors needed to cause illness. Nevertheless, because of the ability of STEC to survive adverse conditions and the possibility for commensal non-pathogenic enteric bacteria to become pathogenic, raw milk cheeses are to be considered at risk for foodborne STEC contamination.

  12. Comparing climate change impacts on crops in Belgium based on CMIP3 and EU-ENSEMBLES multi-model ensembles (United States)

    Vanuytrecht, E.; Raes, D.; Willems, P.; Semenov, M.


    Global Circulation Models (GCMs) are sophisticated tools to study the future evolution of the climate. Yet, the coarse scale of GCMs of hundreds of kilometers raises questions about the suitability for agricultural impact assessments. These assessments are often made at field level and require consideration of interactions at sub-GCM grid scale (e.g., elevation-dependent climatic changes). Regional climate models (RCMs) were developed to provide climate projections at a spatial scale of 25-50 km for limited regions, e.g. Europe (Giorgi and Mearns, 1991). Climate projections from GCMs or RCMs are available as multi-model ensembles. These ensembles are based on large data sets of simulations produced by modelling groups worldwide, who performed a set of coordinated climate experiments in which climate models were run for a common set of experiments and various emissions scenarios (Knutti et al., 2010). The use of multi-model ensembles in climate change studies is an important step in quantifying uncertainty in impact predictions, which will underpin more informed decisions for adaptation and mitigation to changing climate (Semenov and Stratonovitch, 2010). The objective of our study was to evaluate the effect of the spatial scale of climate projections on climate change impacts for cereals in Belgium. Climate scenarios were based on two multi-model ensembles, one comprising 15 GCMs of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3; Meehl et al., 2007) with spatial resolution of 200-300 km, the other comprising 9 RCMs of the EU-ENSEMBLES project (van der Linden and Mitchell, 2009) with spatial resolution of 25 km. To be useful for agricultural impact assessments, the projections of GCMs and RCMs were downscaled to the field level. Long series (240 cropping seasons) of local-scale climate scenarios were generated by the LARS-WG weather generator (Semenov et al., 2010) via statistical inference. Crop growth and development were simulated with the Aqua

  13. Sources of the PM10 aerosol in Flanders, Belgium, and re-assessment of the contribution from wood burning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maenhaut, Willy, E-mail: [Ghent University (UGent), Department of Analytical Chemistry, Krijgslaan 281, S12, B-9000 Gent (Belgium); University of Antwerp - UA, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610, Antwerpen (Belgium); Vermeylen, Reinhilde; Claeys, Magda [University of Antwerp - UA, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610, Antwerpen (Belgium); Vercauteren, Jordy; Roekens, Edward [Flemish Environment Agency (VMM), Kronenburgstraat 45, B-2000, Antwerpen (Belgium)


    From 30 June 2011 to 2 July 2012 PM10 aerosol samples were simultaneously taken every 4th day at four urban background sites in Flanders, Belgium. The sites were in Antwerpen, Gent, Brugge, and Oostende. The PM10 mass concentration was determined by weighing; organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC) were measured by thermal-optical analysis, the wood burning tracers levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan were determined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, 8 water-soluble ions were measured by ion chromatography, and 15 elements were determined by a combination of inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and mass spectrometry. The multi-species dataset was subjected to receptor modeling by PMF. The 10 retained factors (with their overall average percentage contributions to the experimental PM10 mass) were wood burning (9.5%), secondary nitrate (24%), secondary sulfate (12.6%), sea salt (10.0%), aged sea salt (19.2%), crustal matter (9.7%), non-ferrous metals (1.81%), traffic (10.3%), non-exhaust traffic (0.52%), and heavy oil burning (3.0%). The average contributions of wood smoke for the four sites were quite substantial in winter and ranged from 12.5 to 20% for the PM10 mass and from 47 to 64% for PM10 OC. Wood burning appeared to be also a notable source of As, Cd, and Pb. The contribution from wood burning to the PM10 mass and OC was also assessed by making use of levoglucosan as single marker compound and the conversion factors of Schmidl et al. (2008), as done in our previous study on wood burning in Flanders (Maenhaut et al., 2012). However, the apportionments were much lower than those deduced from PMF. It seems that the conversion factors of Schmidl et al. (2008) may not be applicable to wood burning in Flanders. From scatter plots of the PMF-derived wood smoke OC and PM versus levoglucosan, we arrived at conversion factors of 9.7 and 22.6, respectively. - Highlights: • A one-year study with 4 urban background sites and a total of 372

  14. Assessing the relative impact of urban expansion and climate change on high flows in a small catchment in Flanders (Belgium) (United States)

    Poelmans, Lien; van Rompaey, Anton; Ntegeka, Victor; Willems, Patrick


    Flood risk is in Belgium, as well as in other European countries, of considerable importance because of the dense population and high industrialisation along the river banks. During the last decades it has become evident that global climate change has the potential to produce changes in the temporal and spatial distribution of precipitation and potential evapotranspiration and as a consequence will bring along changes in hydrological extremes (floods and low flows). In addition, land use change can significantly affect the catchment hydrology by altering several hydrological processes such as infiltration, evapotranspiration and surface runoff. Examining the sensitivity of hydrologic responses to these human-induced climate and land use changes is essential in order to formulate solid water management policies that effectively deal with the changing conditions. Hydrological models provide a framework for analysing the complex impacts on catchment hydrology. The overall objective of this study is to evaluate the relative impact of urban expansion and climate change on the catchment hydrology. The Molenbeek catchment (48 km²) in central Belgium is taken as an example application. The streamflow in the selected catchment was simulated by coupling a simplified runoff model (SRM) to a complex hydrodynamic model, implemented in the InfoWorks RS modelling system. The model was calibrated and validated using observed land cover maps of 1988 and 2000 and a 15-min series of water depths, measured at the catchment outlet. Preliminary results show that the calibrated model is able to predict both the peak flows and the total flow volumes relatively well for a selection of summer and winter rainfall events. Finally, a sensitivity analysis was carried out to assess possible future high flows in the catchment under different scenarios of urban expansion and climate change. In a first step, the impacts of climate change and urban expansion were evaluated separately. Next, the

  15. Drastic decrease of Salmonella Enteritidis isolated from humans in Belgium in 2005, shift in phage types and influence on foodborne outbreaks. (United States)

    Collard, J M; Bertrand, S; Dierick, K; Godard, C; Wildemauwe, C; Vermeersch, K; Duculot, J; Van Immerseel, F; Pasmans, F; Imberechts, H; Quinet, C


    In Belgium, non-typhoidal salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis are the two most frequently reported foodborne illnesses. During 2005, a 71% decrease of Salmonella Enteritidis infections compared with the average annual number cases in the period 2000-2004 was recorded by the Belgian National Reference Centre for Salmonella and Shigella. After the peak of 1999, the total number of salmonellosis cases decreased gradually, with the exception of 2003 when an increase was again recorded due to the rise of isolates belonging to the serotype Enteritidis. PT4, the predominant phage type of serotype Enteriditis over recent years (except in 2003), became the second most prevalent phage type in 2005 after PT21. We present in this paper the epidemiology (incidence and trends) of human salmonellosis in Belgium and assess the role of the vaccination programme in layer flocks on the decline of the incidence of human salmonellosis and foodborne outbreaks due to S. Enteritidis.

  16. Hidden violence is silent rape: sexual and gender-based violence in refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands. (United States)

    Keygnaert, Ines; Vettenburg, Nicole; Temmerman, Marleen


    Although women, young people and refugees are vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) worldwide, little evidence exists concerning SGBV against refugees in Europe. Using community-based participatory research, 223 in-depth interviews were conducted with refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands. Responses were analysed using framework analysis. The majority of the respondents were either personally victimised or knew of a close peer being victimised since their arrival in the European Union. A total of 332 experiences of SGBV were reported, mostly afflicted on them by (ex-)partners or asylum professionals. More than half of the reported violent experiences comprised sexual violence, including rape and sexual exploitation. Results suggest that refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands are extremely vulnerable to violence and, specifically, to sexual violence. Future SGBV preventive measures should consist of rights-based, desirable and participatory interventions, focusing on several socio-ecological levels concurrently.

  17. Community transmission of influenza A (H1N1)v virus at a rock festival in Belgium, 2-5 July 2009. (United States)

    Gutiérrez, I; Litzroth, A; Hammadi, S; Van Oyen, H; Gerard, C; Robesyn, E; Bots, J; Faidherbe, M T; Wuillaume, F


    On 6 July 2009 the Belgian enhanced surveillance system for influenza-like illness among travellers returning from influenza A(H1N1)v affected areas detected a case linked to a rock festival which took place on 2-5 July. The health authorities implemented communication and control measures leading to the detection of additional cases. This paper describes the outbreak and its impact on the management of the influenza pandemic in Belgium.

  18. Characterization of Deep Geothermal Energy Resources in Low enthalpy sedimentary basins in Belgium using Electro-Magnetic Methods – CSEM and MT results


    Coppo, Nicolas; DARNET, Mathieu; Harcouet-Menou, Virginie; Wawrzyniak, Pierre; Manzella, Adele; Bretaudeau, François; G. Romano; Lagrou, D.; Girard, Jean-Francois


    International audience; Sedimentary basins in Northwest Europe have significant potential for low to medium enthalpy, deep geothermal energy resources. These resources are generally assessed using standard seismic exploration techniques to resolve geological structures. The ElectroMagnetic campaign carried-out in Mol area (Belgium) has shown that despite the presence of high level of industrialization, the resistivity of deep formations (>3km) can be recovered from MT and CSEM methods and hen...

  19. Biochemostratigraphy of the upper Frasnian in the Namur–Dinant Basin, Belgium: implications for a global Frasnian–Famennian pre-event


    Azmy, K.; Poty, E.; Mottequin, B.


    The Upper Frasnian sequence of the Namur–Dinant Basin in southern Belgium consists of mixed siliclastic–carbonate succession of a ramp setting, where the sequence spans the rhenana–linguiformis conodont zones. Earlier studies investigated the chemostratigraphic variations during the Frasnian–Famennian event, but little has been yet known about the nature of the counterpart variations that immediately preceded that time interval. Despite the scarcity of well-preserved brachiopods, sixty-one ca...

  20. Sexual health is dead in my body: participatory assessment of sexual health determinants in refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands


    Keygnaert, Ines; Vettenburg, Nicole; Roelens, Kristien; Temmerman, Marleen


    Background: Although migrants constitute an important proportion of the European population, little is known about migrant sexual health. Existing research mainly focuses on migrants' sexual health risks and accessibility issues while recommendations on adequate sexual health promotion are rarely provided. Hence, this paper explores how refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands define sexual health, search for sexual health information and perceive sexu...

  1. Assessing interventions by quantitative risk assessment tools to reduce the risk of human salmonellosis from fresh minced pork meat in Belgium. (United States)

    Delhalle, L; Saegerman, C; Messens, W; Farnir, F; Korsak, N; Van der Stede, Y; Daube, G


    The risk of human salmonellosis through the consumption of minced pork meat in Belgium was assessed via a modular risk model covering pork meat production from lairage to human consumption. The main goal of the model was to give concrete options to reduce effectively the risk of human salmonellosis through the consumption of minced pork meat. These options (scenarios) were elaborated with reference to the international situation and the literature to give concrete and realistic possibilities for improving the microbiological quality of pork meat and to reduce the number of human salmonellosis cases per year in Belgium. The model estimates 15,376 cases of human salmonellosis per year in Belgium due to the consumption of minced pork meat. The results of the scenarios showed that the risk of human salmonellosis could be significantly reduced by efforts all along the pork meat production chain but also by efforts made by consumers. The responsibility of food business operators for the pork meat production chain is high in relation to the microbiological quality of meat delivery, especially at the slaughterhouse. Consumers also need to be aware of good hygiene practices during preparation of the meat at home. Cross-contamination with raw food can be avoided by changing the habits and the behavior of the household cook. The results of these scenarios would be useful for the food business operators involved in the pork meat chain and for public health authorities.

  2. Comprehensive bee pathogen screening in Belgium reveals Crithidia mellificae as a new contributory factor to winter mortality.

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    Jorgen Ravoet

    Full Text Available Since the last decade, unusually high honey bee colony losses have been reported mainly in North-America and Europe. Here, we report on a comprehensive bee pathogen screening in Belgium covering 363 bee colonies that were screened for 18 known disease-causing pathogens and correlate their incidence in summer with subsequent winter mortality. Our analyses demonstrate that, in addition to Varroa destructor, the presence of the trypanosomatid parasite Crithidia mellificae and the microsporidian parasite Nosema ceranae in summer are also predictive markers of winter mortality, with a negative synergy being observed between the two in terms of their effects on colony mortality. Furthermore, we document the first occurrence of a parasitizing phorid fly in Europe, identify a new fourth strain of Lake Sinai Virus (LSV, and confirm the presence of other little reported pathogens such as Apicystis bombi, Aphid Lethal Paralysis Virus (ALPV, Spiroplasma apis, Spiroplasma melliferum and Varroa destructor Macula-like Virus (VdMLV. Finally, we provide evidence that ALPV and VdMLV replicate in honey bees and show that viruses of the LSV complex and Black Queen Cell Virus tend to non-randomly co-occur together. We also noticed a significant correlation between the number of pathogen species and colony losses. Overall, our results contribute significantly to our understanding of honey bee diseases and the likely causes of their current decline in Europe.

  3. Innovative market-based policy instruments for waste management: A case study on shredder residues in Belgium. (United States)

    Dubois, Maarten; Hoogmartens, Rob; Van Passel, Steven; Van Acker, Karel; Vanderreydt, Ive


    In an increasingly complex waste market, market-based policy instruments, such as disposal taxes, can give incentives for sustainable progress while leaving flexibility for innovation. However, implementation of disposal taxes is often criticised by domestic waste handlers that fear to be outcompeted by competitors in other countries. The article discusses three innovative market-based instruments that limit the impact on international competitiveness: Tradable recycling credits, refunded disposal taxes and differentiated disposal taxes. All three instruments have already been implemented for distinct environmental policies in Europe. In order to illustrate how these instruments can be used for waste policy, the literature review is complemented with a case study on shredder residues from metal-containing waste streams in Belgium. The analysis shows that a conventional disposal tax remains the most efficient, simple and transparent instrument. However, if international competition is a significant issue or if political support is weak, refunded and differentiated disposal taxes can have an added value as second-best instruments. Tradable recycling credits are not an appropriate instrument for use in small waste markets with market power. In addition, refunded taxes create similar incentives, but induce lower transactions costs.

  4. A retrospective study of murder-suicide at the Forensic Institute of Ghent University, Belgium: 1935-2010. (United States)

    De Koning, Eva; Piette, Michel H A


    Murder followed by suicide (M-S) is a rare phenomenon that has been studied in several countries. Previous studies show that offenders of M-S are predominately men who live in an intimate relationship. Amorous jealousy is often the trigger to commit M-S. Shooting is the most common way to kill a partner and/or children. In general, women are likely to become victims. The aim of this study was to identify M-S and detect patterns of M-S in the district of Ghent and the surrounding areas, since no research on this event was conducted in Belgium. Over a period of 75 years, a total of 80 M-S incidents was recorded involving 176 individuals. Eighty-six percent of the offenders were males and 14% were females. Murder-suicides were mostly completed with firearms. The main motive for offenders to execute M-S is amorous jealousy (56%), followed by familial, financial, or social stressors (27%). In addition, three types of M-S were selected (e.g., spousal murder-suicides, filicide-suicides, and familicides-suicides). Our results suggest differences in these types of M-S in which younger couples' intentions were amorous jealousy; as for older couples the prominent motive was mercy killing; most likely women killed their children and only men committed familicides. Finally a study of the evolution during this period was carried out.

  5. Stakeholder Involvement in Radioactive Waste Management in Belgium: the Past, the Present and Challenges for the Future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergmans, Anne; Steenberge, Annelies Van [Univ. of Antwerp (Belgium)


    At present stakeholder involvement in RWM in Belgium focuses solely on siting a LILW-repository, engaging primarily local citizen-stakeholders. If accepting the value of participation in this programme, which NIRAS/ONDRAF explicitly states, the biggest future challenge for the agency will be to match the efforts in its LILWprogramme with similar efforts for the whole of its management operations, both short-term and long-term; and both site specific as well as on a general policy level. The local partnerships (in particular STORA and MONA) today have become NIRAS/ONDRAF's most important stakeholders. Their insisting on opening up a HLW-debate (but without the intention of turning it into a site selection process) might therefore be just the leverage needed to move from a declaration of intent to the setting up of an active participatory programme. Although some might regret it, the introduction of the partnership approach has opened up a Pandora's box, creating self-awareness and self-identification among a particular group of stakeholders who clearly are not prepared to be backing out of their new role in the immediate future.

  6. Impact of trees on pollutant dispersion in street canyons: A numerical study of the annual average effects in Antwerp, Belgium. (United States)

    Vranckx, Stijn; Vos, Peter; Maiheu, Bino; Janssen, Stijn


    Effects of vegetation on pollutant dispersion receive increased attention in attempts to reduce air pollutant concentration levels in the urban environment. In this study, we examine the influence of vegetation on the concentrations of traffic pollutants in urban street canyons using numerical simulations with the CFD code OpenFOAM. This CFD approach is validated against literature wind tunnel data of traffic pollutant dispersion in street canyons. The impact of trees is simulated for a variety of vegetation types and the full range of approaching wind directions at 15° interval. All these results are combined using meteo statistics, including effects of seasonal leaf loss, to determine the annual average effect of trees in street canyons. This analysis is performed for two pollutants, elemental carbon (EC) and PM10, using background concentrations and emission strengths for the city of Antwerp, Belgium. The results show that due to the presence of trees the annual average pollutant concentrations increase with about 8% (range of 1% to 13%) for EC and with about 1.4% (range of 0.2 to 2.6%) for PM10. The study indicates that this annual effect is considerably smaller than earlier estimates which are generally based on a specific set of governing conditions (1 wind direction, full leafed trees and peak hour traffic emissions).

  7. Full-scale phosphorus recovery from digested wastewater sludge in Belgium - part II: economic opportunities and risks. (United States)

    Geerts, Sam; Marchi, Adrien; Weemaes, Marjoleine


    One of the options to recycle phosphorus (P) in the wastewater sector is to recover it as struvite crystals from digested sludge. Measurements on a full-scale demonstration plant in Leuven, Belgium, yielded a first indication of the profitability of struvite recovery, in function of different variables such as incoming PO(4)(3-) concentration, MgCl₂dosing, improved dewaterability, etc. An uncertainty and sensitivity analysis was carried out. Although possible improvement in sludge dewaterability when recovering struvite from digested sludge has a positive economic amortization effect, it is at the same time the largest source of financial risk. A theoretical exercise showed that for struvite recovery from centrate, uncertainty would be lower, and the largest sensitivity would be attributed to ingoing PO(4)(3-) concentration. Although struvite recovery from digested sludge is riskier, it is an investment with potentially a higher return than investment in struvite recovery from centrate. The article provides information for possible financial incentive schemes to support P-recovery.

  8. "Our" food versus "my" food. Investigating the relation between childhood shared food practices and adult prosocial behavior in Belgium. (United States)

    De Backer, Charlotte J S; Fisher, Maryanne L; Poels, Karolien; Ponnet, Koen


    This study focuses on the connection between prosocial behavior, defined as acting in ways that benefit others, and shared meals, defined as meals that consist of food(s) shared with others. In contrast to individual meals, where consumers eat their own food and perhaps take a sample of someone else's dish as a taste, shared meals are essentially about sharing all the food with all individuals. Consequently, these meals create situations where consumers are confronted with issues of fairness and respect. One should not be greedy and consume most of a dish; instead, rules of polite food sharing need to be obeyed. It is therefore proposed that those who have often engaged in shared meals during childhood will have a more prosocial personality, as compared to those who less often took part in shared meals during childhood. To test this hypothesis, data about frequency of shared meals during childhood and altruistic personality in early adulthood were collected using a cross-sectional survey in Belgium (n = 487). Results confirm that higher levels of shared meal consumption correspond to higher scores on the self-report altruism scale among students.

  9. Four Perspectives of Sustainability Applied to the Local Food Strategy of Ghent (Belgium: Need for a Cycle of Democratic Participation?

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    Maarten Crivits


    Full Text Available As part of cities’ increasing commitment to sustainable development, local food systems are becoming a policy priority. In this article we focus on the case of a local food system in Ghent, Belgium. We adopt the notion of Hajer et al. (2015 that top-down steering of environmental issues (so-called “cockpit-ism” is insufficient, incomplete and in need of revision. Using their four perspectives on sustainable development (Hajer et al., 2015, we explore, analyze and valorize the potential of the actors, motives and logics for change within the agriculture and food system in the Ghent region. Applying these four perspectives, we have mapped the current positive developments as well as identified the weaknesses, pitfalls and opportunities of a local food strategy. The discussion section contains two important strategies for good governance of sustainable urban development: first, a governance approach to stimulate participation and representation in a complex, unequal and rapidly changing context; and second, a reflection on how local food strategies can drive global sustainability. In conclusion, we argue for the integration of a global sustainability approach within sustainable urban development.

  10. Evaluating Speed Enforcement Field Set-Ups Used by Regional Police in Belgium: An Analysis of Speed Outcome Indicators

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    Brenda Wilmots


    Full Text Available In this paper the results from a field experiment (conducted in 2012 are presented, in which 3 regional police units in the Flemish region of Belgium each tested a particular combination of a speed control (with mobile radar in an anonymous car with communicative signage. The goal of this paper was to scientifically evaluate frequently used field set-ups. The following set-ups were tested in one week: (1 police unit 1: speed control with and without a static feedback sign placed after the control; (2 police unit 2: speed control with and without a digital feedback sign placed after the control; (3 police unit 3: speed display followed by a second speed display further along the road section. During certain time frames, speed control took place in between both signs. All tested field set-ups generated significant reductions in the speed level. Studying the effect of the different variations for each set-up reveals that the effect of the speed control is generally larger in combination with the signage alongside the road. After the period during which the police activities took place, speed levels again reached their initial level. Based on the before–after analysis, only in police area 2 was a small ‘time halo-effect’ found. To generalize results from this pilot study, repetition of tested set-ups in the field is recommended as well as testing on a larger scale.

  11. Hydrological response to climate change in the Lesse and the Vesdre catchments: contribution of a physically based model (Wallonia, Belgium

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    A. Bauwens


    Full Text Available The Meuse is an important rain-fed river in North-Western Europe. Nine million people live in its catchment, split over five countries. Projected changes in precipitation and temperature characteristics due to climate change would have a significant impact on the Meuse River and its tributaries. In this study, we focused on the impacts of climate change on the hydrology of two sub-catchments of the Meuse in Belgium, the Lesse and the Vesdre, placing the emphasis on the water-soil-plant continuum in order to highlight the effects of climate change on plant growth, and water uptake on the hydrology of two sub-catchments. These effects were studied using two climate scenarios and a physically based distributed model, which reflects the water-soil-plant continuum. Our results show that the vegetation will evapotranspirate between 10 and 17 % less at the end of the century because of water scarcity in summer, even if the root development is better under climate change conditions. In the low scenario, the mean minimal 7 days discharge value could decrease between 19 and 24 % for a two year return period, and between 20 and 35 % for a fifty year return period. It will lead to rare but severe drought in rivers, with potentially huge consequences on water quality.

  12. [Increasing cost of insulin therapy in Belgium. From a critical analysis of the situation to a search for practical solutions]. (United States)

    Scheen, A J


    Cost related to insulin therapy is markedly increasing in Belgium, as in other Eucopean countries. In the present paper, we will briefly analyze the main reasons for such aa increase, integrate such observation withIn the global context of diabetes management and suggest some solutions to provide best care to insulin-treated diabetic patients at a reasonable cost. The rise of the cost of insulin therapy has a multifactorial origin. It mainly results from an increase in the number of diabetic patients, a more intensive management, In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and a greater use of more expansive insulin analogues. It is important to analyze the increase of the cost of insulin therapy within the global burden of diabetes melitus. Only a better responsibility of all health care partners, patients, physicians, pharmaceutical companies, public health authorities, could provide solutions allowing diabetic people to profit from best treatments they should receive in order to prevent diabetic complications, by far the main cause of expenses.

  13. Freedom-costs of canonical individualism: enforced euthanasia tolerance in Belgium and the problem of European liberalism. (United States)

    Delkeskamp-Hayes, Corinna


    Belgium's policy of not permitting Catholic hospitals to refuse euthanasia services rests on ethical presuppositions concerning the secular justification of political power which reveal the paradoxical character of European liberalism: In endorsing freedom as a value (rather than as a side constraint), liberalism prioritizes first-order intentions, thus discouraging lasting moral commitments and the authority of moral communities in supporting such commitments. The state itself is thus transformed into a moral community of its own. Alternative policies (such as an explicit moral diversification of public healthcare or the greater tolerance for Christian institutions in the Netherlands) are shown to be incompatible with Europe's liberal concern with securing social and material freedom resources, as well as the concern with equality of opportunity, as embodied in the European Union's anti-discrimination labor law. The essay's argument for the preferability of a libertarian solution closes with the challenge that only if the provision of public healthcare can be shown to be rationally indispensable for a morally justified polity, could the exposed incoherence of modern European liberalism be generously discounted.

  14. The macroeconomic impact of pandemic influenza: estimates from models of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. (United States)

    Keogh-Brown, Marcus Richard; Smith, Richard D; Edmunds, John W; Beutels, Philippe


    The 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) showed that infectious disease outbreaks can have notable macroeconomic impacts. The current H1N1 and potential H5N1 flu pandemics could have a much greater impact. Using a multi-sector single country computable general equilibrium model of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and The Netherlands, together with disease scenarios of varying severity, we examine the potential economic cost of a modern pandemic. Policies of school closure, vaccination and antivirals, together with prophylactic absence from work are evaluated and their cost impacts are estimated. Results suggest GDP losses from the disease of approximately 0.5-2% but school closure and prophylactic absenteeism more than triples these effects. Increasing school closures from 4 weeks at the peak to entire pandemic closure almost doubles the economic cost, but antivirals and vaccinations seem worthwhile. Careful planning is therefore important to ensure expensive policies to mitigate the pandemic are effective in minimising illness and deaths.

  15. Collective Memories of WWII Collaboration in Belgium and Attitudes About Amnesty in the Two Main Linguistic Communities

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    Laura De Guissmé


    Full Text Available Collaboration with the Nazi occupier during WWII has always been a topic of dissent between French-speakers (FS and Dutch-speakers (DS in Belgium. According to a popular myth coined after the war and often narrated in the media and literature, collaboration was widespread in Flanders, whereas Walloons bravely resisted, although historical reality is much more nuanced. These representations regularly resurface in political debates surrounding the Belgian linguistic conflict. Demands for amnesty addressed by nationalist Flemish parties are a case in point. A questionnaire survey (N = 521; 315 FS and 206 DS showed that collaboration was represented negatively and was morally condemned in both groups. However, DS expressed more Support for Amnesty (SA than FS. This effect of Linguistic Group (LG on SA was mediated by judgment of morality of collaboration, and this mediation was moderated by identification with the LG. Interestingly, SA was predicted by judgments of morality of DS, but not of FS, collaborators, in both groups, as if francophone collaboration was deemed irrelevant. Results suggest that differences between DS and FS in political position taking regarding the granting of amnesty are partly due to differences in representations of collaboration, and to different perspectives towards the same historical representation. The myth is both shared and disputed.

  16. Realizing good care within a context of cross-cultural diversity: an ethical guideline for healthcare organizations in Flanders, Belgium. (United States)

    Denier, Yvonne; Gastmans, Chris


    In our globalizing world, health care professionals and organizations increasingly experience cross-cultural challenges in care relationships, which give rise to ethical questions regarding "the right thing to do" in such situations. For the time being, the international literature lacks examples of elaborated ethical guidelines for cross-cultural healthcare on the organizational level. As such, the ethical responsibility of healthcare organizations in realizing cross-cultural care remains underexposed. This paper aims to fill this gap by offering a case-study that illustrates the bioethical practice on a large-scale organizational level by presenting the ethical guideline developed in the period 2007-2011 by the Ethics Committee of Zorgnet Vlaanderen, a Christian-inspired umbrella organization for over 500 social profit healthcare organizations in Flanders, Belgium. The guideline offers an ethical framework within which fundamental ethical values are being analyzed within the context of cross-cultural care. The case study concludes with implications for healthcare practice on four different levels: (1) the level of the healthcare organization, (2) staff, (3) care receivers, and (4) the level of care supply. The study combines content-based ethics with process-based benchmarks.

  17. Nurses' attitudes towards end-of-life decisions in medical practice: a nationwide study in Flanders, Belgium. (United States)

    Inghelbrecht, E; Bilsen, J; Mortier, F; Deliens, L


    We investigated on a nationwide level the attitudes of nurses towards end-of-life decisions (ELDs) that may hasten death and towards their role in those decisions. We took a representative random sample of 6000 nurses in Flanders, Belgium. Response rate was 62.5%. Most nurses agreed with the practice of withholding/withdrawing potentially life-prolonging treatments (93%), with decisions to alleviate symptoms with possible life-shortening side effects (96%) and with the practice of euthanasia (92%). Their support for the different decisions existed regardless of whether they had cared for terminally ill patients or not. Most nurses also thought that they have an important role to play especially in the ELD-making process. Nurses' views on their proper role in the administration of drugs in euthanasia and continuous deep sedation showed a large dispersal. Overall, nurses' work setting determines their opinions on nurses' role in ELDs. In conclusion, nurses accept a wide variety of ELDs being practiced with terminally ill patients.

  18. "It's my secret": fear of disclosure among sub-Saharan African migrant women living with HIV/AIDS in Belgium.

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    Agnes Ebotabe Arrey

    Full Text Available Patients with HIV not only have to deal with the challenges of living with an incurable disease but also with the dilemma of whether or not to disclose their status to their partners, families and friends. This study explores the extent to which sub-Saharan African (SSA migrant women in Belgium disclose their HIV positive status, reasons for disclosure/non-disclosure and how they deal with HIV disclosure. A qualitative study consisting of interviews with twenty-eight SSA women with HIV/AIDS was conducted. Thematic content analysis was employed to identify themes as they emerged. Our study reveals that these women usually only disclose their status to healthcare professionals because of the treatment and care they need. This selective disclosure is mainly due to the taboo of HIV disease in SSA culture. Stigma, notably self-stigma, greatly impedes HIV disclosure. Techniques to systematically incorporate HIV disclosure into post-test counseling and primary care services are highly recommended.

  19. Introduction of Behavioral Parameterization in the EPC Calculation Method and Assessment of Five Typical Urban Houses in Wallonia, Belgium

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    Stéphane Monfils


    Full Text Available The Energy Performance Certification (EPC of existing residential buildings has been designed to introduce energy efficiency as a comparative criterion for real-estate purchase choices, which should influence real-estate market value and stimulate energy saving investments. EPCs in Belgium are asset ratings, calculated with a standardized approach, which purposefully (and understandably takes the human factor out of the equations in order to allow the comparison of buildings. As a result, they often overestimate energy consumption and present discrepancies that do not allow appropriation of the results by potential buyers. This study proposes complementary EPC results, obtained by integrating the behavior of occupants in the calculation method. This paper first analyses the pool of behavioral uncertainties that influence the results of EPCs, describes a questionnaire built to gather additional data on households’ characteristics and energy consumption habits and proposes modifications to the calculation method. The complementary results are then compared to regulatory EPC results and real consumption data. Though acknowledging the necessity of a standardized EPC for dwellings’ comparison, this study completes it with data on the energy consumption-related behaviors to (partially close the gap between real and theoretical consumptions.

  20. [Breast and cervical cancer screening: beliefs and behaviors among the female population of the city of Liege (Belgium)]. (United States)

    Escoyez, B; Mairiaux, Ph


    Several surveys have shown that in Belgium the coverage of the female population for both breast and cervix cancers screening is too low and not evenly distributed in the target population. In order to highlight modifiable behavioural factors about cancer screening and to know the profile of women who exhibit an inadequate preventive behaviour, a postal survey has been conducted in the city of Liège. A self-administrated questionnaire was sent to a randomised sample of 1.000 women from two age groups (25-37 and 45-57 years); 444 women returned the questionnaire (response rate: 45.4%). The results show that the responders who do not comply with the recommendations for cancer screening are more often unemployed women with a low educational level, women who have a poor perception of their health, or women who are not regularly followed by a gynaecologist. Those women have more often poor knowledge and wrong beliefs about prevention, a negative perception of the curability of a cancer detected early and of the efficacy of screening tests. In spite of an overrepresentation of women with an university degree among the responders, it was also observed that more than 1 woman out of 4 in the 25-37 years age group is not convinced of the pap smear efficacy. In view of these results, the design of screening campaigns for cancer prevention has to involve specific efforts targeted at under-privileged subgroups within the female population.

  1. Identification of the nitrate contamination sources of the Brusselian sands groundwater body (Belgium) using a dual-isotope approach. (United States)

    Mattern, Samuel; Sebilo, Mathieu; Vanclooster, Marnik


    Isotopic fingerprinting is an advanced technique allowing the classification of the nitrate source pollution of groundwater, but needs further development and validation. In this study, we performed measurements of natural stable isotopic composition of nitrate ((15)N and (18)O) in the groundwater body of the Brussels sands (Belgium) and studied the spatial and temporal dynamics of the isotope signature of this aquifer. Potential nitrogen sources sampled in the region had isotopic signatures that fell within the corresponding typical ranges found in the literature. For a few monitoring stations, the isotopic data strongly suggest that the sources of nitrate are from mineral fertiliser origin, as used in agriculture and golf courses. Other stations suggest that manure leaching from unprotected stockpiles in farms, domestic gardening practices, septic tanks and probably cemeteries contribute to the nitrate pollution of this groundwater body. For most monitoring stations, nitrate originates from a mixing of several nitrogen sources. The isotopic signature of the groundwater body was poorly structured in space, but exhibited a clear temporal structure. This temporal structure could be explained by groundwater recharge dynamics and cycling process of nitrogen in the soil-nitrogen pool.

  2. Appraisal of measurement methods, chemical composition and sources of fine atmospheric particles over six different areas of Northern Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bencs, Laszlo, E-mail: [Micro and Trace Analysis Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp (Belgium); Ravindra, Khaiwal [Micro and Trace Analysis Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp (Belgium); Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research (CAIR), University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, AL10 9AB (United Kingdom); Hoog, Johan de; Spolnik, Zoya [Micro and Trace Analysis Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp (Belgium); Bleux, Nico; Berghmans, Patrick; Deutsch, Felix [Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol (Belgium); Roekens, Edward [Flemish Environment Agency (VMM), Kronenburgstraat 45, B-2000 Antwerp (Belgium); Van Grieken, Rene [Micro and Trace Analysis Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Antwerp (Belgium)


    Daily and seasonal variation in the total elemental, organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) content and mass of PM{sub 2.5} were studied at industrial, urban, suburban and agricultural/rural areas. Continuous (optical Dustscan, standard tapered element oscillating micro-balance (TEOM), TEOM with filter dynamics measurement system), semi-continuous (Partisol filter-sampling) and non-continuous (Dekati-impactor sampling and gravimetry) methods of PM{sub 2.5} mass monitoring were critically evaluated. The average elemental fraction accounted for 2-6% of the PM{sub 2.5} mass measured by gravimetry. Metals, like K, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn and Pb were strongly inter-correlated, also frequently with non-metallic elements (P, S, Cl and/or Br) and EC/OC. A high OC/EC ratio (2-9) was generally observed. The total carbon content of PM{sub 2.5} ranged between 3 and 77% (averages: 12-32%), peaking near industrial/heavy trafficked sites. Principal component analysis identified heavy oil burning, ferrous/non-ferrous industry and vehicular emissions as the main sources of metal pollution. - This work compares various aerosol monitoring methods to characterize PM{sub 2.5} over six locations of different anthropogenic activities over Northern Belgium.

  3. Toxocariasis diagnosed in international travelers at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, from 2000 to 2013. (United States)

    Van Den Broucke, Steven; Kanobana, Kirezi; Polman, Katja; Soentjens, Patrick; Vekemans, Marc; Theunissen, Caroline; Vlieghe, Erika; Van Esbroeck, Marjan; Jacobs, Jan; Van Den Enden, Erwin; Van Den Ende, Jef; Van Gompel, Alfons; Clerinx, Jan; Bottieau, Emmanuel


    Although infection with Toxocara canis or T. catis (commonly referred as toxocariasis) appears to be highly prevalent in (sub)tropical countries, information on its frequency and presentation in returning travelers and migrants is scarce. In this study, we reviewed all cases of asymptomatic and symptomatic toxocariasis diagnosed during post-travel consultations at the reference travel clinic of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium. Toxocariasis was considered as highly probable if serum Toxocara-antibodies were detected in combination with symptoms of visceral larva migrans if present, elevated eosinophil count in blood or other relevant fluid and reasonable exclusion of alternative diagnosis, or definitive in case of documented seroconversion. From 2000 to 2013, 190 travelers showed Toxocara-antibodies, of a total of 3436 for whom the test was requested (5.5%). Toxocariasis was diagnosed in 28 cases (23 symptomatic and 5 asymptomatic) including 21 highly probable and 7 definitive. All but one patients were adults. Africa and Asia were the place of acquisition for 10 and 9 cases, respectively. Twelve patients (43%) were short-term travelers (Toxocariasis has to be considered in travelers returning from a (sub)tropical stay with varying clinical manifestations or eosinophilia. Prognosis appears favorable with adequate treatment except in case of neurological involvement.

  4. Mid and late Holocene dust deposition in western Europe: the Misten peat bog (Hautes Fagnes – Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Allan


    Full Text Available Dust deposition in southern Belgium is estimated from the geochemical signature of an ombrotrophic peatland. The Rare Earth Elements (REE and lithogenic elements concentrations, as well as Nd isotopes, were determined by HR-ICP-MS and MC-ICP-MS respectively, in along a ~6 m peat section covering 5300 yr, from 30 BC to 5300 BC dated by the 14C method. Changes in REE concentration in the peat correlate with those of Ti, Al, Sc and Zr that are lithogenic conservative elements, suggesting that REE are immobile in the studied peat bogs and can be used as tracers of dust deposition. Peat humification and testate amoebae were used to evaluate hydroclimatic conditions. The range of dust deposition varied from 0.03 to 4.0 g m−2 yr−1. The highest dust fluxes were observed from 800 to 600 BC and from 3200 to 2800 BC and correspond to cold periods. The εNd values show a large variability of −5 to −13, identifying three major sources of dusts: local soils, distal volcanic and desert particles.

  5. Horizontal and vertical distribution of meiofauna on sandy beaches of the North Sea (The Netherlands, Belgium, France) (United States)

    Kotwicki, Lech; Troch, Marleen De; Urban-Malinga, Barbara; Gheskiere, Tom; Węslawski, Jan Marcin


    Sandy intertidal zones were analysed for the presence of meiofauna. The material was collected on six macro-tidal sandy beaches along the North Sea (The Netherlands, France, Belgium), in order to analyse the vertical and horizontal meiofaunal distribution patterns. Eleven higher meiofauna taxa (one represented by larval stage—Copepoda nauplii) were recorded. The maximum total meiofauna abundance was observed on the Dutch beach (4,295±911 ind. 10 cm-2) in the Westerschelde estuary, while the lowest values (361±128 ind. 10 cm-2) were recorded in France at the Audresselles beach. Meiofauna of the different localities consisted mainly of nematodes, harpacticoids and turbellarians. Nematodes numerically dominated all sampled stations, comprising more than 45% of the total meiofauna density. Meiofauna was mainly concentrated at the sand surface with about 70% present in the uppermost 5 cm. Meiofauna occurred across the entire intertidal zone. A clear zonation pattern in the distribution of meiofauna taxa across the beaches was observed. The present work suggests that designation of exposed sandy beaches as physically controlled (McLachlan 1988) does not explain their biological variability.

  6. Green misery in Belgium. On green electricity certificates and free distribution; Groene ellende in Belgie. Over groenestroomcertificaten en kosteloze distributie

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoors, T. [Allen and Overy, Brussels (Belgium)


    In Belgium, the regions are responsible for any matters related to renewable energy sources. In the Flemish region, a system of green certificates and a system of free distribution of green electricity were introduced with a view to promote the local production of energy from renewable sources. Under the green certificates system, the electricity suppliers could only comply with their obligations by submitting a sufficient number of green certificates awarded for green electricity produced in the Flemish region or in the territorial sea (other certificates would not be accepted). Under the system of free distribution, no distribution costs were charged for using the Flemish distribution grid (to the benefit of the electricity supplier and consequently the end-user) to the extent that the electricity was produced by production installations connected to the Flemish distribution grid. Both systems were severely criticized by the Belgian State Council (the supreme administrative court) and the European Commission, and were found contrary to the rules of free movement of goods within the Belgian territory and within the EU. This criticism might introduce the end of the principles contained in the decision of the European Court of Justice in the Preussen-Elektra / Schleswag AG matter, where the European Court of Justice had allowed discrimination in favour of local producers of renewable energy for very specific reasons. Meanwhile, in the Flemish region, the system of free distribution has been abolished.The next question is whether the above criticism also leads to a situation where green certificates issued in one EU Member State must be accepted in all other EU Member States to comply with a local obligation to submit a specific number of green certificates.The consequences for EU Member States with only limited renewable energy sources (such as Belgium) may be far reaching. [Dutch] Hernieuwbare energiebronnen behoren tot de bevoegdheid van de gewesten in Belgie. In

  7. High-resolution climate and land surface interactions modeling over Belgium: current state and decennial scale projections (United States)

    Jacquemin, Ingrid; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane; Beckers, Veronique; Berckmans, Julie; Debusscher, Bos; Dury, Marie; Minet, Julien; Hamdi, Rafiq; Dendoncker, Nicolas; Tychon, Bernard; Hambuckers, Alain; François, Louis


    The interactions between land surface and climate are complex. Climate changes can affect ecosystem structure and functions, by altering photosynthesis and productivity or inducing thermal and hydric stresses on plant species. These changes then impact socio-economic systems, through e.g., lower farming or forestry incomes. Ultimately, it can lead to permanent changes in land use structure, especially when associated with other non-climatic factors, such as urbanization pressure. These interactions and changes have feedbacks on the climate systems, in terms of changing: (1) surface properties (albedo, roughness, evapotranspiration, etc.) and (2) greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2, CH4, N2O). In the framework of the MASC project (« Modelling and Assessing Surface Change impacts on Belgian and Western European climate »), we aim at improving regional climate model projections at the decennial scale over Belgium and Western Europe by combining high-resolution models of climate, land surface dynamics and socio-economic processes. The land surface dynamics (LSD) module is composed of a dynamic vegetation model (CARAIB) calculating the productivity and growth of natural and managed vegetation, and an agent-based model (CRAFTY), determining the shifts in land use and land cover. This up-scaled LSD module is made consistent with the surface scheme of the regional climate model (RCM: ALARO) to allow simulations of the RCM with a fully dynamic land surface for the recent past and the period 2000-2030. In this contribution, we analyze the results of the first simulations performed with the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model over Belgium at a resolution of 1km. This analysis is performed at the species level, using a set of 17 species for natural vegetation (trees and grasses) and 10 crops, especially designed to represent the Belgian vegetation. The CARAIB model is forced with surface atmospheric variables derived from the monthly global CRU climatology or ALARO outputs

  8. Spatio-temporal natural and anthropogenic environmental variability during the last 1500yrs in an ombrotrophic bog (East Belgium). (United States)

    de Vleeschouwer, François; Fagel, Nathalie; Allan, Mohammed; Javaux, Emmanuelle; Gerrienne, Philippe; Streel, Maurice; Luthers, Cédric; Hindrycks, Marie-Noëlle; Wastiaux, Cécile; Leclercq, Louis


    Peatlands cover ca. 3 % of the Earth's surface and provide crucial continental archives for deciphering past climatic changes and anthropogenic impacts on decadal to millennial timescales. Numerous studies have demonstrated that peat bogs are excellent archives to investigate past environmental and ecological changes during the Holocene. Studies which focus on intra-site variability at high resolution are rare however, despite their potential to provide constraints on the reliability of the palaeoenvironmental reconstruction and the influence of micro-scale variability. Such variability must be taken into account in any peatland restoration process linked with recent environmental changes, particularly human-derived impact such as peat cutting, drainage and tree cultivation. Four 1m-long Wardenaar monoliths were retrieved from the Misten bog (Hautes-Fagnes, East Belgium). The cores were investigated using chronological (radiocarbon AMS dating of plant macrofossils, 210Pb age modelling), biological (macrofossils, pollen content, testate amoebae), organic (humification level) and geochemical proxies (major and trace geochemistry, Nd and Pb isotopes). The aims of this research were to: (1) to assess whether the bog vegetation and other environmental indicators have changed simultaneously in time and space, (2) identify the most sensitive palaeoenvironmental indicator(s) and (3) assess to what extent variation in peat accumulation rates affects the record of each proxy. Preliminary interpretations show great variability (up to 50%) in peat development on a decimetre depth-scale as assessed by the variation in peat palynological and macrofossils zones from one core to another. In addition, our recent high-resolution records of environmental change have high applied palaeoecological value since they can be used to inform conservation management (‘natural' changes in the composition of the peat forming vegetation and the range of water table depth variability over a

  9. Neurosurgical Treatment Variation of Traumatic Brain Injury: Evaluation of Acute Subdural Hematoma Management in Belgium and The Netherlands. (United States)

    van Essen, Thomas A; de Ruiter, Godard C W; Kho, Kuan H; Peul, Wilco C


    Several recent global traumatic brain injury (TBI) initiatives rely on practice variation in diagnostic and treatment methods to answer effectiveness questions. One of these scientific dilemmas, the surgical management of the traumatic acute subdural hematoma (ASDH) might be variable among countries, among centers within countries, and even among neurosurgeons within a center, and hence be amenable for a comparative effectiveness study. The aim of our questionnaire, therefore, was to explore variations in treatment for ASDH among neurosurgeons in similar centers in a densely populated geographical area. An online questionnaire, involving treatment decisions on six case vignettes of ASDH, was sent to 93 neurosurgeons in The Netherlands and Belgium. Clinical and radiological variables differed per case. Sixty neurosurgeons filled out the questionnaire (response rate 65%). For case vignettes with severe TBI and an ASDH, there was a modest variation in the decision to evacuate the hematoma and a large variation in the decision to combine the evacuation with a decompressive craniectomy. The main reasons for operating were "neurological condition" and "mass effect." For ASDH and mild/moderate TBI, there was large variation in the decision of whether to operate or not, whereas "hematoma size" was the predominant motivation for surgery. Significant inter-center variation for the decision to evacuate the hematoma was observed (p = 0.01). Most pronounced was that 1 out of 7 (14%) neurosurgeons in one region chose a surgical strategy compared with 9 out of 10 (90%) in another region for the same scenario. In conclusion, variation exists in the neurosurgical management of TBI within an otherwise homogeneous setting. This variation supports the methodology of the international Collaborative European NeuroTrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) initiative, and shaped the Dutch Neurotraumatology Quality Registry (Net-QuRe) initiative.

  10. A database on the distribution of butterflies (Lepidoptera) in northern Belgium (Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region). (United States)

    Maes, Dirk; Vanreusel, Wouter; Herremans, Marc; Vantieghem, Pieter; Brosens, Dimitri; Gielen, Karin; Beck, Olivier; Van Dyck, Hans; Desmet, Peter; Natuurpunt, Vlinderwerkgroep


    In this data paper, we describe two datasets derived from two sources, which collectively represent the most complete overview of butterflies in Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region (northern Belgium). The first dataset (further referred to as the INBO dataset - contains 761,660 records of 70 species and is compiled by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) in cooperation with the Butterfly working group of Natuurpunt (Vlinderwerkgroep). It is derived from the database Vlinderdatabank at the INBO, which consists of (historical) collection and literature data (1830-2001), for which all butterfly specimens in institutional and available personal collections were digitized and all entomological and other relevant publications were checked for butterfly distribution data. It also contains observations and monitoring data for the period 1991-2014. The latter type were collected by a (small) butterfly monitoring network where butterflies were recorded using a standardized protocol. The second dataset (further referred to as the Natuurpunt dataset - contains 612,934 records of 63 species and is derived from the database, hosted at the nature conservation NGO Natuurpunt in collaboration with Stichting Natuurinformatie. This dataset contains butterfly observations by volunteers (citizen scientists), mainly since 2008. Together, these datasets currently contain a total of 1,374,594 records, which are georeferenced using the centroid of their respective 5 × 5 km² Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) grid cell. Both datasets are published as open data and are available through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

  11. Spatial interpolation of daily rainfall at catchment scale: a case study of the Ourthe and Ambleve catchments, Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ly


    Full Text Available Spatial interpolation of precipitation data is of great importance for hydrological modelling. Geostatistical methods (krigings are widely used in spatial interpolation from point measurement to continuous surfaces. However, the majority of existing geostatistical algorithms are available only for single-moment data. The first step in kriging computation is the semi-variogram modelling which usually uses only one variogram model for all-moment data. The objective of this paper was to develop different algorithms of spatial interpolation for daily rainfall on 1 km2 regular grids in the catchment area and to compare the results of geostatistical and deterministic approaches. In this study, we used daily rainfall data from 70 raingages in the hilly landscape of the Ourthe and Ambleve catchments in Belgium (2908 km2. This area lies between 35 and 693 m in elevation and consists of river networks, which are tributaries of the Meuse River. For geostatistical algorithms, Cressie's Approximate Weighted Least Squares method was used to fit seven semi-variogram models (logarithmic, power, exponential, Gaussian, rational quadratic, spherical and penta-spherical to daily sample semi-variogram on a daily basis. Seven selected raingages were used to compare the interpolation performance of these algorithms applied to many degenerated-raingage cases. Spatial interpolation with the geostatistical and Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW algorithms outperformed considerably interpolation with the Thiessen polygon that is commonly used in various hydrological models. Kriging with an External Drift (KED and Ordinary Cokriging (OCK presented the highest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE between the geostatistical and IDW methods. Ordinary Kriging (ORK and IDW were considered to be the best methods, as they provided smallest RMSE value for nearly all cases.

  12. Mapping mean total annual precipitation in Belgium, by investigating the scale of topographic control at the regional scale (United States)

    Meersmans, J.; Van Weverberg, K.; De Baets, S.; De Ridder, F.; Palmer, S. J.; van Wesemael, B.; Quine, T. A.


    Accurate precipitation maps are essential for ecological, environmental, element cycle and hydrological models that have a spatial output component. It is well known that topography has a major influence on the spatial distribution of precipitation and that increasing topographical complexity is associated with increased spatial heterogeneity in precipitation. This means that when mapping precipitation using classical interpolation techniques (e.g. regression, kriging, spline, inverse distance weighting, etc.), a climate measuring network with higher spatial density is needed in mountainous areas in order to obtain the same level of accuracy as compared to flatter regions. In this study, we present a mean total annual precipitation mapping technique that combines topographical information (i.e. elevation and slope orientation) with average total annual rain gauge data in order to overcome this problem. A unique feature of this paper is the identification of the scale at which topography influences the precipitation pattern as well as the direction of the dominant weather circulation. This method was applied for Belgium and surroundings and shows that the identification of the appropriate scale at which topographical obstacles impact precipitation is crucial in order to obtain reliable mean total annual precipitation maps. The dominant weather circulation is determined at 260°. Hence, this approach allows accurate mapping of mean annual precipitation patterns in regions characterized by rather high topographical complexity using a climate data network with a relatively low density and/or when more advanced precipitation measurement techniques, such as radar, aren't available, for example in the case of historical data.

  13. Saproxylic beetles in non-intervention and coppice-with-standards restoration management in Meerdaal forest (Belgium: an exploratory analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vandekerkhove K


    Full Text Available For many centuries, coppice-with-standards management was applied in the mixed oak stands of Meerdaal forest (Belgium. Over the last century, these stands were gradually converted to high forest. On an area of 20 ha, the coppice-with-standards management is being restored, with specific adaptations for biodiversity (conservation of dead wood and veteran trees. A survey of saproxylic beetles was performed at 8 locations in the forest, including one site within the coppice-with-standards restoration. This survey not only allowed an evaluation of the saproxylic beetle richness of the forest complex, but also made exploratory observations on the effect of this type of management, as compared to non-intervention, on species richness and composition of saproxylic beetles. The results show that the overall species richness in the forest complex was quite high and comparable to forest reserves in Germany. Both coppice-with-standards and high forest options appear to be equally species-rich, but consist of different communities, both containing specific, rare and notable species, with more thermophilous and light-demanding species in the coppice-with-standards plot. Based on these observations we suggest that a diversified management approach may be the most suitable to conserve and enhance diverse saproxylic beetle communities in formerly intensively managed semi-natural woodlands. This could include areas of active conservation management aimed at producing open-canopy stands with considerable amounts of sun-exposed deadwood, combined with areas of non-intervention in a matrix of multifunctional forests, where conservation of dead wood and veteran trees is fully incorporated in the management.

  14. eHealth in Belgium, a new "secure" federal network: role of patients, health professions and social security services. (United States)

    France, Francis Roger


    eHealth platform is the official federal network in Belgium (created by law on 21 August 2008) devoted to a secure exchange of health data in many types of applications, such as health care purposes, simplification of administrative procedures and contribution to health policy. It implies a controlled access to decentralized databases and uses encrypted personal data. The national identification number has been chosen in order to authenticate the requester, the patient, and the receiver of information exchange. Authorizations have to be respected in order to obtain personal health data. Several questions are raised about its security: the lack of mandatory request for systematic journaling on accesses to the electronic patient record as well as the absence of explicit procedures for sanctions in case of unauthorized access, the new role of social security administration in managing security where a eHealth manager can be both judge and party (in the function of trusted third party for health data encryption and of a required lawyer for texts proposed by physicians to the Commission for the protection of private life). Another critic concerns the number of physicians in minority and the absence of patients' delegates in the eHealth Board. At a time when the patient is becoming a partner in the care team, should not he be the gate-keeper for the access to his own health record? How could networks help him to get the appropriate knowledge to contribute to care and to write his testament of life? Recent laws (on private life, patient rights and euthanasia) have contributed to a behavioural change in citizens and physician attitudes. Recommendations are made in order to improve the acceptability of eHealth platform.

  15. Effect evaluation of a road safety education program based on victim testimonials in high schools in Belgium. (United States)

    Cuenen, Ariane; Brijs, Kris; Brijs, Tom; Van Vlierden, Karin; Daniels, Stijn; Wets, Geert


    For several decades policy makers worldwide have experimented with testimonials as a strategy to promote road safety supportive views in a wide variety of target populations such as recidivists and students. In its basic format, a (relative of) a victim or an offender brings a personal testimonial of what it is to experience a traffic accident. The underlying idea is that such a testimonial will emotionally affect participants, thereby stimulating them to cognitively reflect upon their own behavior and responsibility as a road user. Unfortunately, empirical literature on the effectiveness of this strategy is rather scarce and inconsistent. This study investigated the effect of a large-scale program with victim testimonials for high schools in Belgium on five socio-cognitive and behavioral variables drawn from the Theory of Planned Behavior (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, behavioral intention and behavior). Moreover, this study investigated program effects on participants' cognitive and emotional estate and whether this influences the program's impact on socio-cognitive and behavioral variables. Our test sample included 1362 students, who were assigned to a baseline - follow-up group and a post-test - follow-up group. We questioned both groups, a first time (just before or after session attendance) on paper, and a second time (two months after session attendance) online. Results indicate the program had, both immediate and two months after attendance, small to medium positive effects on most socio-cognitive and behavioral variables. However, effects depended on participants' demographic profile, their baseline values on the socio-cognitive and behavioral variables, and the degree to which they were cognitively/emotionally affected by the program. We discuss the practical implications of these findings and formulate recommendations for the development of future interventions based on victim testimonials.

  16. The compositional mosaic of Fusarium species and their mycotoxins in unprocessed cereals, food and feed products in Belgium. (United States)

    Vanheule, Adriaan; Audenaert, Kris; De Boevre, Marthe; Landschoot, Sofie; Bekaert, Boris; Munaut, Françoise; Eeckhout, Mia; Höfte, Monica; De Saeger, Sarah; Haesaert, Geert


    Global food safety depends on continuous monitoring of food contaminants such as mycotoxins in cereals and cereal-derived products. Here, we combine this type of investigation with quantitative occurrence data on Fusarium infestation of these products in extensive correlation studies. Finally, this contributes to a thorough understanding of the presence, origin and physiology of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) related mycotoxins and the correlations within their ranks. Two hundred and thirty-seven samples were analyzed from diverse cereal matrices, representing the most important stages of the cereal food and feed chain in Belgium. Food, feed and non-processed field samples were investigated, with a strong emphasis on whole-grain food products. Two approaches were pursued to estimate the full scope of FHB and its repercussions: UPLC-MS/MS was applied to detect twelve different mycotoxins, and Q-PCR was used to measure the presence of ten Fusarium species. We found that different matrices have different characteristic contamination profiles, and extensive correlation studies identified certain mycotoxins for future assessment (e.g. moniliformin produced by the Fusarium avenaceum/Fusarium tricinctum species group). The investigated harvest year of 2012 yielded many non-processed field materials containing elevated levels of deoxynivalenol (DON), while even in a so-called DON-year less prevalent toxins such as T-2 and HT-2 might be considered problematic due to their consistent co-occurrence with related mycotoxins. Our data illustrate complex interactions between the many Fusarium species that are responsible for FHB and their mycotoxins. Correlation studies demonstrate that consistent co-occurrence of mycotoxins is not to be neglected, and pinpoint issues for future surveillance and legislation.

  17. Prevalence and sources of Campylobacter spp. contamination in free-range broiler production in the southern part of Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vandeplas, S.


    Full Text Available A one year epidemiological study was carried out between February 2005 and February 2006 in the southern part of Belgium to assess the Campylobacter prevalence in free-range broiler production. Three successive broiler flocks from six Belgian farms were investigated for the presence of Campylobacter spp. during the rearing period. Each flock was visited four times, before and after the outdoor rearing period. During each visit, samples were taken in the broiler house (litter, cecal droppings, water-lines, feed, anteroom as well as from the outer rearing environment (open-air range. The Campylobacter detection in all samples was carried out according to the ISO 10272 standard. Identification was based on colonial morphology, microscopic examination, and biochemical tests. PCR multiplex was used for genetic confirmation. Campylobacter jejuni was the main species isolated from all contaminated samples. Overall, mixed infections C. jejuni / Campylobacter coli represented 40.6%, while C. jejuni and C. coli represented 46.9% and 12.5% of chicken samples respectively. A 100% flock contamination was observed in the 6 farms during the summer-autumn period, whereas only 66.7% and 33.3% of the flocks became Campylobacter-positive in spring and winter respectively, at the end of the rearing period. Half of contaminated flocks were infected before chickens have access to the open-air range. Environmental samples, especially the open-air range soil, were found to be Campylobacter-positive before flock infection. The other potential sources of contamination were delivery tray, anteroom floor and water-lines. Other animal productions like cattle on the farm, no applied rodent control, no cleaning and disinfection of water-lines between flocks, no detergent used for cleaning and thinning were recorded as risk factors. In conclusion, the contact with the environment, particularly the access to an open-air range, appeared to be the major way of Campylobacter

  18. The Neandertal lower right deciduous second molar from Trou de l'Abîme at Couvin, Belgium. (United States)

    Toussaint, Michel; Olejniczak, Anthony J; El Zaatari, Sireen; Cattelain, Pierre; Flas, Damien; Letourneux, Claire; Pirson, Stéphane


    A human lower right deciduous second molar was discovered in 1984 at the entrance of Trou de l'Abîme at Couvin (Belgium). In subsequent years the interpretation of this fossil remained difficult for various reasons: (1) the lack of taxonomically diagnostic elements which would support its attribution to either Homo (sapiens) neanderthalensis or H. s. sapiens; (2) the absence of any reliable chronostratigraphic interpretation of the sedimentary sequence of the site; (3) the contradiction between archaeological interpretations, which attributed the lithic industry to a transitional facies between the Middle and Early Upper Palaeolithic, and the radiocarbon date of 46,820+/-3,290BP obtained from animal bone remains associated with the tooth and the flint tools. Thanks to recent progress regarding these three aspects, the tooth from Trou de l'Abîme may now be studied in detail. Analyses of the morphology and enamel thickness of the fossil yielded diagnostic characters consistent with an attribution to Neandertals. Re-examination of the lithic industry of Couvin shows that it corresponds to the late Middle Palaeolithic rather than a transitional facies. Furthermore, a new analysis of the site stratigraphy indicates that the unit situated above the archaeological layer in which the tooth was found is probably a palaeosol of brown soil type. Comparison with the regional cave sequences as well as with the reference sequence from the Belgian loess belt tends to show that the most recent palaeosol of this type is dated between 42,000 and 40,000BP. This is consistent with both a recently obtained AMS result at 44,500BP and the published conventional date.

  19. Commercial bumblebee hives to assess an anthropogenic environment for pollinator support: a case study in the region of Ghent (Belgium). (United States)

    Parmentier, Laurian; Meeus, Ivan; Cheroutre, Lore; Mommaerts, Veerle; Louwye, Stephen; Smagghe, Guy


    Anthropogenic changes of the environment influence the distribution and abundance of pollinators such as bumblebees and have been proposed as one of the main causes in their worldwide decline. In order to evaluate the impact of expanding anthropogenic landscapes on supporting pollinator potential, reliable tools are needed. Bombus terrestris is one of the most abundant bumblebee species in Europe, and these bumblebees are known as generalist pollinators of not only wild flowers in nature but also of crops in agriculture. For more than two decades, these bumblebees have been commercially mass reared for biological pollination in greenhouses. In this project, we placed commercial hives of the bumblebee B. terrestris containing one queen and 40 workers, in three different locations in the region of Ghent (Belgium), and the performance of these hives was followed during a 4-week period in spring 2012. In parallel, we determined the floral richness and diversity index in the chosen study sites. The sites consisted of a rich urban environment with patchy green areas opposed to an urban environment with poor landscape metrics; a third rural study site showed average positive landscape metrics. The results demonstrated that the hive biomass and numbers of workers increased significantly in the rich compared to the poor environment, providing a mechanism to discriminate between study sites. In addition, the bumblebee-collected pollen showed that the flowering plants Salix spp. and Rosaceae/Prunus spp. are dominant food sources in all anthropogenic environments during early spring. Finally, the results are discussed in relation to the optimization of the experimental setup and to the use of commercial bumblebee hives in assessing local pollinator support within any given environment.

  20. Distribution of phthalates, pesticides and drug residues in the dissolved, particulate and sedimentary phases from transboundary rivers (France-Belgium). (United States)

    Net, Sopheak; Rabodonirina, Suzanah; Sghaier, Rafika Ben; Dumoulin, David; Chbib, Chaza; Tlili, Ines; Ouddane, Baghdad


    Various drug residues, pesticides and phthalates are ubiquitous in the environment. Their presence in the environment has attracted considerable attention due to their potential impacts on ecosystem functioning and on public health. In this work, 14 drug residues, 24 pesticides and 6 phthalates have been quantified in three matrices (in the dissolved phase, associated to suspended solid matter (SSM), and in sediment) collected from fifteen watercourses and rivers located in a highly industrialized zone at the cross-border area of Northern France and Belgium. The extractions have been carried out using accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) for solid matrices (SSM and sediment) and using solid phase extraction (SPE) for liquid matrix. The final extract was analyzed using GC-MS technique. Among the three classes of compounds, phthalates have been found at highest level compared to pesticides and drug residues. The Σ6PAE concentrations were ranging from 17.2±2.58 to 179.1±26.9μgL(-1) in dissolved phase, from 2.9±0.4 to 21.1±3.2μgL(-1) in SSM and from 1.1±0.2 to 11.9±1.8μgg(-1)dw in sediment. The Σ14drug residue concentrations were lower than 1.3μgL(-1) in the dissolved phases, lower than 30ngL(-1) associated to SSM and from nondetectable levels to 60.7±9.1ngg(-1)dw in sediment. For pesticides, all compounds were below the LOQ values in dissolved phase and in sediment, and only EPTC could be quantified in SSM.

  1. Health risk assessment of exposure to dioxin-like PCBs and dioxins in the City of Menen (Belgium)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nouwen, J.; Provoost, J.; Cornelis, C.; Bronders, J.; Fre, R. de; Clauvenbergern, R. van [Flemish Insitute for Technological Research (Vito) (Belgium)


    The City of Menen is a well-outlined residential area located in the neighbourhood of two waste incinerators. The waste incinerators (Menen (Belgium) and Roncq (France)) are in full operation since the eighties. Emission measurements indicate that they fulfil the European Union dioxin emission standard of 0.1 ng TEQ/m{sup 3}. Despite this, new deposition measurements and analysis of milk in this region indicate a high burden of the local environment with dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dioxin-like PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). It should be noted that formerly the City of Menen was also surrounded by other potential dioxin sources, among them a dye factory, some small illegal cable burning houses, a pressed board manufacturer, and a metal recycling plant. Before 1984, fly ashes of the waste incinerator were locally used as road materials and transported. This could be a secondary source. Additionally the Environmental Inspection has regularly noticed some large open waste fires in this region and follows up the situation. On request of the Public Waste Agency of Flanders (OVAM) an inventory of all dioxin measurements within the city area was made. The ratio of the dioxin-like PCBs compared to the PCDD/Fs in these measurement results was unexpectedly high. As a consequence of this and in order to achieve an optimal risk assessment for the people living in the City of Menen an additional sampling of soil, vegetables and eggs was carried out. This article focuses on the relative amounts of dioxin-like PCBs and PCDD/Fs in the different media and the consequences for the outcome of the risk assessment.

  2. Archaeomagnetism of a Mediaeval brass melting &working site near Dinant (Belgium) and the suitability of firebricks as geomagnetic field recorders (United States)

    Hus, J.; Geeraerts, R.; Plumier, J.


    Field directional archaeomagnetic data from several kilns, unearthed in a brass melting and working site in Bouvignes-sur-Meuse (Dinant, Namur province) in Belgium during a rescue excavation, confirm the archaeological dating as 15th century A.D. for the main site activities.The archaeomagnetic dates, obtained using reference secular variation curves for France and Great Britain, lead to better time constraints for the cessation of kiln operations. Refractory bricks (firebricks), which are used for their chemical and thermal properties, and in particular for their resistance to high temperatures and temperature changes, are not unusual in metal melting &working sites. In the examined site, circular-, square- and oval-shaped kilns, lined with firebricks, were present. The firebricks, which are very porous and coarse-grained, possess a very stable remanent magnetisation and revealed to be suitable geomagnetic field recorders. In the square-shaped kiln two stable magnetisation components could be isolated in the firebricks: a low-temperature component acquired below 420 C, yielding an age near the middle of the 15th century A.D. and a high-temperature component with non-coherent directions. Although the firebricks from the oval-shaped kiln have a very stable, single-component remanent magnetisation, very large non-random deviations in remanence direction in function of the relative azimuth from the centre of the kiln, or with the position of the bricks in the kiln wall, were found. Several hypothesis for the origin of the deviations were tested: anisotropy, refraction and the presence of a local disturbing magnetic source.

  3. Dioxin/polychlorinated biphenyl body burden, diabetes and endometriosis: findings in a population-based study in Belgium. (United States)

    Fierens, Sébastien; Mairesse, Hélène; Heilier, Jean-François; De Burbure, Claire; Focant, Jean-François; Eppe, Gauthier; De Pauw, Edwin; Bernard, Alfred


    Dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants widely distributed in the food chain, which is the main source of human exposure. Their effects on human health at background exposure levels are still poorly understood. Recent epidemiological evidence suggests a possible association between these pollutants and diabetes. We report here the results of a population-based study in Belgium on 257 (142 women and 115 men) environmentally exposed subjects, including 10 cases of endometriosis and nine cases of diabetes. Seventeen 2,3,7,8-polychlorinated dibenzodioxins/dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs or dioxins), four coplanar PCBs (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry [IUPAC] nos 77, 81, 126 and 169) and 12 PCB markers (IUPAC nos 3, 8, 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, 180, 194, 206 and 209) were quantified in serum fat from fasting blood samples in order to estimate the body burden of these pollutants. Whilst no difference was found between women with endometriosis and their controls, diabetic patients had significantly increased serum levels of dioxins, coplanar PCBs and the 12 PCB markers. After adjustment for age and other covariates, serum total toxic equivalent activity (sum of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs) and 12 PCB marker concentrations in diabetics were 62% (p = 0.0005) and 39% (p = 0.0067) higher, respectively, than in controls. The risk of diabetes was significantly increased in subjects in the top decile for adjusted concentrations of dioxins (odds ratio 5.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.18-21.7), coplanar PCBs (odds ratio 13.3, 95% CI 3.31-53.2) or 12 PCB markers (odds ratio 7.6, 95% CI 1.58-36.3). These findings warrant further studies to assess the significance of the associations between diabetes and environmental exposure to polychlorinated pollutants.

  4. Opening the research agenda for selection of hot spots for human biomonitoring research in Belgium: a participatory research project

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    Chovanova Hana


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to select priority hotspots for environment and health research in Flanders (Belgium, an open procedure was organized. Environment and health hotspots are strong polluting point sources with possible health effects for residents living in the vicinity of the hot spot. The selection procedure was part of the work of the Flemish Centre of Expertise for Environment and Health, which investigates the relation between environmental pollution and human health. The project is funded and steered by the Flemish government. Methods The involvement of other actors than merely experts is inspired by the 'analytical-deliberative' approach of the National Research Council in the United States and the extended peer community approach. These approaches stress the importance of involving different expert- and social perspectives in order to increase the knowledge base on complex issues. In the procedure used in the project a combination of expert and stakeholder input was essential. The final decision was supported by a multi-criteria analysis of expert assessment and stakeholder advice. Results The endeavour was challenging from the start because of the complicated ambition of including a diversity of actors, potential hotspots, concerns and assessment criteria, but nevertheless the procedure proved its value in both structuring and informing the decision-making process. Moreover the process gained the support of most actors participating in the process, even though the final selection could not satisfy all preferences. Conclusions Opening the research agenda exemplifies the value of inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation as well as the need for a well-structured and negotiated procedure that combines relevant factors and actors with pragmatism. The value of such a process also needs to prove itself in practice after the procedure has been completed: the tension between an ambition of openness on the one hand and a more closed

  5. Increasing trends of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) in temperate forests under recovery from acidification in Flanders, Belgium. (United States)

    Verstraeten, Arne; Verschelde, Pieter; De Vos, Bruno; Neirynck, Johan; Cools, Nathalie; Roskams, Peter; Hens, Maarten; Louette, Gerald; Sleutel, Steven; De Neve, Stefaan


    We evaluated trends (2005-2013) and patterns of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and its ratio with dissolved organic carbon (DOC), DOC:DON in atmospheric deposition and soil solution of five Level II plots of the International Co-operative Programme on Assessment and Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Forests (ICP Forests) in Flanders, Northern Belgium. The primary aim was to confirm positive postulated trends in DON levels and DOC:DON under on-going recovery from acidification. The DON concentrations (0.95-1.41 mg L(-1)) and fluxes (5.6-8.3 kg ha(-1)y(-1)) in throughfall were about twice as high compared to precipitation in the open field (0.40-0.48 mg L(-1), 3.0-3.9 kg ha(-1)y(-1)). Annual soil profile leaching losses of DON varied between 1.2 and 3.7 kg ha(-1)y(-1). The highest soil DON concentrations and fluxes were observed beneath the O horizon (1.84-2.36 mg L(-1), 10.1-12.3 kg ha(-1)y(-1)). Soil solution concentrations and fluxes of DON showed significant increasing trends. Temporarily soil solution DOC:DON rose following an exceptionally long spring drought in 2007, suggesting an effect of drying and rewetting on DOM composition. Further research is needed to test the dependence of DON and DOC:DON on factors such as latitude, forest cover, length of the growing season, hydrology and topography. Nonetheless, even with considerable variation in soil type, level of base saturation, and soil texture in the five included ICP Forests Level II plots, all data revealed a proportionally larger positive response of DON flux than DOC to recovery from acidification.

  6. Cost comparison between private and public collection of residual household waste: Multiple case studies in the Flemish region of Belgium

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    Jacobsen, R., E-mail: [Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium); Buysse, J., E-mail: [Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium); Gellynck, X., E-mail: [Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium)


    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The goal is to compare collection costs for residual household waste. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We have clustered all municipalities in order to find mutual comparable pairs. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Each pair consists of one private and one public operating waste collection program. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer All cases show that private service has lower costs than public service. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Municipalities were contacted to identify the deeper causes for the waste management program. - Abstract: The rising pressure in terms of cost efficiency on public services pushes governments to transfer part of those services to the private sector. A trend towards more privatizing can be noticed in the collection of municipal household waste. This paper reports the findings of a research project aiming to compare the cost between the service of private and public collection of residual household waste. Multiple case studies of municipalities about the Flemish region of Belgium were conducted. Data concerning the year 2009 were gathered through in-depth interviews in 2010. In total 12 municipalities were investigated, divided into three mutual comparable pairs with a weekly and three mutual comparable pairs with a fortnightly residual waste collection. The results give a rough indication that in all cases the cost of private service is lower than public service in the collection of household waste. Albeit that there is an interest in establishing whether there are differences in the costs and service levels between public and private waste collection services, there are clear difficulties in establishing comparisons that can be made without having to rely on a large number of assumptions and corrections. However, given the cost difference, it remains the responsibility of the municipalities to decide upon the service they offer their citizens, regardless the cost efficiency: public or private.

  7. Diagnostic approach to hemoglobins with high oxygen affinity: experience from France and Belgium and review of the literature. (United States)

    Orvain, Corentin; Joly, Philippe; Pissard, Serge; Badiou, Stéphanie; Badens, Catherine; Bonello-Palot, Nathalie; Couque, Nathalie; Gulbis, Béatrice; Aguilar-Martinez, Patricia


    Congenital causes of erythrocytosis are now more easily identified due to the improvement of the molecular characterization of many of them. Among these causes, hemoglobins with high oxygen affinity take a large place. The aim of this work was to reevaluate the diagnostic approach of these disorders. To assess the current practices, we sent a questionnaire to the expert laboratories in the diagnosis of hemoglobinopathies in France and Belgium. In parallel, we gathered the methods used for the diagnosis of the hemoglobins with high oxygen affinity indexed in the international database HbVar. Even though they remain a rare cause of erythrocytosis (1 to 5 positive diagnosis every year in each of the questioned specialized laboratories), hemoglobins with high oxygen affinity are increasingly suspected by clinicians. Phenotypic assessment by laboratory techniques remains a main step in their diagnosis as it enables the finding of 93% of them in the questioned laboratories (28 of the 30 variants diagnosed during the last 5 years). Among the 96 hemoglobin variants with high oxygen affinity indexed in the international database, 87% could be diagnosed with phenotypic techniques. A direct measure of the p50 with the Hemox-Analyzer is included in the diagnostic approach of half of the laboratories only, because of the poor availability of this apparatus. Comparatively, the estimation of p50 by blood gas analyzers on venous blood is a much more convenient and attractive method but due to the lack of proof as to its effectiveness in the diagnosis of hemoglobins with high oxygen affinity, it requires further investigations. Beta- and alphaglobin genes analysis by molecular biology techniques is essential as it either allows a quick and definite identification of the variant or definitely excludes the diagnosis. It is thus systematically performed as a first or second step method, according to the laboratory practice.

  8. A trend analysis of antimicrobial resistance in commensal Escherichia coli from several livestock species in Belgium (2011-2014). (United States)

    Hanon, Jean-Baptiste; Jaspers, Stijn; Butaye, Patrick; Wattiau, Pierre; Méroc, Estelle; Aerts, Marc; Imberechts, Hein; Vermeersch, Katie; Van der Stede, Yves


    A temporal trend analysis was performed on antimicrobial resistance data collected over 4 consecutive years (2011-2014) in the official Belgian antimicrobial resistance monitoring programme. Commensal Escherichia coli strains were isolated from faecal samples of four livestock categories (veal calves, young beef cattle, broiler chickens and slaughter pigs) and the trends of resistance profiles were analysed. The resistance prevalence remained high (>50%) during the study period for ampicillin in veal calves and chickens, for ciprofloxacin and nalidixic acid in chickens, for sulfamethoxazole in veal calves, chickens and pigs and for tetracycline in veal calves. Using logistic regression and Generalized Estimating Equation and after p value adjustment for multiple testing (Linear step-up method), statistically significant decreasing temporal trends were observed for several of the 11 tested antimicrobials in several livestock categories: in veal calves (10/11), in chickens (6/11) and in pigs (5/11). A significant increasing trend was observed for the prevalence of resistance to ciprofloxacin in chickens. Multi-resistance, considered as the resistance to at least three antimicrobials of different antibiotic classes, was observed in the four livestock categories but was significantly decreasing in veal calves, chickens and pigs. Overall, the prevalence of resistance and of multi-resistance was lowest in the beef cattle livestock category and highest in broiler chickens. These decreasing temporal trends of antimicrobial resistance might be due to a decrease of the total antimicrobial consumption for veterinary use in Belgium which was reported for the period between 2010 and 2013. The methodology and statistical tools developed in this study provide outputs which can detect shifts in resistance levels or resistance trends associated with particular antimicrobial classes and livestock categories. Such outputs can be used as objective evidence to evaluate the possible

  9. Schmallenberg virus circulation in culicoides in Belgium in 2012: field validation of a real time RT-PCR approach to assess virus replication and dissemination in midges.

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    Nick De Regge

    Full Text Available Indigenous Culicoides biting midges are suggested to be putative vectors for the recently emerged Schmallenberg virus (SBV based on SBV RNA detection in field-caught midges. Furthermore, SBV replication and dissemination has been evidenced in C. sonorensis under laboratory conditions. After SBV had been detected in Culicoides biting midges from Belgium in August 2011, it spread all over the country by the end of 2011, as evidenced by very high between-herd seroprevalence rates in sheep and cattle. This study investigated if a renewed SBV circulation in midges occurred in 2012 in the context of high seroprevalence in the animal host population and evaluated if a recently proposed realtime RT-PCR approach that is meant to allow assessing the vector competence of Culicoides for SBV and bluetongue virus under laboratory conditions was applicable to field-caught midges. Therefore midges caught with 12 OVI traps in four different regions in Belgium between May and November 2012, were morphologically identified, age graded, pooled and tested for the presence of SBV RNA by realtime RT-PCR. The results demonstrate that although no SBV could be detected in nulliparous midges caught in May 2012, a renewed but short lived circulation of SBV in parous midges belonging to the subgenus Avaritia occured in August 2012 at all four regions. The infection prevalence reached up to 2.86% in the south of Belgium, the region where a lower seroprevalence was found at the end of 2011 than in the rest of the country. Furthermore, a frequency analysis of the Ct values obtained for 31 SBV-S segment positive pools of Avaritia midges showed a clear bimodal distribution with peaks of Ct values between 21-24 and 33-36. This closely resembles the laboratory results obtained for SBV infection of C. sonorensis and implicates indigenous midges belonging to the subgenus Avaritia as competent vectors for SBV.

  10. Schmallenberg virus circulation in culicoides in Belgium in 2012: field validation of a real time RT-PCR approach to assess virus replication and dissemination in midges. (United States)

    De Regge, Nick; Madder, Maxime; Deblauwe, Isra; Losson, Bertrand; Fassotte, Christiane; Demeulemeester, Julie; Smeets, François; Tomme, Marie; Cay, Ann Brigitte


    Indigenous Culicoides biting midges are suggested to be putative vectors for the recently emerged Schmallenberg virus (SBV) based on SBV RNA detection in field-caught midges. Furthermore, SBV replication and dissemination has been evidenced in C. sonorensis under laboratory conditions. After SBV had been detected in Culicoides biting midges from Belgium in August 2011, it spread all over the country by the end of 2011, as evidenced by very high between-herd seroprevalence rates in sheep and cattle. This study investigated if a renewed SBV circulation in midges occurred in 2012 in the context of high seroprevalence in the animal host population and evaluated if a recently proposed realtime RT-PCR approach that is meant to allow assessing the vector competence of Culicoides for SBV and bluetongue virus under laboratory conditions was applicable to field-caught midges. Therefore midges caught with 12 OVI traps in four different regions in Belgium between May and November 2012, were morphologically identified, age graded, pooled and tested for the presence of SBV RNA by realtime RT-PCR. The results demonstrate that although no SBV could be detected in nulliparous midges caught in May 2012, a renewed but short lived circulation of SBV in parous midges belonging to the subgenus Avaritia occured in August 2012 at all four regions. The infection prevalence reached up to 2.86% in the south of Belgium, the region where a lower seroprevalence was found at the end of 2011 than in the rest of the country. Furthermore, a frequency analysis of the Ct values obtained for 31 SBV-S segment positive pools of Avaritia midges showed a clear bimodal distribution with peaks of Ct values between 21-24 and 33-36. This closely resembles the laboratory results obtained for SBV infection of C. sonorensis and implicates indigenous midges belonging to the subgenus Avaritia as competent vectors for SBV.

  11. Heavy Metal Concentrations in the Spiders Pirata piraticus (Clerck, 1757 and Clubiona phragmitis (C.L. Koch, 1843 along the Scheldt Estuary (Belgium

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    Catarina Tojal


    Full Text Available Wetland ecosystems may be affected by deposition and accumulation of heavy metals. Metal concentrations in the spiders Pirata piraticus and Clubiona phragmitis living in marshes along the river Scheldt (Flanders, Belgium were analyzed. The organisms were sampled on seven sites along a gradient from freshwater to brackish marshes. Except for lead, P. piraticus contained higher metal concentrations than C. phragmitis. This is related to physiological and ecological differences between species. No correlation was found between metal concentration in the organisms and soil total concentration.

  12. Subjective Well-Being and Social Capital in Belgian Communities. The Impact of Community Characteristics on Subjective Well-Being Indicators in Belgium


    Hooghe, Marc; Vanhoutte, Bram


    In this article, we investigate the effect of individual and community level characteristics on subjective well-being in Belgium. Various indicators for subjective well-being are being used in a multilevel analysis of the 2009 SCIF survey (n = 2,080) and the 2006 Belgian ESS sample (n = 1,798). On the individual level, most hypotheses on the determinants of subjective well-being were confirmed. Living with a partner and age were shown to have strong effects, but also social capital indicators...

  13. Good practices from Universities: University of Liège, Belgium - Impact of Open Archives on Research Communication Efficiency : The ORBi Experience


    Rentier, Bernard


    ORBi, the institutional repository at the University of Liège (ULg), Belgium, is currently the most successful "green OA" tool, with a compliance rate close to 90%. This is due to a strongly enforced institutional mandate which has progressively but quickly led authors to realise all the benefits they could draw from it. A September 2015 survey has demonstrated the popularity of ORBi among the ULg research community. ORBi, le dépôt institutionnel de l'Université de Liège (ULg), Belgique, e...

  14. High-resolution ionospheric observations and modeling over Belgium during the solar eclipse of 20 March 2015 including first results of ionospheric tilt and plasma drift measurements (United States)

    Verhulst, Tobias G. W.; Sapundjiev, Danislav; Stankov, Stanimir M.


    The ionospheric behavior over Belgium during the partial solar eclipse of 20 March 2015 is analyzed based on high-resolution solar radio flux, vertical incidence sounding, and GPS TEC measurements. First results of ionosonde-based ionospheric plasma drift and tilt observations are presented and analyzed, including some traveling ionospheric disturbances caused by the eclipse. Also, collocated ionosonde and GPS measurements are used to reconstruct the time evolution of the vertical electron density distribution using the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) ionospheric specification system, called Local Ionospheric Electron Density profile Reconstruction (LIEDR).

  15. Unambiguous detection of multiple TP53 gene mutations in AAN-associated urothelial cancer in Belgium using laser capture microdissection.

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    Selda Aydin

    Full Text Available In the Balkan and Taiwan, the relationship between exposure to aristolochic acid and risk of urothelial neoplasms was inferred from the A>T genetic hallmark in TP53 gene from malignant cells. This study aimed to characterize the TP53 mutational spectrum in urothelial cancers consecutive to Aristolochic Acid Nephropathy in Belgium. Serial frozen tumor sections from female patients (n=5 exposed to aristolochic acid during weight-loss regimen were alternatively used either for p53 immunostaining or laser microdissection. Tissue areas with at least 60% p53-positive nuclei were selected for microdissecting sections according to p53-positive matching areas. All areas appeared to be carcinoma in situ. After DNA extraction, mutations in the TP53 hot spot region (exons 5-8 were identified using nested-PCR and sequencing. False-negative controls consisted in microdissecting fresh-frozen tumor tissues both from a patient with a Li-Fraumeni syndrome who carried a p53 constitutional mutation, and from KRas mutated adenocarcinomas. To rule out false-positive results potentially generated by microdissection and nested-PCR, a phenacetin-associated urothelial carcinoma and normal fresh ureteral tissues (n=4 were processed with high laser power. No unexpected results being identified, molecular analysis was pursued on malignant tissues, showing at least one mutation in all (six different mutations in two patients, with 13/16 exonic (nonsense, 2; missense, 11 and 3/16 intronic (one splice site mutations. They were distributed as transitions (n=7 or transversions (n=9, with an equal prevalence of A>T and G>T (3/16 each. While current results are in line with A>T prevalence previously reported in Balkan and Taiwan studies, they also demonstrate that multiple mutations in the TP53 hot spot region and a high frequency of G>T transversion appear as a complementary signature reflecting the toxicity of a cumulative dose of aristolochic acid ingested over a short period

  16. The iPot Project: improved potato monitoring in Belgium using remote sensing and crop growth modelling (United States)

    Piccard, Isabelle; Nackaerts, Kris; Gobin, Anne; Goffart, Jean-Pierre; Planchon, Viviane; Curnel, Yannick; Tychon, Bernard; Wellens, Joost; Cools, Romain; Cattoor, Nele


    Belgian potato processors, traders and packers are increasingly working with potato contracts. The close follow up of contracted parcels on the land as well as from above is becoming an important tool to improve the quantity and quality of the potato crop and reduce risks in order to plan the storage, packaging or processing and as such to strengthen the competitiveness of the Belgian potato chain in a global market. At the same time, precision agriculture continues to gain importance and progress. Farmers are obligated to invest in new technologies. Between mid-May and the end of June 2014 potato fields in Gembloux were monitored from emergence till canopy closure. UAV images (RGB) and digital (hemispherical) photographs were taken at ten-daily intervals. Crop emergence maps show the time (date) and degree of crop emergence and crop closure (in terms of % cover). For three UAV flights during the growing season RGB images at 3 cm resolution were processed using a K-means clustering algorithm to classify the crop according to its greenness. Based on the greenness %cover and daily cover growth were derived for 5x5m pixels and 25x25m pixels. The latter resolution allowed for comparison with high resolution satellite imagery. Vegetation indices such as %Cover and LAI were calculated with the Cyclopes algorithm (INRA-EMMAH) from high resolution satellite images (DMC/Deimos, 22m pixel size). DMC based cover maps showed similar patterns as compared with the UAV-based cover maps, and allows for further applications of the data in crop management. Today the use of geo-information by the (private) agricultural sector in Belgium is rather limited, notwithstanding the great benefits this type of information may offer, as recognized by the sector. The iPot project, financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO), aims to provide the Belgian potato sector, represented by Belgapom, with near real time information on field condition (weather-soil) and crop development and

  17. A knowledge, attitudes, and practice survey among obstetrician-gynaecologists on intimate partner violence in Flanders, Belgium

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    Temmerman Marleen


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Intimate partner violence (IPV has consistently been found to afflict one in twenty pregnant women and is therefore considered a leading cause of physical injury, mental illness and adverse pregnancy outcome. A general antenatal screening policy has been advocated, though compliance with such guidelines tends to be low. We therefore attempted to identify potential barriers to IPV screening in a context where no guidelines have been instigated yet. Methods Questionnaire-based Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice survey among obstetrician-gynaecologists in Flanders, Belgium (n = 478. Results The response rate was 52.1% (249/478. Gynaecologists prove rather unfamiliar with IPV and therefore largely underestimate the extent of the problem. Merely 6.8% (17/249 of the respondents ever received or pursued any kind of education on IPV. Accordingly they do feel insufficiently skilled to deal with IPV, yet sufficiently capable of recognizing IPV among their patients. Survey participants largely refute the incentive of universal screening in favour of opportunistic screening and do not consider pregnancy as a window of opportunity for routine screening. They do consider screening for IPV as an issue of medical liability and therefore do not suffer from a lack of motivation to screen. In addition, obstetrician-gynaecologists do believe that screening for IPV may be an effective means to counteract abusive behaviours. Yet, their outcome expectancy is weighed down by their perceived lack of self-efficacy in dealing with IPV, by lack of familiarity with referral procedures and by their perceived lack of available referral services. Major external or patient-related barriers to IPV screening included a perceived lack of time and fear of offending or insulting patients. Overall, merely 8.4 % (21/245 of gynaecologists in this survey performed some kind of IPV questioning on a regular basis. Finally, physician education was found to be the

  18. Temporal variability of nitrous oxide fluxes from a fertilized grassland in Belgium: preliminary results from dynamic closed chambers. (United States)

    Beekkerk van Ruth, Joran; Moureaux, Christine; Degré, Aurore; Jérome, Elisabeth; Beckers, Yves; Bodson, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc


    This work presents preliminary results of nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes measured by dynamic closed chambers from a fertilized grassland grazed by the Belgian Blue breed of cattle. It is part of a project funded by the public service of Wallonia (SPW-DGARNE), whose objectives are to make a carbon/CO2 balance of the grassland (Jérôme et al., 2013) and to quantify CH4 (Dumortier et al., 2013) and N2O fluxes. The site is located in Dorinne (Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory), Belgium (50° 18' 44" N; 4° 58' 07" E; 248 m al.). It is a permanent grassland of ca. 4.2 ha with a moderate slope of 1 to 2 %. Mineral fertilisation took place in March and May 2012. Two cylindrical chambers of 19,2 cm diameter and 11,5 cm height were placed inside a protected area around a micrometeorological station. An infrared gas analyser (Thermofischer 46i) was used in order to measure the N2O concentrations inside of the chambers, closed by automatically controlled lids and ventilated by a constant air flow of 1liter/min. These devices were completed by adjacent soil humidity and temperature sensors. The first measurement campaign took place during June and July 2012. The chambers were installed in the field and N2O fluxes were followed without manipulation. N2O fluxes were characterised by a background emission (between 2 and 10 ngN.m2s-1) on which intense but time limited peaks (between 50 and 300 ngN.m2s-1) superimposed. Peaks were found to be mainly linked to fertilisation and driven by precipitation. Background fluxes were found to correlate positively with soil temperature. Secondly, a manipulation experiment took place in November 2012: two different fertilizer treatments were applied to the chambers. Doses of respectively 100 and 200 kg N/ha of ammonium nitrate were sprayed in the chambers (equivalent to a 8 mm precipitation). N2O fluxes peaked shortly after fertiliser application (respectively 300 and 550 ngN.m2s-1), as well as after a posterior rain event (respectively 800 and 1500

  19. The BELFRAIL (BFC80+ study: a population-based prospective cohort study of the very elderly in Belgium

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    Matheï Catharina


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In coming decades the proportion of very elderly people living in the Western world will dramatically increase. This forthcoming "grey epidemic" will lead to an explosion of chronic diseases. In order to anticipate booming health care expenditures and to assure that social security is funded in the future, research focusing on the relationship between chronic diseases, frailty and disability is needed. The general aim of the BELFRAIL cohort study (BFC80+ is to study the dynamic interaction between health, frailty and disability in a multi-system approach focusing on cardiac dysfunction and chronic heart failure, lung function, sarcopenia, renal insufficiency and immunosenescence. Methods/Design The BFC80+ is a prospective, observational, population-based cohort study of subjects aged 80 years and older in three well-circumscribed areas of Belgium. In total, 29 general practitioner (GP centres were asked to include patients aged 80 and older. Only three exclusion criteria were used: severe dementia, in palliative care and medical emergency. Two sampling methods for the recruitment of patients were used. Between November 2, 2008 and September 15, 2009, 567 subjects were included in the BFC80+ study. Every study participant was invited to undergo four study visits. The GP recorded background variables and medical history and performed a detailed anamnesis and clinical examination. The clinical research assistant performed an extensive examination including performance testing, questionnaires and technical examinations. Echocardiography was performed at home by a cardiologist. A blood sample was collected in the morning. Follow-up reporting of hard outcome measures including mortality, hospitalization and morbidity was organized. A second data collection is planned after 18 months. Discussion The BFC80+ was designed to acquire a better understanding of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of chronic diseases in the very elderly

  20. Why did watermills not have a dramatic effect on the Anthropocene sediment record of the Zwalm River, Belgium? (United States)

    Notebaert, Bastiaan; D'Haese, Wouter


    Different studies demonstrated the dramatic effects of watermills on fluvial geomorphology in the Eastern US. Damming of floodplains and milldam lakes increased sediment deposition. Several authors attribute most of the so called post settlement legacy sediment to those milldam lakes. In Europe the role of milldams in the anthropogenic increased floodplain deposition rates during the last 1000 to 2000 years has gotten little attention until now. Therefore we studied the influence of watermills on Holocene floodplain deposition in the Zwalm catchment, Belgium. The Zwalm River is located in western part of the Belgian loess belt in an undulating landscape that had intensive agriculture for most of the last 2000 years. In total 9 watermills were present along the 17 km long main channel during the 19th century, while many were also present on tributaries. Historical records date several of the mills to the 10th century AD, although they might be older, and most of them remain to some degree active today. The influence of watermills on floodplain deposits was tested through coring transects of the Holocene deposits. Detailed transects were performed pairwise upstream and downstream 5 watermills. Samples were taken for grain size analysis using laser diffraction. A possible influence on floodplain topography was tested on a 5 m resolution DTM. Holocene floodplain architecture is similar to other floodplains in the region: a basal early to mid-Holocene peat and gyttja layer is covered by a fine grained sediment layer of more than 5 m thickness. The change between both can be attributed to increased soil erosion due to human land use, and can be considered to be the local legacy sediment. Comparison of transects upstream and downstream mills shows no significant difference in total Holocene or legacy sediment thickness. Texture analysis indicates that floodplain sediments are significant coarser downstream the mills.F Floodplains are not significant steeper around mills

  1. Comparison of 3D point clouds produced by LIDAR and UAV photoscan in the Rochefort cave (Belgium) (United States)

    Watlet, Arnaud; Triantafyllou, Antoine; Kaufmann, Olivier; Le Mouelic, Stéphane


    Amongst today's techniques that are able to produce 3D point clouds, LIDAR and UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) photogrammetry are probably the most commonly used. Both methods have their own advantages and limitations. LIDAR scans create high resolution and high precision 3D point clouds, but such methods are generally costly, especially for sporadic surveys. Compared to LIDAR, UAV (e.g. drones) are cheap and flexible to use in different kind of environments. Moreover, the photogrammetric processing workflow of digital images taken with UAV becomes easier with the rise of many affordable software packages (e.g. Agisoft, PhotoModeler3D, VisualSFM). We present here a challenging study made at the Rochefort Cave Laboratory (South Belgium) comprising surface and underground surveys. The site is located in the Belgian Variscan fold-and-thrust belt, a region that shows many karstic networks within Devonian limestone units. A LIDAR scan has been acquired in the main chamber of the cave (~ 15000 m³) to spatialize 3D point cloud of its inner walls and infer geological beds and structures. Even if the use of LIDAR instrument was not really comfortable in such caving environment, the collected data showed a remarkable precision according to few control points geometry. We also decided to perform another challenging survey of the same cave chamber by modelling a 3D point cloud using photogrammetry of a set of DSLR camera pictures taken from the ground and UAV pictures. The aim was to compare both techniques in terms of (i) implementation of data acquisition and processing, (ii) quality of resulting 3D points clouds (points density, field vs cloud recovery and points precision), (iii) their application for geological purposes. Through Rochefort case study, main conclusions are that LIDAR technique provides higher density point clouds with slightly higher precision than photogrammetry method. However, 3D data modeled by photogrammetry provide visible light spectral information

  2. Reporting of euthanasia in medical practice in Flanders, Belgium: cross sectional analysis of reported and unreported cases (United States)

    Bilsen, Johan; Cohen, Joachim; Rurup, Mette L; Mortier, Freddy; Deliens, Luc


    Objectives To estimate the rate of reporting of euthanasia cases to the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee and to compare the characteristics of reported and unreported cases of euthanasia. Design Cross sectional analysis. Setting Flanders, Belgium. Participants A stratified at random sample was drawn of people who died between 1 June 2007 and 30 November 2007. The certifying physician of each death was sent a questionnaire on end of life decision making in the death concerned. Main outcome measures The rate of euthanasia cases reported to the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee; physicians’ reasons for not reporting cases of euthanasia; the relation between reporting and non-reporting and the characteristics of the physician and patient; the time by which life was shortened according to the physician; the labelling of the end of life decision by the physician involved; and differences in characteristics of due care between reported and unreported euthanasia cases. Results The survey response rate was 58.4% (3623/6202 eligible cases). The estimated total number of cases of euthanasia in Flanders in 2007 was 1040 (95% CI 970 to 1109), thus the incidence of euthanasia was estimated as 1.9% of all deaths (95% CI 1.6% to 2.3%). Approximately half (549/1040 (52.8%, 95% CI 43.9% to 60.5%)) of all estimated cases of euthanasia were reported to the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee. Physicians who perceived their case as euthanasia reported it in 93.1% (67/72) of cases. Cases of euthanasia were reported less often when the time by which life was shortened was less than one week compared with when the perceived life shortening was greater (37.3% v 74.1%; Peuthanasia was more often absent (87.7% v 17.6% verbal request only; Peuthanasia cases is reported to the Federal Control and Evaluation Committee. Most non-reporting physicians do not perceive their act as euthanasia. Countries debating legalisation of euthanasia should simultaneously consider

  3. Age-based disparities in end-of-life decisions in Belgium: a population-based death certificate survey

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    Chambaere Kenneth


    Full Text Available Abstract Background A growing body of scientific research is suggesting that end-of-life care and decision making may differ between age groups and that elderly patients may be the most vulnerable to exclusion of due care at the end of life. This study investigates age-related disparities in the rate of end-of-life decisions with a possible or certain life shortening effect (ELDs and in the preceding decision making process in Flanders, Belgium in 2007, where euthanasia was legalised in 2002. Comparing with data from an identical survey in 1998 we also study the plausibility of the ‘slippery slope’ hypothesis which predicts a rise in the rate of administration of life ending drugs without patient request, especially among elderly patients, in countries where euthanasia is legal. Method We performed a post-mortem survey among physicians certifying a large representative sample (n = 6927 of death certificates in 2007, identical to a 1998 survey. Response rate was 58.4%. Results While the rates of non-treatment decisions (NTD and administration of life ending drugs without explicit request (LAWER did not differ between age groups, the use of intensified alleviation of pain and symptoms (APS and euthanasia/assisted suicide (EAS, as well as the proportion of euthanasia requests granted, was bivariately and negatively associated with patient age. Multivariate analysis showed no significant effects of age on ELD rates. Older patients were less often included in decision making for APS and more often deemed lacking in capacity than were younger patients. Comparison with 1998 showed a decrease in the rate of LAWER in all age groups except in the 80+ age group where the rate was stagnant. Conclusion Age is not a determining factor in the rate of end-of-life decisions, but is in decision making as patient inclusion rates decrease with old age. Our results suggest there is a need to focus advance care planning initiatives on elderly patients. The

  4. Aerosol Optical Depth measurements at 340 nm with a Brewer spectrophotometer and comparison with Cimel sunphotometer observations at Uccle, Belgium

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    V. De Bock


    Full Text Available The Langley Plot Method (LPM is adapted for the retrieval of Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD values at 340 nm from Brewer#178 sun scan measurements between 335 and 345 nm (convoluted with the band pass function of the Cimel sunphotometer filter at 340 nm performed in Uccle, Belgium. The use of sun scans instead of direct sun measurements simplifies the comparison of the AOD values with quasi-simultaneous Cimel sunphotometer values. Also, the irradiance at 340 nm is larger than the one at 320.1 nm due to lower ozone absorption, thus improving the signal to noise ratio. For the selection of the cloudless days (from now on referred to as calibration quality clear days, a new set of criteria is proposed. With the adapted method, individual clear sky AOD values, for which the selection criteria are also presented in this article, are calculated for a period from September 2006 until the end of August 2010. These values are then compared to quasi-simultaneous Cimel sunphotometer measurements, showing a very good agreement (the correlation coefficient, the slope and the intercept of the regression line are respectively 0.974, 0.968 and 0.011, which proves that good quality observations can be obtained from Brewer sun scan measurements at 340 nm. The analysis of the monthly and seasonal Brewer AODs at Uccle is consistent with studies at other sites reporting on the seasonal variation of AODs in Europe. The highest values can be observed in summer and spring, whereas more than 50% of the winter AODs are lower than 0.3. On a monthly scale, the lowest AOD are observed in December and the highest values occur in June and April. No clear weekly cycle is observed for Uccle. The current cloud-screening algorithm is still an issue, which means that some AOD values can still be influenced by scattered clouds. This effect can be seen when comparing the calculated monthly mean values of the Brewer with the AERONET measurements.

  5. Near real-time ionospheric monitoring over Europe at the Royal Observatory of Belgium using GNSS data

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    Bergeot Nicolas


    Full Text Available Various scientific applications and services increasingly demand real-time information on the effects of space weather on Earth’s atmosphere. In this frame, the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB takes advantage of the dense EUREF Permanent GNSS Network (EPN to monitor the ionosphere over Europe from the measured delays in the GNSS signals, and provides publicly several derived products. The main ROB products consist of ionospheric vertical Total Electron Content (TEC maps over Europe and their variability estimated in near real-time every 15 min on 0.5° × 0.5° grids using GPS observations. The maps are available online with a latency of ~3 min in IONEX format at and as interactive web pages at This paper presents the method used in the ROB-IONO software to generate the maps. The ROB-TEC maps show a good agreement with widely used post-processed products such as IGS and ESA with mean differences of 1.3 ± 0.9 and 0.4 ± 1.6 TECu respectively for the period 2012 to mid-2013. In addition, we tested the reliability of the ROB-IONO software to detect abnormal ionospheric activity during the Halloween 2003 ionospheric storm. For this period, the mean differences with IGS and ESA maps are 0.9 ± 2.2 and 0.6 ± 6.8 TECu respectively with maximum differences (>38 TECu occurring during the major phase of the storm. These differences are due to the lower resolution in time and space of both IGS and ESA maps compared to the ROB-TEC maps. A description of two recent events, one on March 17, 2013 and one on February 27, 2014 also highlights the capability of the method adopted in the ROB-IONO software to detect in near real-time abnormal ionospheric behaviour over Europe. In that frame, ROB maintains a data base publicly available with identified ionospheric events since 2012.

  6. Near real-time ionospheric monitoring over Europe at the Royal Observatory of Belgium using GNSS data (United States)

    Bergeot, Nicolas; Chevalier, Jean-Marie; Bruyninx, Carine; Pottiaux, Eric; Aerts, Wim; Baire, Quentin; Legrand, Juliette; Defraigne, Pascale; Huang, Wei


    Various scientific applications and services increasingly demand real-time information on the effects of space weather on Earth's atmosphere. In this frame, the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB) takes advantage of the dense EUREF Permanent GNSS Network (EPN) to monitor the ionosphere over Europe from the measured delays in the GNSS signals, and provides publicly several derived products. The main ROB products consist of ionospheric vertical Total Electron Content (TEC) maps over Europe and their variability estimated in near real-time every 15 min on 0.5° × 0.5° grids using GPS observations. The maps are available online with a latency of ~3 min in IONEX format at and as interactive web pages at This paper presents the method used in the ROB-IONO software to generate the maps. The ROB-TEC maps show a good agreement with widely used post-processed products such as IGS and ESA with mean differences of 1.3 ± 0.9 and 0.4 ± 1.6 TECu respectively for the period 2012 to mid-2013. In addition, we tested the reliability of the ROB-IONO software to detect abnormal ionospheric activity during the Halloween 2003 ionospheric storm. For this period, the mean differences with IGS and ESA maps are 0.9 ± 2.2 and 0.6 ± 6.8 TECu respectively with maximum differences (>38 TECu) occurring during the major phase of the storm. These differences are due to the lower resolution in time and space of both IGS and ESA maps compared to the ROB-TEC maps. A description of two recent events, one on March 17, 2013 and one on February 27, 2014 also highlights the capability of the method adopted in the ROB-IONO software to detect in near real-time abnormal ionospheric behaviour over Europe. In that frame, ROB maintains a data base publicly available with identified ionospheric events since 2012.

  7. Parental leave in Belgium


    Maron, Leila; Meulders, Danièle; O'Dorchai, Sile Padraigin


    All over Europe, parental leaves are essentially taken by women which leads to perpetuate gender inequalities in the labour market. The economic literature illustrates the issues at stake and is presented in this article to contextualise the analysis of the Belgian parental leave system. The Belgian parental leave system has two strong features: it is individualised and it offers a relatively short leave. The system could be improved by the implementation of a wage-related payment. However, p...

  8. Belgium: Health system review. (United States)

    Gerkens, Sophie; Merkur, Sherry


    The Health Systems in Transition (HiT) profiles are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of a health system and of policy initiatives in progress or under development. HiTs examine different approaches to the organization, financing and delivery of health services and the role of the main actors in health systems; describe the institutional framework, process, content and implementation of health and health care policies; and highlight challenges and areas that require more in-depth analysis. The Belgian population continues to enjoy good health and long life expectancy. This is partly due to good access to health services of high quality. Financing is based mostly on proportional social security contributions and progressive direct taxation. The compulsory health insurance is combined with a mostly private system of health care delivery, based on independent medical practice, free choice of physician and predominantly fee-for-service payment. This Belgian HiT profile (2010) presents the evolution of the health system since 2007, including detailed information on new policies. While no drastic reforms were undertaken during this period, policy-makers have pursued the goals of improving access to good quality of care while making the system sustainable. Reforms to increase the accessibility of the health system include measures to reduce the out-of-pocket payments of more vulnerable populations (low-income families and individuals as well as the chronically ill). Quality of care related reforms have included incentives to better integrate different levels of care and the establishment of information systems, among others. Additionally, several measures on pharmaceutical products have aimed to reduce costs for both the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance (NIHDI) and patients, while maintaining the quality of care.

  9. "If It Helps, I'll Carry On": Factors Supporting the Participation of Native and Immigrant Youth in Belgium and Germany. (United States)

    Born, Michel; Marzana, Daniela; Alfieri, Sara; Gavray, Claire


    In this article we propose looking into some factors for Civic Participation and the intention to continue to participate among local (Study I) and immigrant (Study II) young people living in Belgium and Germany. In Study I, 1,079 young people (M(age) = 19.23, 44.9% males) completed a self-report questionnaire asking about their Civic Participation. Multiple linear regressions reveal (a) evidence of a pool of variables significantly linked to Civic Participation: Institutional Trust, Collective-Efficacy, Parents' and Peers' Support, Political Interest, Motivations and (b) that Civic Participation, along with the mediation of the Participation's Efficacy, explains the Intention to Continue to Participate. An explanatory model was constructed on participation and the Intention to Continue to Participate on behalf of the native youth. This model is invariant between the two countries. In Study II, 276 young Turkish immigrants (M(age) = 20.80, 49.3% males) recruited in Belgium and Germany filled out the same questionnaire as in Study I. The same analysis was conducted as for Study I, and they provided the same results as the native group, highlighting the invariance of the model between natives and immigrants. Applicative repercussions are discussed.

  10. The survival of 19th-century scientific optimism: the public discourse on science in Belgium in the aftermath of the Great War (ca. 1919-1930). (United States)

    Onghena, Sofie


    In historiography there is a tendency to see the Great War as marking the end of scientific optimism and the period that followed the war as a time of discord. Connecting to current (inter)national historiographical debate on the question of whether the First World War meant a disruption from the pre-war period or not, this article strives to prove that faith in scientific progress still prevailed in the 1920s. This is shown through the use of Belgium as a case study, which suggests that the generally adopted cultural pessimism in the post-war years did not apply to the public rhetoric of science in this country. Diverse actors -- scientists, industrialists, politicians, the public opinion, and the military staff -- declared a confidence in science, enhanced by wartime results. Furthermore, belief in science in Belgium was not affected by public outcry over the use of mustard gas, unlike in the former belligerent countries where the gas became an unpleasant reminder of how science was used during the war. Even German science with its industrial applications remained the norm after 1918. In fact, the faith in science exhibited during the pre-war years continued to exist, at least until the 1920s, despite anti-German sentiments being voiced by many sections of Belgian society in the immediate aftermath of the war.

  11. Risk assessment, risk management and risk-based monitoring following a reported accidental release of poliovirus in Belgium, September to November 2014. (United States)

    Duizer, Erwin; Rutjes, Saskia; de Roda Husman, Ana Maria; Schijven, Jack


    On 6 September 2014, the accidental release of 10(13) infectious wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) particles by a vaccine production plant in Belgium was reported. WPV3 was released into the sewage system and discharged directly to a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and subsequently into rivers that flowed to the Western Scheldt and the North Sea. No poliovirus was detected in samples from the WWTP, surface waters, mussels or sewage from the Netherlands. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) showed that the infection risks resulting from swimming in Belgium waters were above 50% for several days and that the infection risk by consuming shellfish harvested in the eastern part of the Western Scheldt warranted a shellfish cooking advice. We conclude that the reported release of WPV3 has neither resulted in detectable levels of poliovirus in any of the samples nor in poliovirus circulation in the Netherlands. This QMRA showed that relevant data on water flows were not readily available and that prior assumptions on dilution factors were overestimated. A QMRA should have been performed by all vaccine production facilities before starting up large-scale culture of WPV to be able to implement effective interventions when an accident happens.

  12. Major Changes in Growth Rate and Growth Variability of Beech (Fagus sylvatica L. Related to Soil Alteration and Climate Change in Belgium

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    Nicolas Latte


    Full Text Available Global change—particularly climate change, forest management, and atmospheric deposition—has significantly altered forest growing conditions in Europe. The influences of these changes on beech growth (Fagus sylvatica L. were investigated for the past 80 years in Belgium, using non-linear mixed effects models on ring-width chronologies of 149 mature and dominant beech trees (87–186 years old. The effects of the developmental stage (i.e., increasing tree size were filtered out in order to focus on time-dependent growth changes. Beech radial growth was divided into a low-frequency signal (=growth rate, mainly influenced by forest management and atmospheric deposition, and into a high-frequency variability (≈mean sensitivity, mainly influenced by climate change. Between 1930 and 2008, major long-term and time-dependent changes were highlighted. The beech growth rate has decreased by about 38% since the 1950–1960s, and growth variability has increased by about 45% since the 1970–1980s. Our results indicate that (1 before the 1980s, beech growth rate was not predominantly impacted by climate change but rather by soil alteration (i.e., soil compaction and/or nitrogen deposition; and (2 since the 1980s, climate change induced more frequent and intense yearly growth reductions that amplified the growth rate decrease. The highlighted changes were similar in the two ecoregions of Belgium, although more pronounced in the lowlands than in the uplands.

  13. Exploring the impact of austerity-driven policy reforms on the quality of the long-term care provision for older people in Belgium and the Netherlands. (United States)

    Janssen, David; Jongen, Wesley; Schröder-Bäck, Peter


    In this case study, European quality benchmarks were used to explore the contemporary quality of the long-term care provision for older people in the Belgian region of Flanders and the Netherlands following recent policy reforms. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with various experts on the long-term care provision. The results show that in the wake of the economic crisis and the reforms that followed, certain vulnerable groups of older people in Belgium and the Netherlands are at risk of being deprived of long-term care that is available, affordable and person-centred. Various suggestions were provided on how to improve the quality of the long-term care provision. The main conclusion drawn in this study is that while national and regional governments set the stage through regulatory frameworks and financing mechanisms, it is subsequently up to long-term care organisations, local social networks and informal caregivers to give substance to a high quality long-term care provision. An increased reliance on social networks and informal caregivers is seen as vital to ensure the sustainability of the long-term care systems in Belgium and in the Netherlands, although this simultaneously introduces new predicaments and difficulties. Structural governmental measures have to be introduced to support and protect informal caregivers and informal care networks.

  14. Mixed brittle-plastic deformation behaviour in a slate belt. Examples from the High-Ardenne slate belt (Belgium, Germany) (United States)

    Sintubin, Manuel; van Baelen, Hervé; van Noten, Koen; Muchez, Philippe


    In the High-Ardenne slate belt, part of the Rhenohercynian external fold-and-thrust belt at the northern extremity of the Late Palaeozoic Variscan orogen (Belgium, Germany, France), particular quartz vein occurrences can be observed in predominantly fine-grained siliciclastic metasediments. Detailed structural, petrographical and geochemical studies has revealed that these vein occurrences can be related to a mixed brittle-plastic deformation behaviour in a low-grade metamorphic mid-crustal environment. The first type of quartz veins are bedding-perpendicular, lens-shaped extension veins that are confined to the sandstone layers within the multilayer sequence. Fluid inclusion studies demonstrate high fluid pressures suggesting that the individual sandstone bodies acted as isolated high-pressure compartments in an overpressured basin. Hydraulic fracturing occurred during the tectonic inversion (from extension to compression) in the earliest stages of the Variscan orogeny. The vein fill shows a blocky character indicating crystal growth in open cavities. Both the typical lens shape of the veins and the subsequent cuspate-lobate folding of the bed interfaces in between the quartz veins suggest plastic deformation of cohesionless fluid-filled fissures. Metamorphic grade of the host rock and fluid temperature and pressure clearly indicates mid-crustal conditions below the brittle-plastic transition. This first type of quartz veins exemplifies mixed brittle-plastic deformation behaviour, possibly related to a transient deepening of the brittle-plastic transition. This is in contrast with contemporaneous bedding-perpendicular crack-seal veins observed in higher - upper-crustal - structural levels in the slate belt, reflecting pure brittle deformation behaviour. The second type are discordant quartz veins confined to extensional low-angle detachment shear zones. These very irregular veins transect a pre-existing pervasive cleavage fabric. They show no matching walls and

  15. Assessing the Economic Cost of Landslide Damage in Low-Relief Regions: Case Study Evidence from the Flemish Ardennes (Belgium) (United States)

    Vranken, L.; Van Turnhout, P.; Van Den Eeckhaut, M.; Vandekerckhove, L.; Vantilt, G.; Poesen, J.


    Several regions around the globe are at risk to incur damage from landslides. These landslides cause significant structural and functional damage to public and private buildings and infrastructure. Numerous studies investigated how natural factors and human activities control the (re-)activation of landslides. However, few studies have concentrated on a quantitative estimate of the overall damage caused by landslides at a regional scale. This study therefore starts with a quantitative economic assessment of the direct and indirect damage caused by landslides in the Flemish Ardennes (Belgium), a low-relief region (area=ca. 700 km2) susceptible to landslides. Based on focus interviews as well as on semi-structured interviews with homeowners, civil servants (e.g. from the technical services from the various towns), or with the owners and providers of lifelines such as electricity and sewage, we have quantitatively estimated the direct and indirect damage induced by landsliding and this for a 10 to 30 year period (depending on the type of infrastructure or buildings). Economic damage to public infrastructure and buildings was estimated for the entire region, while for private damage 10 cases with severe to small damage were quantified. For example, in the last 10 year, costs of road repair augmented to 814 560 €. Costs to repair damaged roads that have not yet been repaired, were estimated at 669 318 €. In the past 30 years, costs of measures to prevent road damage augmented to at least 14 872 380 €. More than 90% of this budget for preventive measures was spent 30 years ago, when an important freeway was damaged and had to be repaired. These preventive measures (building a grout wall and improving the drainage system) were effective as no further damage has been reported until present. To repair and prevent damage to waterworks and sewage systems, expenditures amounted to 551 044 € and this for the last 30 years. In the past 10 years, a new railway line

  16. Effectiveness of the introduction of a Chronic Care Model-based program for type 2 diabetes in Belgium

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    De Maeseneer Jan


    Full Text Available Abstract Background During a four-year action research project (2003-2007, a program targeting all type 2 diabetes patients was implemented in a well-defined geographical region in Belgium. The implementation of the program resulted in an increase of the overall Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (ACIC score from 1.45 in 2003 to 5.5 in 2007. The aim of the follow-up study in 2008 was to assess the effect of the implementation of Chronic Care Model (CCM elements on the quality of diabetes care in a country where the efforts to adapt primary care to a more chronic care oriented system are still at a starting point. Methods A quasi-experimental study design involving a control region with comparable geographical and socio-economic characteristics and health care facilities was used to evaluate the effect of the intervention in the region. In collaboration with the InterMutualistic Agency (IMA and the laboratories from both regions a research database was set up. Study cohorts in both regions were defined by using administrative data from the Sickness Funds and selected from the research database. A set of nine quality indicators was defined based on current scientific evidence. Data were analysed by an institution experienced in longitudinal data analysis. Results In total 4,174 type 2 diabetes patients were selected from the research database; 2,425 patients (52.9% women with a mean age of 67.5 from the intervention region and 1,749 patients (55.7% women with a mean age of 67.4 from the control region. At the end of the intervention period, improvements were observed in five of the nine defined quality indicators in the intervention region, three of which (HbA1c assessment, statin therapy, cholesterol target improved significantly more than in the control region. Mean HbA1c improved significantly in the intervention region (7.55 to 7.06%, but this evolution did not differ significantly (p = 0.4207 from the one in the control region (7.44 to 6

  17. Using a dynamic vegetation model for future projections of crop yields: application to Belgium in the framework of the VOTES and MASC projects (United States)

    Jacquemin, Ingrid; Henrot, Alexandra-Jane; Fontaine, Corentin M.; Dendoncker, Nicolas; Beckers, Veronique; Debusscher, Bos; Tychon, Bernard; Hambuckers, Alain; François, Louis


    Dynamic vegetation models (DVM) were initially designed to describe the dynamics of natural ecosystems as a function of climate and soil, to study the role of the vegetation in the carbon cycle. These models are now directly coupled with climate models in order to evaluate feedbacks between vegetation and climate. But DVM characteristics allow numerous other applications, leading to amelioration of some of their modules (e.g., evaluating sensitivity of the hydrological module to land surface changes) and developments (e.g., coupling with other models like agent-based models), to be used in ecosystem management and land use planning studies. It is in this dynamic context about DVMs that we have adapted the CARAIB (CARbon Assimilation In the Biosphere) model. One of the main improvements is the implementation of a crop module, allowing the assessment of climate change impacts on crop yields. We try to validate this module at different scales: - from the plot level, with the use of eddy-covariance data from agricultural sites in the FLUXNET network, such as Lonzée (Belgium) or other Western European sites (Grignon, Dijkgraaf,…), - to the country level, for which we compare the crop yield calculated by CARAIB to the crop yield statistics for Belgium and for different agricultural regions of the country. Another challenge for the CARAIB DVM was to deal with the landscape dynamics, which is not directly possible due to the lack of consideration of anthropogenic factors in the system. In the framework of the VOTES and the MASC projects, CARAIB is coupled with an agent-based model (ABM), representing the societal component of the system. This coupled module allows the use of climate and socio-economic scenarios, particularly interesting for studies which aim at ensuring a sustainable approach. This module has particularly been exploited in the VOTES project, where the objective was to provide a social, biophysical and economic assessment of the ecosystem services in

  18. Using H/V Spectral Ratio Analysis to Map Sediment Thickness and to Explain Macroseismic Intensity Variation of a Low-Magnitude Seismic Swarm in Central Belgium (United States)

    Van Noten, K.; Lecocq, T.; Camelbeeck, T.


    Between 2008 and 2010, the Royal Observatory of Belgium received numerous ';Did You Feel It'-reports related to a 2-year lasting earthquake swarm at Court-Saint-Etienne, a small town in a hilly area 20 km SE of Brussels, Belgium. These small-magnitude events (-0.7 ≤ ML ≤ 3.2, n = c. 300 events) were recorded both by the permanent seismometer network in Belgium and by a locally installed temporary seismic network deployed in the epicentral area. Relocation of the hypocenters revealed that the seismic swarm can be related to the reactivation of a NW-SE strike-slip fault at 3 to 6 km depth in the basement rocks of the Lower Palaeozoic London-Brabant Massif. This sequence caused a lot of emotion in the region because more than 60 events were felt by the local population. Given the small magnitudes of the seismic swarm, most events were more often heard than felt by the respondents, which is indicative of a local high-frequency earthquake source. At places where the bedrock is at the surface or where it is covered by thin alluvial sediments ( 30 m). In those river valleys that have a considerable alluvial sedimentary cover, macroseismic intensities are again lower. To explain this variation in macroseismic intensity we present a macroseismic analysis of all DYFI-reports related to the 2008-2010 seismic swarm and a pervasive H/V spectral ratio (HVSR) analysis of ambient noise measurements to model the thickness of sediments covering the London-Brabant Massif. The HVSR method is a very powerful tool to map the basement morphology, particularly in regions of unknown subsurface structure. By calculating the soil's fundamental frequency above boreholes, we calibrated the power-law relationship between the fundamental frequency, shear wave velocity and the thickness of sediments. This relationship is useful for places where the sediment thickness is unknown and where the fundamental frequency can be calculated by H/V spectral ratio analysis of ambient noise. In a

  19. Quantitative risk assessment of Campylobacter spp. in poultry based meat preparations as one of the factors to support the development of risk-based microbiological criteria in Belgium. (United States)

    Uyttendaele, M; Baert, K; Ghafir, Y; Daube, G; De Zutter, L; Herman, L; Dierick, K; Pierard, D; Dubois, J J; Horion, B; Debevere, J


    The objective of this study was to do an exercise in risk assessment on Campylobacter spp. for poultry based meat preparations in Belgium. This risk assessment was undertaken on the demand of the competent national authorities as one of the supportive factors to define risk-based microbiological criteria. The quantitative risk assessment model follows a retail to table approach and is divided in different modules. The contamination of raw chicken meat products (CMPs) was represented by a normal distribution of the natural logarithm of the concentration of Campylobacter spp. (ln[Camp]) in raw CMPs based on data from surveillance programs in Belgium. To analyse the relative impact of reducing the risk of campylobacteriosis associated with a decrease in the Campylobacter contamination level in these types of food products, the model was run for different means and standard deviations of the normal distribution of the ln[Camp] in raw CMPs. The limitation in data for the local situation in Belgium and on this particular product and more precisely the semi-quantitative nature of concentration of Campylobacter spp. due to presence/absence testing, was identified as an important information gap. Also the knowledge on the dose-response relationship of Campylobacter spp. was limited, and therefore three different approaches of dose-response modelling were compared. Two approaches (1 and 2), derived from the same study, showed that the reduction of the mean of the distribution representing the ln[Camp] in raw CMPs is the best approach to reduce the risk of Campylobacter spp. in CMPs. However, for the simulated exposure and approach 3 it was observed that the reduction of the standard deviation is the most appropriate technique to lower the risk of campylobacteriosis. Since the dose-response models used in approach 1 and 2 are based on limited data and the reduction of the mean corresponds with a complete shift of the contamination level of raw CMPs, demanding high efforts

  20. Florabank1: a grid-based database on vascular plant distribution in the northern part of Belgium (Flanders and the Brussels Capital region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter Van Landuyt


    Full Text Available Florabank1 is a database that contains distributional data on the wild flora (indigenous species, archeophytes and naturalised aliens of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region. It holds about 3 million records of vascular plants, dating from 1800 till present. Furthermore, it includes ecological data on vascular plant species, redlist category information, Ellenberg values, legal status, global distribution, seed bank etc. The database is an initiative of “Flo.Wer” (, the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO: and the National Botanic Garden of Belgium ( Florabank aims at centralizing botanical distribution data gathered by both professional and amateur botanists and to make these data available to the benefit of nature conservation, policy and scientific research.The occurrence data contained in Florabank1 are extracted from checklists, literature and herbarium specimen information. Of survey lists, the locality name (verbatimLocality, species name, observation date and IFBL square code, the grid system used for plant mapping in Belgium (Van Rompaey 1943, is recorded. For records dating from the period 1972–2004 all pertinent botanical journals dealing with Belgian flora were systematically screened. Analysis of herbarium specimens in the collection of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, the University of Ghent and the University of Liège provided interesting distribution knowledge concerning rare species, this information is also included in Florabank1. The data recorded before 1972 is available through the Belgian GBIF node (, not through FLORABANK1, to avoid duplication of information. A dedicated portal providing access to all published Belgian IFBL records at this moment is available at: data in Florabank1 is georeferenced. Every record holds the decimal centroid coordinates of the

  1. No H- and L-type cases in Belgium in cattle diagnosed with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (1999-2008 aging seven years and older

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Muylem Patrick


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE epidemic presented homogeneity of the phenotype. This classical BSE (called C-type was probably due to the contamination of the food chain by a single prion strain. However, due to the active surveillance and better techniques, two rare variants of BSE have been recently reported in different continents without a clear correlation to the BSE epidemic. These emerging types behave as different strains of BSE and were named H-type and L-type according to the high and low molecular mass of the unglycosylated fragment of their proteinase K resistant prion protein (PrPres. In these types, the proportion of the un-, mono- and di-glycosylated fragments of PrP (glycoprofile is also atypical and represents an effective diagnostic parameter. This study evaluated the presence of such types in bovine of 7 years and older in Belgium. Results The Belgian BSE archive contained 41 bovines of at least 7 years of age. The biochemical features of their PrPres were analyzed by Western blot with five antibodies recognising different regions of PrPres, from N- to C-terminus: 12B2, 9A2, Sha31, SAF84 and 94B4. All antibodies clearly detected PrPres except 12B2 antibody, which is specific for N-terminal region 101-105, a PrP region that is only retained in H-types. The glycoprofiles did correspond to that of C-type (with more than 55% of diglycosylated PrPres using antibody 94B4. Therefore, all cases have the features of C-type BSE. Conclusions This study supports that, among the BSE cases of 7 years and older identified in Belgium, none was apparently of the H- or L- type. This is consistent with the very rare occurrence of atypical BSE and the restricted dimension of Belgium. These results shed some light on the worldwide prevalence of atypical BSE.

  2. How to make the medical consultation more successful from a patient's perspective? Tips for doctors and patients from lay people in the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bensing, J.M.; Deveugele, M.; Moretti, F.; Fletcher, I.; Vliet, L. van; Bogaert, M. van; Rimondini, M.


    Objective: The aim of this study is to generate empirically based 'tips' from lay people on how medical consultations could become more successful from a patient perspective. Methods: 258 Lay people in the United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands, distributed over 32 focus groups, were inv

  3. Thiol pools and glutathione redox ratios as possible indicators of copper toxicity in the green macroalgae Enteromorpha spp. from the Scheldt Estuary (SW Netherlands, Belgium) and Thermaikos Gulf (Greece, N Aegean Sea)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rijstenbil, J.W.; Haritonidis, S.; Malea, P.; Seferlis, M.; Wijnholds, J.A.


    Defence mechanisms against Cu toxicity were examined in two dominant Enteromorpha species from two coastal water types. The macroalgae were collected at three locations in the eulittoral of the Scheldt Estuary (Netherlands, Belgium) and the Thermaikos Gulf (Greece). For 10 days E. prolifera (Scheldt

  4. From the 8-Hour Day to the 40-Hour Week: Legitimization Discourses of Labour Legislation between the Wars in France and Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Rudischhauser


    Full Text Available In the interwar period both France and Belgium passed legislation reducing the number of working hours and established a hybrid regulatory regime lending a certain degree of official authority to collective agreements. The paper analyses discourses by scholars who, as experts, were close to the political elites, and who tried to legitimize this kind of co-regulation by pointing out the inefficiency of state intervention and the epistemic authority of non-state actors. Stressing the output dimension of legitimacy and the improved quality of legal norms, these discourses had a technocratic tendency and ultimately argued in favour of a shift of power from the legislative to the administrative branch of government.

  5. The influence of age and gender on party drug use among young adults attending dance events, clubs, and rock festivals in Belgium. (United States)

    Van Havere, Tina; Vanderplasschen, Wouter; Broekaert, Eric; De Bourdeaudhui, Ilse


    A random sample of visitors of dance events, clubs, and rock festivals in Belgium (Flanders) was selected to complete an anonymous survey regarding their use of "party" drugs (alcohol, cannabis, xtc, cocaine, and amphetamines) and patterns of going out. The results of 670 respondents recruited in 2005 are reported and compared with 2003 for gender and age. Drug use in these nightlife settings is higher than in the general population. In younger age groups, the illegal drug use increases, but it decreases in older age groups. This might be linked to more responsibilities. Men still use drugs more often than women, but the gender differences seem to decrease. The changing role of women in society could be an explanation for this evolution. Limitations and implications of this research are discussed.

  6. One Decade of Active Avian Influenza Wild Bird Surveillance in Belgium Showed a Higher Viroprevalence in Hunter-Harvested Than in Live-Ringed Birds. (United States)

    Steensels, M; Vangeluwe, D; Linden, A; Houdart, Ph; van den Berg, Thierry P; Lambrecht, B


    Active monitoring of avian influenza (AI) viruses in wild birds was initiated in Belgium in 2005 in response to the first highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 outbreaks occurring in Europe. In Belgium, active wild bird surveillance that targeted live-ringed and hunter-harvested wild birds was developed and maintained from 2005 onward. After one decade, this program assimilated, analyzed, and reported on over 35,000 swabs. The 2009-2014 datasets were used for the current analysis because detailed information was available for this period. The overall prevalence of avian influenza (AI) in samples from live-ringed birds during this period was 0.48% whereas it was 6.12% in hunter-harvested samples. While the ringing sampling targeted a large number of bird species and was realized over the years, the hunting sampling was mainly concentrated on mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) during the hunting season, from mid-August to late January. Even when using just AI prevalence for live-ringed A. platyrhynchos during the hunting season, the value remained significantly lower (2.10%) compared to that detected for hunter-harvested mallards. One explanation for this significant difference in viroprevalence in hunter-harvested mallards was the game restocking practice, which released captive-bred birds in the wild before the hunting period. Indeed, the released game restocking birds, having an AI-naïve immune status, could act as local amplifiers of AI viruses already circulating in the wild, and this could affect AI epidemiology. Also, the release into the wild of noncontrolled restocking birds might lead to the introduction of new strains in the natural environment, leading to increased AI presence in the environment. Consequently, the release of naïve or infected restocking birds may affect AI dynamics.

  7. Phage and MLVA typing of Salmonella enteritidis isolated from layers and humans in Belgium from 2000-2010, a period in which vaccination of laying hens was introduced. (United States)

    Dewaele, I; Heyndrickx, M; Rasschaert, G; Bertrand, S; Wildemauwe, C; Wattiau, P; Imberechts, H; Herman, L; Ducatelle, R; Van Weyenberg, S; De Reu, K


    The aim of the study was to characterize isolates of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) obtained from humans and layer farms in Belgium collected during 2000-2010. Three periods were compared, namely (i) before implementation of vaccination (2000-2004), (ii) during voluntary vaccination (2005-2006) and (iii) during implementation of the national control program (NCP) for Salmonella including mandatory vaccination against S. Enteritidis (2007-2010). The characteristics compared across time periods were distributions of phage type and multiple-locus variable number tandem-repeat assay (MLVA). While PT4 and PT21 were predominantly isolated in Belgium in layers and humans before 2007, a significant reduction of those PTs was observed in both populations in the period 2007-2010. The relative proportion of PT4b, PT21c and PT6c was found to have increased considerably in the layer population since 2007. In the human population, PT8, PT1 and the group of 'other' PTs were more frequently isolated compared to the previous periods. When comparing the proportion of the predominant MLVA types Q2 and U2, no significant difference was found between the layer and human population in the three periods and between periods within each category (layer and human). A significant difference in isolate distribution among MLVA clusters I and II was found between human and layer isolates recovered during Period 3 and in the human population between Period 1 and 3. Results suggest that the association between S. Enteritidis in layers and the occurrence of the pathogen in humans changed since implementation of the NCP in 2007.

  8. A potential archive of Pleistocene uplift and erosion in the eastern Nete basin, Campine area, north-eastern Belgium (United States)

    Beerten, Koen; Leterme, Bertrand


    From a geodynamic point of view, the Campine area is situated on the crossroads between distinctive tectonic settings: the subsiding North Sea basin and Roer Valley Graben in the north, and the uplifting Brabant Massif and Ardennes in the south. In general, this has led to overall Cenozoic subsidence of the area and sedimentation of unconsolidated marine sands. However, the morphology of the present-day Nete basin, which is situated in the central and eastern part of the Campine area, is a clear example of an erosional feature and shows evidence of up to 30 m of Quaternary erosion. However, the drivers, timing and rate of landscape development in the Nete basin are poorly constrained. Here, we present and describe geological and geomorphological remnants testifying to past landscape development in the Nete basin, that will help understanding the Quaternary geodynamic evolution (uplift) of the Campine area. The Nete basin is located in northern Belgium and is drained by two small rivers, the Kleine Nete and Grote Nete, that merge into the larger Nete river several km before entering the Lower Scheldt basin. The Nete basin can clearly be identified on topographical maps as a depression, ca. 40 km x 40 km, with valley floors ranging between 10-20 m above sea level (a.s.l.). It is bounded in the north, east and south by erosion resistant geological formations at altitudes between 30 m (north) and 60 m (south). The major direction of drainage is from ENE to WSW and the basin thus opens towards the west. The start of basin development is situated after deposition of Rhine sediments (~ 1 Ma) which form the erosion resistant eastern watershed with the Meuse basin at an altitude of ~ 50 m a.s.l. on top of the Campine Plateau. GIS-based landscape analysis of the topography and the contour map of the Quaternary base confirm the observation that the lowering of the relief from the Campine Plateau down to the floodplain of the Kleine Nete and Grote Nete shows a stepwise

  9. Building a conceptual framework for evaluating human-induced hydrological changes during the last millennium in the Mol-Dessel area (NE Belgium) (United States)

    Beerten, Koen; Leterme, Bertrand; Jacques, Diederik


    During the last millennium, the surface environment of the Campine area, NE Belgium, underwent an enormous transformation from an open heather-dominated landscape with pristine Holocene soils and topography to a fragmented landscape with multiple land uses (forest, build area, heather, pasture, artificial lakes…), and heavily disturbed soils (degraded podzols) and topography (drift sand accumulation, ditches, sand quarries…). This transformation is expected to have caused an important change in the regional water balance and groundwater table depth. Understanding the mechanisms and processes that govern such changes is necessary to build a strong phenomenological basis for predicting future hydrological conditions as a result of landscape development (land use and land cover change. Here, we present the results of the detailed landscape reconstruction of a sandy interfluve in the Nete catchment and assess conceptually the hydrological impact of this human-induced landscape transformation. Historical maps, land use data, DTM's and detailed soil and geomorphological data (Beerten et al., 2012; Vandersmissen et al., submitted) were used to produce a set of relevant snapshots over the last 1000 years that are thought to be representative for a given hydrological condition at the studied interfluve. The first geomorphic change investigated is the development of a human-induced drift-sand landscape between 500-250 years ago. The main impacts on the local hydrological conditions are assumed to be the modification of the shape of the groundwater table (being a subdued replica of topography) and the loss of the hydraulic barrier function of podzol soils during extreme events, due to podzol degradation. Undoubtedly, reforestation of the interfluve during the second half of the 19th century had an impact on local recharge rates (i.e. decreasing recharge), resulting in a deeper groundwater table. The construction of ditches, up to 50 cm deep, to drain the newly established

  10. Between and within-field variation in physico-chemical soil properties of vineyards: implications for terroir zoning and management in Heuvelland, Belgium (United States)

    Tavernier, Emma; Verdoodt, Ann; Cornelis, Wim; Delbecque, Nele; Tiebergijn, Lynn; Seynnaeve, Marleen; Gabriels, Donald


    The 'Heuvelland' region with a surface area of 94 km² is situated in the Province of West Flanders, Belgium, bordering with France. The region comprises a number of hills ("heuvel") on which a fast growing 'wine culture' is developing. Both professional as well as non-professional wine makers together cultivate about 19 ha of vineyards, and are still expanding. Grapes cultivated include Chardonnay, Pinot gris and Pinot noir among others. The small-scale, strongly dispersed vineyards are located in different landscape positions of variable aspect. The objective of our preliminary study was to assess the between-field and within-field variation in physico-chemical soil properties of these vineyards with the aim to better characterise the terroir(s) in Heuvelland and provide guidelines for soil management. Fourteen vineyards from five different wineries were selected for detailed soil sampling. Twenty-five sampling sites were chosen according to the topography, soil map units and observed variability in grape growth. The soil was sampled using 15 cm depth increments up to a depth of 60 cm or a shallower lithic contact. Composite samples of 5 sampling locations along the contour lines were taken per within-field zone. Besides the texture, pH, organic carbon, total nitrogen, available phosphorous and exchangeable base cations (Ca, Mg, K), also some micronutrients (Fe, B, Cu, Mn) were determined using standard laboratory procedures. The soils developed on Quaternary niveo-eolian sandy loam and loamy sediments of variable thickness covering marine sandy and clayey sediments of the Tertiary. Where the Tertiary clayey sediments occur at shallow depth, they can strongly influence the internal drainage. At higher positions in the landscape, iron-rich sandstone layers are found at shallow depth. Fragments of this iron-rich sandstone can also be found at lower positions (colluvial material). This iron sandstone is claimed to contribute to the unique character of this wine

  11. Detailed climate-change projections for urban land-use change and green-house gas increases for Belgium with COSMO-CLM coupled to TERRA_URB (United States)

    Wouters, Hendrik; Vanden Broucke, Sam; van Lipzig, Nicole; Demuzere, Matthias


    Recent research clearly show that climate modelling at high resolution - which resolve the deep convection, the detailed orography and land-use including urbanization - leads to better modelling performance with respect to temperatures, the boundary-layer, clouds and precipitation. The increasing computational power enables the climate research community to address climate-change projections with higher accuracy and much more detail. In the framework of the project aiming for coherent high-resolution micro-ensemble projections for Belgium employing different GCMs and RCMs, the KU Leuven contributes by means of the downscaling of EC-EARTH global climate model projections (provided by the Royal Meteorological Institute of the Netherlands) to the Belgian domain. The downscaling is obtained with regional climate simulations at 12.5km resolution over Europe (CORDEX-EU domain) and at 2.8km resolution over Belgium ( domain) using COSMO-CLM coupled to urban land-surface parametrization TERRA_URB. This is done for the present-day (1975-2005) and future (2040 → 2070 and 2070 → 2100). In these high-resolution runs, both GHG changes (in accordance to RCP8.5) and urban land-use changes (in accordance to a business-as-usual urban expansion scenario) are taken into account. Based on these simulations, it is shown how climate-change statistics are modified when going from coarse resolution modelling to high-resolution modelling. The climate-change statistics of particular interest are the changes in number of extreme precipitation events and extreme heat waves in cities. Hereby, it is futher investigated for the robustness of the signal change between the course and high-resolution and whether a (statistical) translation is possible. The different simulations also allow to address the relative impact and synergy between the urban expansion and increased GHG on the climate-change statistics. Hereby, it is investigated for which climate-change statistics the

  12. Short communication: In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of Mycoplasma bovis isolates identified in milk from dairy cattle in Belgium, Germany, and Italy. (United States)

    Barberio, A; Flaminio, B; De Vliegher, S; Supré, K; Kromker, V; Garbarino, C; Arrigoni, N; Zanardi, G; Bertocchi, L; Gobbo, F; Catania, S; Moroni, P


    The objective of this study was to assess the in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility of 73 isolates of Mycoplasma bovis isolated from milk of dairy cattle herds of Belgium, Germany, and Italy. Minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values were determined by the microbroth dilution method for the following antimicrobials: erythromycin, spiramycin, tilmicosin, tylosin, lincomycin, enrofloxacin, doxycycline, oxytetracycline, florfenicol, and tiamulin. Macrolides, florfenicol, oxytetracycline, and enrofloxacin, were chosen because they represent antimicrobials families commonly used in several countries for treatment of M. bovis, and their MIC values in cattle population are reported in several studies, allowing a comparison with previous data. Doxycycline and tiamulin were selected to assess the susceptibility of M. bovis to new antimicrobials, because they are not registered in the European Union for the treatment of dairy cattle. Among the agents of the different antimicrobial classes, the macrolides showed the highest concentration to inhibit 90% of isolates (MIC90), all above the highest concentration tested: >8μg/mL for erythromycin, >16μg/mL for spiramycin, and >32μg/mL for tilmicosin and tylosin. Also the MIC90 of lincomycin was above the highest concentration tested (>32μg/mL), but the distribution of the MIC values was almost perfectly bimodal: 41 isolates had a MIC ≤0.5μg/mL and 30 isolates >32μg/mL. Oxytetracycline had a 2-fold higher concentration to inhibit 50% of isolates (2 vs. 0.5μg/mL) and 1-fold higher MIC90 (4 vs. 2μg/mL) than doxycycline. Enrofloxacin and florfenicol had both a MIC90 of 2μg/mL, whereas tiamulin had a MIC90 of 0.5μg/mL. Significant differences on the MIC values were found among the 3 countries for several antimicrobials: compared with Germany, Belgium and Italy showed significantly higher MIC for lincomycin, spiramycin, and tylosin, and lower for oxytetracycline and florfenicol. The Belgian isolates showed the lowest MIC

  13. A land micro-mammal fauna from the Early Eocene marine Egem deposits (NP12, Belgium) and the first occurrence of the peradectid marsupial Armintodelphys outside North America


    Smith, T.; Smith, R


    Dental remains of land mammals are sometimes discovered in shallow marine Paleogene deposits of the North Sea Basin. Such is the case for eleven specimens we describe here from the Early Eocene Egemkapel Clay Member in the middle part of the Tielt Formation, found in Ampe quarry at Egem in Northwestern Belgium. The small fauna consists of 6 taxa, including the neoplagiaulacid multituberculate Ectypodus, the erinaceomorph insectivore Macrocranion, the nyctitheriid Leptacodon, an eochiropteran ...

  14. A cross-cultural examination of the mediating role of family support and parental advice quality on the relationship between family communication patterns and first-year college student adjustment in the United States and Belgium


    Dorrance Hall, Elizabeth; McNallie, Jenna; Custers, Kathleen; Timmermans, Elisabeth; Wilson, Steven R; Van den Bulck, Jan


    This study examines how college students’ family communication environments influence their adjustment during the first year of college in two distinct cultures: Belgium (n = 513) and the United States (n = 431). Three structural equation models were tested to determine the mediating effects of (a) perceived family support, (b) quality of academic advice from parents, and (c) quality of social advice from parents on associations between family communication patterns (FCPs) and student adju...

  15. Outbreak of verocytotoxin-producing E. coli O145 and O26 infections associated with the consumption of ice cream produced at a farm, Belgium, 2007. (United States)

    De Schrijver, K; Buvens, G; Possé, B; Van den Branden, D; Oosterlynck, O; De Zutter, L; Eilers, K; Piérard, D; Dierick, K; Van Damme-Lombaerts, R; Lauwers, C; Jacobs, R


    In October 2007, an outbreak of verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) O145 and E. coli O26 occurred among consumers of ice cream produced and sold in September 2007 at a farm in the province of Antwerp (Belgium). The ice cream was consumed at two birthday parties and also eaten at the farm. Five children, aged between two and 11 years, developed haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), and seven other co-exposed persons contracted severe diarrhoea. In three of the five HUS cases VTEC O145 infections were laboratory confirmed, one in association with VTEC O26. Identical isolates of E. coli O145 and O26 were detected with PCR and PFGE in faecal samples of patients and in ice cream leftovers from one of the birthday parties, in faecal samples taken from calves, and in samples of soiled straw from the farm at which the ice cream was produced. Ice cream was made from pasteurised milk and most likely contaminated by one of food handlers.

  16. Cost optimisation and minimisation of the environmental impact through life cycle analysis of the waste water treatment plant of Bree (Belgium). (United States)

    De Gussem, K; Wambecq, T; Roels, J; Fenu, A; De Gueldre, G; Van De Steene, B


    An ASM2da model of the full-scale waste water plant of Bree (Belgium) has been made. It showed very good correlation with reference operational data. This basic model has been extended to include an accurate calculation of environmental footprint and operational costs (energy consumption, dosing of chemicals and sludge treatment). Two optimisation strategies were compared: lowest cost meeting the effluent consent versus lowest environmental footprint. Six optimisation scenarios have been studied, namely (i) implementation of an online control system based on ammonium and nitrate sensors, (ii) implementation of a control on MLSS concentration, (iii) evaluation of internal recirculation flow, (iv) oxygen set point, (v) installation of mixing in the aeration tank, and (vi) evaluation of nitrate setpoint for post denitrification. Both an environmental impact or Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based approach for optimisation are able to significantly lower the cost and environmental footprint. However, the LCA approach has some advantages over cost minimisation of an existing full-scale plant. LCA tends to chose control settings that are more logic: it results in a safer operation of the plant with less risks regarding the consents. It results in a better effluent at a slightly increased cost.

  17. Psychrotrophic lactic acid bacteria associated with production batch recalls and sporadic cases of early spoilage in Belgium between 2010 and 2014. (United States)

    Pothakos, Vasileios; Taminiau, Bernard; Huys, Geert; Nezer, Carine; Daube, Georges; Devlieghere, Frank


    Between 2010 and 2014 several spoilage cases in Belgium occurring in retail foodstuffs prior to the end of shelf-life have been reported to our laboratory. Overall, seven cases involved strictly psychrotrophic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) contamination in packaged and chilled-stored food products. The products derived either from recalls of entire production batches or as specimens of sporadic spoilage manifestations. Some of these samples were returned to the manufacturing companies by consumers who observed the alterations after purchasing the products. The products covered a wide range of foodstuffs (i.e. meat, dairy, vegetable, egg products and composite food) and denoted different spoilage defects. However, the microbiota determined by means of 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing analysis underpin few LAB genera (i.e. Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, Weissella and Lactococcus), which are frequently encountered nowadays as specific spoilage organisms (SSO) albeit overlooked by mesophilic enumeration methods due to their strictly psychrotrophic character. The present study confirms the spreading of psychrotrophic LAB in Belgian food processing environments leading to unexpected spoilage, corroborating their spoilage dynamics and prevalence in all kinds of packaged and refrigerated foodstuffs in Northern Europe.

  18. [Quid Nunc? The relationship between the medical world and society in Belgium and in Europe of the 25 at the dawn of the 21st century]. (United States)

    Frühling, J


    Since about twenty-five years, we observe important transformations of the socio-economic structures of our society, modifying the main references which reign over the social structures and thus over the medical world. As a result, we observe a social syndrome which we can define as a divorce between the medical world and the society. The consequences of this phenomenon can constitute a real danger for the whole society; nevertheless, actually we can still consider that Belgium can assure a very high level of medical care for the greatest part of the population for a really social prize. The main "clinical signs" of this divorce are mentioned and analyzed, the deeper reasons of them as well. Among them, we cite the recent law about the quite exclusive rights of the patients, an incoherent legislation concerning medical activities, the hostility of the world of media against the physicians, the insuffiencies to finance health care and the attacks against several medical organizations and--at least--the fact to give more and more preference to the non-scientific parallel medicine. This whole social process should be kept back because this divorce is not only an economical problem, but rather a question of humanism and of social culture.

  19. Microfossils in calculus demonstrate consumption of plants and cooked foods in Neanderthal diets (Shanidar III, Iraq; Spy I and II, Belgium). (United States)

    Henry, Amanda G; Brooks, Alison S; Piperno, Dolores R


    The nature and causes of the disappearance of Neanderthals and their apparent replacement by modern humans are subjects of considerable debate. Many researchers have proposed biologically or technologically mediated dietary differences between the two groups as one of the fundamental causes of Neanderthal disappearance. Some scenarios have focused on the apparent lack of plant foods in Neanderthal diets. Here we report direct evidence for Neanderthal consumption of a variety of plant foods, in the form of phytoliths and starch grains recovered from dental calculus of Neanderthal skeletons from Shanidar Cave, Iraq, and Spy Cave, Belgium. Some of the plants are typical of recent modern human diets, including date palms (Phoenix spp.), legumes, and grass seeds (Triticeae), whereas others are known to be edible but are not heavily used today. Many of the grass seed starches showed damage that is a distinctive marker of cooking. Our results indicate that in both warm eastern Mediterranean and cold northwestern European climates, and across their latitudinal range, Neanderthals made use of the diverse plant foods available in their local environment and transformed them into more easily digestible foodstuffs in part through cooking them, suggesting an overall sophistication in Neanderthal dietary regimes.

  20. Use of multiple-trait animal models for genetic evaluation of milk, fat and protein lactation yields of dairy cattle in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Coenraets


    Full Text Available Comparison of computation time between single-trait and multiple-trait evaluations showed that with the use of the canonicat transformation associated with multiple diagonalization of (covariance matrices, multiple-trait analysis for milk, fat and protein yields is not more expensive than three single-trait analyzes. Rank correlations between breeding values for 54,820 cows with records (for their 1,406 sires estimated with the single-trait and multiple-trait models were over .98 (.99 in fat yield and over .99 (.99 in milk and protein yields. The relative gain expressed as reduction in mean prediction error variance was 3% (1% in milk yield, 6% (3% in fat yield, and .4% (.2% in protein yield for cows (for sires. Relative genetic gains were 3% (1%, 6% (2% and .5% (.2% respectively in milk, fat and protein yields for cows (for sires. The use of multiple-trait models bas therefore the advantages of improved precision and reduced selection bics. Multiple-trait analysis could be extended for the analyzes of test-day records. Results show that this or similar multiple-trait animal model could be implemented immediately in Belgium at low computing cost, using the proposed algorithme and could be the first step to new, more advanced evaluation methods.

  1. The impact of the Directive on Payment Services in the Internal Market on Danish and Belgium Legislation on Fraudulent Payment Transactions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henschel, Rene Franz; Steenot, Reinhard


    In December 2007, the European Directive on payment services in the internal market was published in the Official Journal. This Directive, which has to be transposed into national legislation before the 1st November 2009, contains many rules on payments, including rules on the allocation of liabi......In December 2007, the European Directive on payment services in the internal market was published in the Official Journal. This Directive, which has to be transposed into national legislation before the 1st November 2009, contains many rules on payments, including rules on the allocation...... and Belgian legislation. More specifically, we will examine how the rules incorporated in the European Directive, which is based on the principle of maximum harmonization, are implemented in Belgium and Denmark, whether the implementations are in accordance with the Directive and finally, whether...... the Directive and the implementations reduce or strengthen the protection of payment service users in the two countries and promotes the creation of a common internal market for payment services...

  2. Transition Thinking and Business Model Innovation Towards a Transformative Business Model and New Role for the Reuse Centers of Limburg, Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leen Gorissen


    Full Text Available The current dynamics of change, including climate change, resource depletion, energy transition, internet of things, etc. will have substantial impacts on the functioning of contemporary business models. Most firms and companies, however, still largely focus on efficiency strategies leading to sub-optimal solutions (reducing bad impact, rather than radically changing their business model to develop new transaction models more appropriate for today’s world (doing better things. However, persistent sustainability issues arising from our changing societal systems, require more radical and structural changes both within and between organizations to change the way we do business. There is limited empirically established research literature on how businesses can be more proactive in this regard and how they can move beyond “management of unsustainability”. In this paper, we present a transformative business model innovation approach inspired by transition theory combining elements of systems thinking, value-inspired envisioning, reflexive design and co-creation that was pioneered for a consortia of reuse centers in the province of Limburg, Belgium. We demonstrate that this approach contributed to the development of new business model concepts, was conducive for mobilizing support and resources to ensure follow up activity and holds potential to promote a more proactive role for businesses as agents of transformative change.

  3. [Altruistic public servant or heroic genius? The propagated image of provincial and academic directors of bacteriological laboratories in Belgium (ca. 1900-1940)]. (United States)

    Onghena, Sofie


    At the end of the nineteenth century provincial bacteriological institutes were established in Belgium--in Liège, Mons, Namur and Brussels--in order to combat epidemics, to promote preventive medicine and to pursue the successful research of Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch. Similar laboratories existed at the universities of Ghent, Louvain and Brussels. The image building played an important role for both kinds of institutes, as bacteriology in pioneering phase had to be publicly confirmed as a new, valuable discipline. However, the directors of provincial and academic institutes--with the same academic training though--were awarded with different qualities at their jubilees, fitting with the purposes and the self-image of their respective institutions, either provincial authorities or universities. The image of academic directors was guided by academic decorum: Emile van Ermengem, Edmond Destrée and Joseph Denys were represented as savants, solely devoted to pure science and paternally educating young researchers, notwithstanding the fact that their laboratories had humanitarian merits as well. On the other hand, the discourse on the first provincial directors--Ernest Malvoz, Martin Herman, Achille Haibe--emphasized their altruistic commitment and their solid work for the provincial government. Jules Bordet, a internationally rewarded scientist, professor and provincial director of the Pasteur Institute in Brussels, was celebrated with both sorts of discourses.

  4. Estimating Urban Heat Island Effects on the Temperature Series of Uccle (Brussels, Belgium Using Remote Sensing Data and a Land Surface Scheme

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    Rafiq Hamdi


    Full Text Available In this letter, the urban heat island effects on the temperature time series of Uccle (Brussels, Belgium during the summers months 1960–1999 was estimated using both ground-based weather stations and remote sensing imagery, combined with a numerical land surface scheme including state-of-the-art urban parameterization, the Town Energy Balance Scheme. Analysis of urban warming based on remote sensing method reveals that the urban bias on minimum temperature is rising at a higher rate, 2.5 times (2.85 ground-based observed more, than on maximum temperature, with a linear trend of 0.15 °C (0.19 °C ground-based observed and 0.06 °C (0.06 °C ground-based observed per decade respectively. The results based on remote sensing imagery are compatible with estimates of urban warming based on weather stations. Therefore, the technique presented in this work is a useful tool in estimating the urban heat island contamination in long time series, countering the drawbacks of a ground-observational approach.

  5. Impact of Perceived Importance of Ecosystem Services and Stated Financial Constraints on Willingness to Pay for Riparian Meadow Restoration in Flanders (Belgium) (United States)

    Chen, Wendy Y.; Aertsens, Joris; Liekens, Inge; Broekx, Steven; De Nocker, Leo


    The strategic importance of ecosystem service valuation as an operational basis for policy decisions on natural restoration has been increasingly recognized in order to align the provision of ecosystem services with the expectation of human society. The contingent valuation method (CVM) is widely used to quantify various ecosystem services. However, two areas of concern arise: (1) whether people value specific functional ecosystem services and overlook some intrinsic aspects of natural restoration, and (2) whether people understand the temporal dimension of ecosystem services and payment schedules given in the contingent scenarios. Using a peri-urban riparian meadow restoration project in Flanders, Belgium as a case, we explored the impacts of residents' perceived importance of various ecosystem services and stated financial constraints on their willingness-to-pay for the proposed restoration project employing the CVM. The results indicated that people tended to value all the benefits of riparian ecosystem restoration concurrently, although they accorded different importances to each individual category of ecosystem services. A longer payment scheme can help the respondents to think more about the flow of ecosystem services into future generations. A weak temporal embedding effect can be detected, which might be attributed to respondents' concern about current financial constraints, rather than financial bindings associated with their income and perceived future financial constraints. This demonstrates the multidimensionality of respondents' financial concerns in CV. This study sheds light on refining future CV studies, especially with regard to public expectation of ecosystem services and the temporal dimension of ecosystem services and payment schedules.

  6. Impact of perceived importance of ecosystem services and stated financial constraints on willingness to pay for riparian meadow restoration in Flanders (Belgium). (United States)

    Chen, Wendy Y; Aertsens, Joris; Liekens, Inge; Broekx, Steven; De Nocker, Leo


    The strategic importance of ecosystem service valuation as an operational basis for policy decisions on natural restoration has been increasingly recognized in order to align the provision of ecosystem services with the expectation of human society. The contingent valuation method (CVM) is widely used to quantify various ecosystem services. However, two areas of concern arise: (1) whether people value specific functional ecosystem services and overlook some intrinsic aspects of natural restoration, and (2) whether people understand the temporal dimension of ecosystem services and payment schedules given in the contingent scenarios. Using a peri-urban riparian meadow restoration project in Flanders, Belgium as a case, we explored the impacts of residents' perceived importance of various ecosystem services and stated financial constraints on their willingness-to-pay for the proposed restoration project employing the CVM. The results indicated that people tended to value all the benefits of riparian ecosystem restoration concurrently, although they accorded different importances to each individual category of ecosystem services. A longer payment scheme can help the respondents to think more about the flow of ecosystem services into future generations. A weak temporal embedding effect can be detected, which might be attributed to respondents' concern about current financial constraints, rather than financial bindings associated with their income and perceived future financial constraints. This demonstrates the multidimensionality of respondents' financial concerns in CV. This study sheds light on refining future CV studies, especially with regard to public expectation of ecosystem services and the temporal dimension of ecosystem services and payment schedules.

  7. La educación en los medios en la comunidad francesa de Bélgica Media education in the French Community of Belgium

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    Michel Clarembeaux


    Full Text Available Partiendo del contexto político, escolar y mediático de la educación en los medios en la comunidad francesa de Bélgica, este texto hace un breve recorrido de la situación del país tanto anterior a 1995, como del organigrama que surge a partir de 1995 con la creación de un Consejo y tres Centros de Recursos. Posteriormente se conceptualiza la educación en los medios en el marco de la sociedad Internet y multimedia y la integración de la prensa escrita en la enseñanza. Se describe también la tele-realidad y sus retos pedagógicos, así como la educación en el cine y la educación crítica de la publicidad. This paper gives a brief account of the history of media education in the French Community of Belgium using as a starting point the political, media and educational contexts. Afterwards, it explains media education in the Internet and media society and the integration of the press in the field of learning. Finally, the paper describes the educational challenges of reality-television, cinema and advertising.

  8. Designing the selenium and bladder cancer trial (SELEBLAT, a phase lll randomized chemoprevention study with selenium on recurrence of bladder cancer in Belgium

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    Goossens Maria E


    Full Text Available Abstract Background In Belgium, bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in males (5.2% and the sixth most frequent cause of death from cancer in males (3.8%. Previous epidemiological studies have consistently reported that selenium concentrations were inversely associated with the risk of bladder cancer. This suggests that selenium may also be suitable for chemoprevention of recurrence. Method The SELEBLAT study opened in September 2009 and is still recruiting all patients with non-invasive transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder on TURB operation in 15 Belgian hospitals. Recruitment progress can be monitored live at Patients are randomly assigned to selenium yeast (200 μg/day supplementation for 3 years or matching placebo, in addition to standard care. The objective is to determine the effect of selenium on the recurrence of bladder cancer. Randomization is stratified by treatment centre. A computerized algorithm randomly assigns the patients to a treatment arm. All study personnel and participants are blinded to treatment assignment for the duration of the study. Design The SELEnium and BLAdder cancer Trial (SELEBLAT is a phase III randomized, placebo-controlled, academic, double-blind superior trial. Discussion This is the first report on a selenium randomized trial in bladder cancer patients. Trial registration identifier: NCT00729287

  9. On the suitability of refractory bricks from a mediaeval brass melting and working site near Dinant (Belgium) as geomagnetic field recorders (United States)

    Hus, J.; Geeraerts, R.; Plumier, J.


    Directional field archaeomagnetic data from two oval shaped kilns, of which still one was lined with refractory bricks, unearthed in a brass melting and working site in Bouvignes-sur-Meuse in Belgium, confirm the archaeologic dating as 14-15th century A.D. for the main site activities. The archaeomagnetic dates, obtained using reference secular variation curves of the geomagnetic field direction for France and Great Britain, lead to better time constraints for the cessation of kiln operations. Refractory bricks (firebricks) that are used for their chemical and thermal properties, and in particular for their resistance to high temperatures and temperature changes, are not unusual in metal melting and working sites. The firebricks from the examined site are coarse-grained and very porous inside but possess a very stable remanent magnetisation and revealed to be suitable magnetic field recorders. Although the firebricks have a single-component remanent magnetization, non-random deviations in remanence direction in function of the relative azimuth from the centre of the kiln or with the position of the bricks in the kiln wall, were observed. Several hypotheses for the origin of the deviations were considered: anisotropy, refraction, magnetic interaction, magnetic field distortion and the presence of a local disturbing magnetic source.

  10. Comparison of Artificial Neural Network (ANN Model Development Methods for Prediction of Macroinvertebrate Communities in the Zwalm River Basin in Flanders, Belgium

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    Andy P. Dedecker


    Full Text Available Modelling has become an interesting tool to support decision making in water management. River ecosystem modelling methods have improved substantially during recent years. New concepts, such as artificial neural networks, fuzzy logic, evolutionary algorithms, chaos and fractals, cellular automata, etc., are being more commonly used to analyse ecosystem databases and to make predictions for river management purposes. In this context, artificial neural networks were applied to predict macroinvertebrate communities in the Zwalm River basin (Flanders, Belgium. Structural characteristics (meandering, substrate type, flow velocity and physical and chemical variables (dissolved oxygen, pH were used as predictive variables to predict the presence or absence of macroinvertebrate taxa in the headwaters and brooks of the Zwalm River basin. Special interest was paid to the frequency of occurrence of the taxa as well as the selection of the predictors and variables to be predicted on the prediction reliability of the developed models. Sensitivity analyses allowed us to study the impact of the predictive variables on the prediction of presence or absence of macroinvertebrate taxa and to define which variables are the most influential in determining the neural network outputs.

  11. Comparison of ground motions estimated from prediction equations and from observed damage during the M = 4.6 1983 Liège earthquake (Belgium

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    D. García Moreno


    Full Text Available On 8 November 1983 an earthquake of magnitude 4.6 damaged more than 16 000 buildings in the region of Liège (Belgium. The extraordinary damage produced by this earthquake, considering its moderate magnitude, is extremely well documented, giving the opportunity to compare the consequences of a recent moderate earthquake in a typical old city of Western Europe with scenarios obtained by combining strong ground motions and vulnerability modelling. The present study compares 0.3 s spectral accelerations estimated from ground motion prediction equations typically used in Western Europe with those obtained locally by applying the statistical distribution of damaged masonry buildings to two fragility curves, one derived from the HAZUS programme of FEMA (FEMA, 1999 and another developed for high-vulnerability buildings by Lang and Bachmann (2004, and to a method proposed by Faccioli et al. (1999 relating the seismic vulnerability of buildings to the damage and ground motions. The results of this comparison reveal good agreement between maxima spectral accelerations calculated from these vulnerability and fragility curves and those predicted from attenuation law equations, suggesting peak ground accelerations for the epicentral area of the 1983 earthquake of 0.13–0.20 g (g: gravitational acceleration.

  12. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from vaccinated and non-vaccinated patients with a clinically confirmed diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia in Belgium. (United States)

    Lismond, Ann; Carbonnelle, Sylviane; Verhaegen, Jan; Schatt, Patricia; De Bel, Annelies; Jordens, Paul; Jacobs, Frédérique; Dediste, Anne; Verschuren, Frank; Huang, Te-Din; Tulkens, Paul M; Glupczynski, Youri; Van Bambeke, Françoise


    We assessed the in vitro susceptibility of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates from patients with confirmed community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) to β-lactams, macrolides and fluoroquinolones and the association of non-susceptibility and resistance with serotypes/serogroups (STs/SGs), patient's risk factors and vaccination status. Samples (blood or lower respiratory tract) were obtained in 2007-2009 from 249 patients (from seven hospitals in Belgium) with a clinical and radiological diagnosis of CAP [median age 61 years (11.6% aged 94% ST19A), 73.5% resistant to macrolides and 18-21% intermediate to β-lactams; and SG6, 33% resistant to clarithromycin. Apparent vaccine failures: 3/17 for 7-valent vaccine (children; ST6B, 23F); 16/29 for 23-valent vaccine (adults ST3, 7F, 12F, 14, 19A, 22F, 23F, 33F). Isolates from nursing home residents, hospitalised patients and patients with non-respiratory co-morbidities showed increased MICs for amoxicillin, all β-lactams, and β-lactams and macrolides, respectively. Regarding antibiotic susceptibilities: (i) amoxicillin is still useful for empirical therapy but with a high daily dose; (ii) cefuroxime axetil and macrolides (but not telithromycin) are inappropriate for empirical therapy; and (iii) moxifloxacin and levofloxacin are the next 'best empirical choice' (no resistant isolates) but levofloxacin will require 500 mg twice-daily dosing for effective coverage.

  13. Imported viral haemorrhagic fever with a potential for person-to-person transmission: review and recommendations for initial management of a suspected case in Belgium. (United States)

    Colebunders, R; Van Esbroeck, M; Moreau, M; Borchert, M


    Viral haemorrhagic fevers are caused by a wide range of viruses. There are 4 types of viruses well known to spread from person to person and able to cause nosocomial outbreaks with a high case fatality rate: an arenavirus (Lassa fever and more exceptionally the Junin and Machupo virus), a bunyavirus (Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever) and the Filoviridae (Ebola and Marburg viruses). So far there have been only a limited number of imported cases of viral haemorrhagic fever in industrialized countries. In recent years an increasing number of outbreaks of filovirus infections have occurred in Africa and in 2000 5 cases of Lassa fever were brought from Sierra Leone to Europe. Therefore European physicians should consider the possibility of a viral haemorrhagic fever in an acutely ill patient just returning from Africa or South-America with fever for which there is no obvious cause. Such patients should be questioned for risk factors for viral haemorrhagic fever. Using universal precautions for handling blood and body fluids and barrier nursing techniques there is little risk that if a patient with viral haemorrhagic fever arrives in Belgium there will be secondary cases.

  14. Brominated flame retardants and organochlorine pollutants in aquatic and terrestrial predatory birds of Belgium: levels, patterns, tissue distribution and condition factors

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    Jaspers, V.L.B. [Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium)]. E-mail:; Covaci, A. [Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Voorspoels, S. [Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Dauwe, T. [Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Eens, M. [Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Schepens, P. [Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium)


    Liver and muscle samples from 7 species of aquatic and terrestrial predatory birds from Flanders (Belgium) were analysed for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). PCBs were the predominant compounds in our samples, which showed highest concentrations in the liver of barn owl (Tyto alba) and sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) (up to 1000 {mu}g/g lipid weight). PBDEs could be determined in most samples at lower concentrations than PCBs (up to 64 {mu}g/g lipid in sparrowhawk liver). Sparrowhawks had the highest levels of hexachlorobenzene, DDTs and PBDEs. In contrast, kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) had relatively low levels of most measured organochlorines. BDE 47 was the most abundant congener in heron (Ardea cinerea) and grebe (Podiceps cristatus), while BDE 47, 99 and 153 were equally important in the terrestrial species. BDE 183 and BDE 209 were only measured in the terrestrial birds. These results indicate that terrestrial birds may be more exposed to higher brominated BDE congeners than aquatic species. - Aquatic and terrestrial predatory birds show different accumulation profiles of PBDEs.

  15. Identifying the key factors in increasing recycling and reducing residual household waste: a case study of the Flemish region of Belgium. (United States)

    Gellynck, X; Jacobsen, R; Verhelst, P


    The competent waste authority in the Flemish region of Belgium created the 'Implementation plan household waste 2003-2007' and the 'Implementation plan sustainable management 2010-2015' to comply with EU regulation. It incorporates European and regional requirements and describes strategies, goals, actions and instruments for the collection and treatment of household waste. The central mandatory goal is to reduce and maintain the amount of residual household waste to 150 kg per capita per year between 2010-2015. In literature, a reasonable body of information has been published on the effectiveness and efficiency of a variety of policy instruments, but the information is complex, often contradictory and difficult to interpret. The objective of this paper is to identify, through the development of a binary logistic regression model, those variables of the waste collection scheme that help municipalities to reach the mandatory 150 kg goal. The model covers a number of variables for household characteristics, provision of recycling services, frequency of waste collection and charging for waste services. This paper, however, is not about waste prevention and reuse. The dataset originates from 2003. Four out of 12 variables in the model contributed significantly: income per capita, cost of residual waste collection, collection frequency and separate curbside collection of organic waste.

  16. Characterisation and treatment of roads covered with zinc ashes, muffle furnace fragments and lead slags from former non-ferrous metal industries in Belgium. (United States)

    Vandecasteele, C; Van den Broeck, K; Van Gerven, T; Dutré, V; Seuntjens, P; Berghmans, P; Cornelis, C; Nouwen, J


    Zinc ashes, muffle furnace fragments and lead slags from non-ferrous industries were applied to pave roads in the North of Belgium. From an inventory it appeared that there are at least 490 km of such roads. In our survey the materials on these roads were characterised. The total metal concentration, the availability and the leaching as a function of time were determined. It appeared that these materials contain high concentrations of heavy metals, some of which are readily available. The high leaching of some metals makes them as such unsuitable as secondary construction material. Methods for the application of these materials for road construction were examined where the materials replaced part of the sand and gravel fraction in lean concrete and in bituminous mixtures, or where they replaced the sand in sand-cement mixtures, all these to be used for road foundations, cycle tracks, etc. When lead slags were applied in lean concrete, a material was obtained complying with the standards for secondary construction materials and with sufficient compressive strength for road foundations. When zinc ashes or muffle fragments were used to replace sand in sand-cement mixtures, again a suitable construction material was obtained. The other combinations tried out were rather unsuccessful, because of high metal leaching and/or poor compressive strength.

  17. Key comparison BIPM.RI(I)-K1 of the air-kerma standards of the SCK.CEN, Belgium and the BIPM in 60Co gamma radiation (United States)

    Kessler, C.; Burns, D.; Mihailescu, L. C.; Chiriotti, S.


    A first key comparison of the standards for air kerma of the Laboratory for Nuclear Calibrations (LNK) from the Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie—Centre d'Etude de l'Energie Nucleaire (SCK.CEN), Belgium and of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) was carried out in the 60Co radiation beam of the BIPM in September 2016. The comparison result, evaluated as a ratio of the SCK.CEN and the BIPM standards for air kerma, is 1.0021 with a combined standard uncertainty of 2.6 × 10-3. The results for an indirect comparison made at the same time are consistent with the direct results at the level of 7 parts in 104. The results are analysed and presented in terms of degrees of equivalence, suitable for entry in the BIPM key comparison database. Main text To reach the main text of this paper, click on Final Report. Note that this text is that which appears in Appendix B of the BIPM key comparison database The final report has been peer-reviewed and approved for publication by the CCRI, according to the provisions of the CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM MRA).

  18. Drought-related vulnerability and risk assessment of groundwater in Belgium: estimation of the groundwater recharge and crop yield vulnerability with the B-CGMS (United States)

    Jacquemin, Ingrid; Verbeiren, Boud; Vanderhaegen, Sven; Canters, Frank; Vermeiren, Karolien; Engelen, Guy; Huysmans, Marijke; Batelaan, Okke; Tychon, Bernard


    Due to common belief that regions under temperate climate are not affected by (meteorological and groundwater) drought, these events and their impacts remain poorly studied: in the GroWaDRISK, we propose to take stock of this question. We aim at providing a better understanding of the influencing factors (land use and land cover changes, water demand and climate) and the drought-related impacts on the environment, water supply and agriculture. The study area is located in the North-East of Belgium, corresponding approximatively to the Dijle and Demer catchments. To establish an overview of the groundwater situation, we assess the system input: the recharge. To achieve this goal, two models, B-CGMS and WetSpass are used to evaluate the recharge, respectively, over agricultural land and over the remaining areas, as a function of climate and for various land uses and land covers. B-CGMS, which is an adapted version for Belgium of the European Crop Growth Monitoring System, is used for assessing water recharge at a daily timestep and under different agricultural lands: arable land (winter wheat, maize...), orchards, horticulture and floriculture and for grassland. B-CGMS is designed to foresee crop yield and obviously it studies the impact of drought on crop yield and raises issues for the potential need of irrigation. For both yields and water requirements, the model proposes a potential mode, driven by temperature and solar radiation, and a water-limited mode for which water availability can limit crop growth. By this way, we can identify where and when water consumption and yield are not optimal, in addition to the Crop Water Stress Index. This index is calculated for a given crop, as the number of days affected by water stress during the growth sensitive period. Both recharge and crop yield are assessed for the current situation (1980 - 2012), taking into account the changing land use/land cover, in terms of areas and localization of the agricultural land and where

  19. Constraints for estimating the future burial depth of host rocks for geological waste disposal: a case study from the Boom Clay, Campine area, Northern Belgium (United States)

    Beerten, K.; De Craen, M.; Brassinnes, S.


    An important requirement for geological formations hosting a repository for radioactive waste is sufficient depth to ensure isolation of the waste for a very long time period, up to 1 Ma and beyond. Over such long timescales, the repository depth and the thickness of the overburden may vary significantly due to various geodynamic processes. In Belgium, the Boom Clay in the Campine area (NE-Belgium) is considered as reference host formation for the geological disposal of radioactive waste. First results are presented that illustrate the possible impact of future climate change (based on several scenarios studied in the BIOCLIM project (BIOCLIM, 2001)) and tectonic movements in the Campine area on the thickness of the sediment mass overlying the Boom Clay. At present, the subcrop area of Boom Clay in the Campine area is relatively flat (between ~ 0 m a.s.l. near the river Scheldt estuary in the west and ~ 60 m a.s.l. on the Campine Plateau in the east) and is occupied by several sub-basins that belong to the rivers Meuse and Scheldt. Future development of the area will heavily depend on the behaviour of these rivers and tributaries throughout the considered timeframe, in response to climatic changes and tectonic movements. The area is characterised by a long burial history, with some minor isolated uplift and erosional events during the last 30 Ma. In a global warming scenario during a long interglacial (> 50 ka AP), and/or in the case of subsidence, (relative) sea-level may rise such that various parts of the Boom Clay area will be occupied by the marine realm. This is likely to be a minimal erosion scenario because the baseline for landscape evolution will rise in the upstream parts while estuarine and marine deposition may increase the thickness of the overburden in the downstream parts. In the case of a continuation of Pleistocene glacial cycles, i.e. the alternation between warm interglacials and cold glacials, the area will be exposed to erosion and denudation

  20. One-year study of nitro-organic compounds and their relation to wood burning in PM10 aerosol from a rural site in Belgium (United States)

    Kahnt, Ariane; Behrouzi, Shabnam; Vermeylen, Reinhilde; Safi Shalamzari, Mohammad; Vercauteren, Jordy; Roekens, Edward; Claeys, Magda; Maenhaut, Willy


    Nitro-organic compounds were determined in a one-year set of atmospheric PM10 filter samples that were collected at a rural background site in Hamme, Belgium. In an earlier study, it was found that the site was substantially impacted by wood burning, making the filter samples appropriate for further investigations on wood burning indicators. In total, four groups of nitro-aromatic compounds (with molecular weights (MWs) of 139, 155, 169, and 183), α-pinene-related nitrooxy-organosulfates (MW 295), and the resin acid dehydroabietic acid (DHAA, MW 300) were quantified using liquid chromatography combined with negative ion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The annual mean concentrations were 0.94, 6.0, 7.7, 4.8, 7.8, and 1.76 ng m-3 for the sum of the nitrophenols (MW 139), 4-nitrocatechol (MW 155), the sums of the methyl-nitrocatechols (MW 169), of the dimethyl-nitrocatechols (MW 183), and of the α-pinene-related nitrooxy-organosulfates (MW 295), and DHAA (MW 300), respectively. 4-nitrocatechol, the sum of the methyl-nitrocatechols, and the sum of the dimethyl-nitrocatechols were substantially correlated with levoglucosan (r-values of 0.71, 0.66, and 0.65, respectively), consistent with their proposed origin from biomass burning. The nitro-aromatic compounds were also observed during the summer months, indicating a non-negligible usage of wood burning for domestic purposes at the site. The α-pinene-related nitrooxy-organosulfates (MW 295) were detected in high concentrations during the winter period, but they were poorly correlated with the biomass burning tracers. All of the targeted species showed a clear seasonal variation with highest concentrations in winter, followed by autumn, spring, and summer. Based on the DHAA measurements, it is suggested that burning of softwood is likely an important source for the formation of all the nitro-organic compounds measured.

  1. Study of recent and future trends in place of death in Belgium using death certificate data: a shift from hospitals to care homes

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    Deliens Luc


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since most patients prefer out-of-hospital death, place of death can be considered an indicator of end-of-life care quality. The study of trends in place of death is necessary to examine causes of shifts, to evaluate efforts to alter place of death and develop future policies. This study aims to examine past trends and future projections of place of death. Methods Analysis of death certificates (decedents aged ≥ 1 year in Belgium (Flanders and Brussels Capital region 1998-2007. Trends in place of death were adjusted for cause of death, sociodemographic characteristics, environmental factors, numbers of hospital beds, and residential and skilled nursing beds in care homes. Future trends were based on age- and sex-specific mortality prognoses. Results Hospital deaths decreased from 55.1% to 51.7% and care home deaths rose from 18.3% to 22.6%. The percentage of home deaths remained stable. The odds of dying in a care home versus hospital increased steadily and was 1.65 (95%CI:1.53-1.78 in 2007 compared to 1998. This increase could be attributed to the replacement of residential beds by skilled nursing beds. Continuation of these trends would result in the more than doubling of deaths in care homes and a decrease in deaths at home and in hospital by 2040. Conclusions Additional end-of-life care resources in care homes largely explain the decrease in hospital deaths. Care homes will become the main locus of end-of-life care in the future. Governments should provide sufficient skilled nursing resources in care homes to fulfil the end-of-life care preferences and needs of patients.

  2. Methodology for the elaboration of Natura 2000 sites designation acts in the Walloon Region (Belgium: calcareous grasslands in the Lesse-and-Lomme area

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    Mahy G.


    Full Text Available In the Walloon Region (Belgium, 239 sites have been selected to be included in the Natura 2000 network. The next step is to write designation acts in order to legally protect these 221,000 ha. In this pilot study, a designation act was elaborated for a Natura 2000 site of 2,569 ha and located in the Lesse-and-Lomme area within the Calestienne region. Although the site includes 40 ha of calcareous grasslands, characterised by an exceptional flora and fauna, this habitat is very threatened by abandonment and fragmentation.The methodology used to elaborate the designation act is presented with respect to calcareous grassland. Firstly, in spring and summer 2003, an accurate map of natural habitats was produced, with every single patch of calcareous grassland being mapped. Information was also collected in order to evaluate conservation status. Based on this information, conservation status was then assessed with respect to three different criteria: (1 integrity of the cortege species, (2 habitat structure and (3 degradations. Thirdly, the site was divided into objective zones according to the different habitats and species of Community interest found in the site. Hence, an objective zone was delineated for calcareous grasslands. This objective zone was then divided in several management units. Finally, at these different spatial levels (site, objective zone, management unit, management measures were suggested. As a result, in the draft designation act, the target is to maintain or restore 230 ha of calcareous grassland, instead of the existing 40 ha. This ambitious target requires large-scale restoration and an efficient grazing scheme. These will need important resources for their successful implementation

  3. Bluetongue virus detection by real-time RT-PCR in Culicoides captured during the 2006 epizootic in Belgium and development of an internal control. (United States)

    Vanbinst, T; Vandenbussche, F; Vandemeulebroucke, E; De Leeuw, I; Deblauwe, I; De Deken, G; Madder, M; Haubruge, E; Losson, B; De Clercq, K


    After the emergence of bluetongue (BT) in Belgium in 2006, two types of entomological surveys were initiated, the one to identify the local vector species, and the other to study their population dynamics. In the vector study, Culicoides were captured near farms with recently infected cattle or sheep; in the population study Culicoides were captured in two meadows situated in the BT-affected region. A total of 130 pools of parous, non-blood engorged female midges (with a mean of 7.5 midges per pool) were analysed with real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) targeting bluetongue virus (BTV) segment 5. To ensure the RNA integrity of the samples, all pools were also tested in a second RT-qPCR targeting Culicoides 18S rRNA, which served as an internal control. Seventeen pools with negative results for both 18S and BTV were excluded, most of which originated from the population survey. In the vector survey near outbreak sites, female midges of the obsoletus complex, including C. obsoletus, C. scoticus, C. dewulfi and C. chiopterus, dominated the black-light trap collections with 19 of 89 pools being BTV-positive. Moreover, all the collections from the vector survey included at least one positive pool of the obsoletus complex compared with only 20% collections (C. obsoletus/C. scoticus) in the population survey. The current study also revealed the presence of BTV RNA in one of five pools of C. pulicaris females captured near recent BT outbreaks, suggesting that this species might have played a role in transmission. Finally, the use of RT-qPCR for the recognition of new potential BTV vector species and the impact of an appropriate monitoring method and internal control are discussed.

  4. A cluster randomized trial to improve adherence to evidence-based guidelines on diabetes and reduce clinical inertia in primary care physicians in Belgium: study protocol [NTR 1369

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    Ivanova Anna


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most quality improvement programs in diabetes care incorporate aspects of clinician education, performance feedback, patient education, care management, and diabetes care teams to support primary care physicians. Few studies have applied all of these dimensions to address clinical inertia. Aim To evaluate interventions to improve adherence to evidence-based guidelines for diabetes and reduce clinical inertia in primary care physicians. Design Two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial. Participants Primary care physicians in Belgium. Interventions Primary care physicians will be randomly allocated to 'Usual' (UQIP or 'Advanced' (AQIP Quality Improvement Programs. Physicians in the UQIP will receive interventions addressing the main physician, patient, and office system factors that contribute to clinical inertia. Physicians in the AQIP will receive additional interventions that focus on sustainable behavior changes in patients and providers. Outcomes Primary endpoints are the proportions of patients within targets for three clinical outcomes: 1 glycosylated hemoglobin Primary and secondary analysis Statistical analyses will be performed using an intent-to-treat approach with a multilevel model. Linear and generalized linear mixed models will be used to account for the clustered nature of the data, i.e., patients clustered withinimary care physicians, and repeated assessments clustered within patients. To compare patient characteristics at baseline and between the intervention arms, the generalized estimating equations (GEE approach will be used, taking the clustered nature of the data within physicians into account. We will also use the GEE approach to test for differences in evolution of the primary and secondary endpoints for all patients, and for patients in the two interventions arms, accounting for within-patient clustering. Trial Registration number: NTR 1369.

  5. How to treat climate evolution in the assessment of the long-term safety of disposal facilities for radioactive waste: examples from Belgium

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    M. Van Geet


    Full Text Available In order to protect man and the environment, long-lasting, passive solutions are needed for the different categories of radioactive waste. In Belgium, three main categories of conditioned radioactive waste (termed A, B and C are defined by radiological and thermal power criteria. It is expected that Category A waste – low and intermediate level short-lived waste – will be disposed in a near-surface facility, whereas Category B and C wastes – high-level and other long-lived radioactive waste – will be disposed in a deep geological repository. In both cases, the long-term safety of a given disposal facility is evaluated. Different scenarios and assessment cases are developed illustrating the range of possibilities for the evolution and performance of a disposal system without trying to predict its precise behaviour. Within these scenarios, the evolution of the climate will play a major role as the time scales of the evaluation and long term climate evolution overlap. In case of a near-surface facility (Category A waste, ONDRAF/NIRAS is considering the conclusions of the IPCC, demonstrating that a global warming is nearly unavoidable. The consequences of such a global warming and the longer term evolutions on the evolution of the near-surface facility are considered. In case of a geological repository, in which much longer time frames are considered, even larger uncertainties exist in the various climate models. Therefore, the robustness of the geological disposal system towards the possible results of a spectrum of potential climate changes and their time of occurrence will be evaluated. The results of climate modelling and knowledge of past climate changes will merely be used as guidance of the extremes of climate changes to be considered and their consequences.

  6. Impact of iron and steel industry and waste incinerators on human exposure to dioxins, PCBs, and heavy metals: results of a cross-sectional study in Belgium. (United States)

    Fierens, Sébastien; Mairesse, Hélène; Heilier, Jean-François; Focant, Jean-François; Eppe, Gauthier; De Pauw, Edwin; Bernard, Alfred


    We evaluated the impact of two iron and steel plants and two municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWI) in Wallonia (Belgium) on the exposure of residents to dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and heavy metals. In total, 142 volunteers living around these facilities were recruited and compared with 63 referents from a rural area with no industrial source of pollution. Information about smoking habits, dietary habits, anthropometric characteristics, residential history, and health status was obtained from a self-administered questionnaire. The volunteers provided blood under fasting conditions in order to evaluate the body burden of dioxins (17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans [PCDD/Fs] congeners) and PCBs. Samples of blood and urine were also taken for the determination of cadmium, mercury, and lead. After adjustment for covariates, concentrations of cadmium, mercury, and lead in urine or blood were not increased in subjects living in the vicinity of MSWIs or sinter plants by comparison with referents. Residents around the sinter plants and the MSWI located in the industrial area had concentrations of dioxins and PCBs in serum similar to that of referents. By contrast, subjects living in the vicinity of the MSWI in the rural area showed significantly higher serum levels of dioxins (geometric mean, 38 vs. 24 pg TEQ/g fat) and coplanar PCBs (geometric mean, 10.8 vs. 7.0 pg TEQ/g fat). Although age-adjusted dioxin levels in referents did not vary with local animal fat consumption, concentrations of dioxins in subjects living around the incinerators correlated positively with their intake of local animal fat, with almost a doubling in subjects with the highest fat intake. These results indicate that dioxins and coplanar PCBs emitted by MSWIs can indeed accumulate in the body of residents who regularly consume animal products of local origin.

  7. Assessment of persistent brominated and chlorinated organic contaminants in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) in Flanders, Belgium: Levels, profiles and health risk. (United States)

    Malarvannan, Govindan; Belpaire, Claude; Geeraerts, Caroline; Eulaers, Igor; Neels, Hugo; Covaci, Adrian


    Pooled yellow European eel (Anguilla anguilla (L.)) samples, consisting of 3-10 eels, collected between 2000 and 2009 from 60 locations in Flanders (Belgium) were investigated for persistent contaminants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs). The current study expands the knowledge regarding these contaminant concentrations, their patterns and distribution profiles in aquatic ecosystems. PBDEs, HBCDs, PCBs, and DDTs were detected in all eel samples and some samples had high concentrations (up to 1400, 9500, 41,600 and 7000ng/g lw, respectively). PCB levels accounted for the majority of the contamination in most samples. The high variability in PBDE, HBCD, PCB and DDT concentrations reported here is likely due to the variety in sampling locations demonstrating variable local pollution pressures, from highly industrialised areas to small rural creeks. Among PBDEs, BDE-47 (57% contribution to the sum PBDEs), -100 (19%) and -99 (15%) were the predominant congeners, similar to the composition reported in the literature in eel samples. For HBCDs, α-HBCD (74%) was predominant followed by γ-(22%) and β-HBCD (4%) isomers in almost all eel samples. CB-153 (19%) was the most dominant PCB congener, closely followed by CB-138 (11%), CB-180 (9%), CB-187 (8%) and CB-149 (7%). The contribution to the total human exposure through local wild eel consumption was also highly variable. Intake of PBDEs and HBCDs, through consumption of wild eel, was below the RfD values for the average population (consuming on average 2.9g eel/day). At 16 out 60 sites, eels exceeded largely the new EU consumption threshold for PCBs (300ng/g ww for the sum of 6 indicator PCBs). The current data shows an on-going exposure of Flemish eels to PBDEs, HBCDs, PCBs and DDTs through indirect release from contaminated sediments or direct releases from various industries.

  8. Balancing truth-telling: relatives acting as translators for older adult cancer patients of Turkish or northwest African origin in Belgium. (United States)

    van Eechoud, I; Grypdonck, M; Leman, J; Van Den Noortgate, N; Deveugele, M; Verhaeghe, S


    The first generation of Turkish and Northwest African immigrants in Belgium are ageing and at risk for developing cancer. Relatives play an important role and provide both emotional and practical care, including mental support and acting as a contact person and/or a translator for improving access to healthcare, as most patients and their spouses have only a limited command of the language. Although access to professional interpreters has shown to be the best guarantee for qualitative healthcare, oncology health providers working with relatives as interpreters is much more common than professional interpreters. The aim of this study was to provide insight into the process wherein relatives balance truth-telling in translating for an older family member diagnosed with cancer. This was a qualitative research study, with elements of constructivist grounded theory. Twenty-eight loosely structured interviews were conducted. Most relatives consider it their responsibility to contribute to a positive attitude of the patient. Relatives decided to what extent they inform the patient, based on several motives and embedded in their assessment of the patient's emotional strength, understanding and need to be informed. What they decide influences the way they act as a translator and/or a contact person between the patient and health professional(s). Some considered it best to omit medical information while others considered it best to inform the patient fully. The results emphasise the importance for healthcare providers to take into account the complexity and unpredictable character of the process of balancing truth-telling when family members translate for their ill older relative.

  9. Water-levels fluctuations in a borehole at the Royal Observatory of Belgium: Effects on local gravity, Earth tidal, and barometric responses (United States)

    Delcourt-Honorez, M.

    A borehole was drilled at the Royal Observatory of Belgium in Brussels, next to the superconducting gravimeter. Three aquifers belong to the 'multiple aquifer-aquitard system'. Continuously since Jun. 1984, various kinds of water levels variations are registered: long term and short term variations and, in the intermediate and deep wells, periodic tidal oscillations. Moreover, the water table and the pressure heads respond to the atmospheric pressure variations. The water levels variations perturbing effects in the superconducting gravimeter registrations are estimated and the hydraulic problem and the consolidation problem are studied. The classical Bouguer's formula in theories is enlarged, taking into account the nature of the layers, the expansions or compressions of each layer, the global land surface displacement and the various hydrostatic occurrences of phases on porous media. The Bouguer's theory is also extended to the case of a finite thickness layer, by a numerical integration. The water levels variations in the intermediate and deep aquifers (at long term, at short term, and the barometric and tidal responses) are only inducing negligible perturbing effects on the superconducting gravimeter registrations but the effect of the water table drift is at the limit of the actual precision of the gravimeter registrations. On the other hand, the barometric and tidal responses of the well-aquifer systems are used to estimate the in situ parameters of both the aquifers and the aquifer system (porosity, specific storage, vertical compressibility, and permeability). The estimated values are in good agreement with those deduced by using hydrogeological, soil, and rock mechanics considerations. The research presented can be applied to any hydrogeological configuration with any complexity.

  10. Socio-economic, behavioural, (neuropsychological and clinical determinants of HRQoL in people living with HIV in Belgium: a pilot study

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    Sophie Degroote


    Full Text Available Introduction: Due to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART, HIV-1 infection has evolved from a lethal to a chronic disease. As such, health-related quality of life (HRQoL has become an important outcome variable. The purpose of this study was to identify socio-economic, behavioural, (neuropsychological and clinical determinants of HRQoL among people living with HIV (PLHIV. Methods: This study was conducted between 1 January and 31 December 2012 at the AIDS Reference Centre of Ghent University Hospital, a tertiary care referral centre in Belgium. Validated self-report questionnaires were administered to collect socio-demographic data, to assess HRQoL (Medical Outcomes Study-HIV, depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-II and adherence to HAART (Short Medication Adherence Questionnaire and to screen for neurocognitive dysfunction. Results: A total of 237 people participated, among whom 187 (78.9% were male. Mean age was 45.8±10.7 years and 144 (63.7%, 144/226 participants were homosexual. Median physical and mental health score (PHS, MHS were 55.6 (IQR 48.2–60.6 and 52.0 (IQR 44.2–57.9, respectively. Multivariable regression analysis revealed that incapacity to work, depressive symptoms, neurocognitive complaints (NCCs, dissatisfaction with the patient–physician relationship and non-adherence were all negatively associated with HRQoL. Conclusions: Socio-economic (work status, behavioural (adherence and (neuropsychological (depressive symptoms, NCCs determinants independently impact HRQoL among this cohort of PLHIV. Clinical parameters (viral load, CD4 cell count were not independently associated with HRQoL.

  11. L’outplacement après 45 ans en Belgique Outplacement after 45 years in Belgium. From Speech to Practice

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    Thibauld Moulaert*


    Full Text Available Cet article présente la généralisation de l’outplacement après 45 ans en Belgique comme une traduction possible du vieillissement actif afin d’inciter les individus à rechercher du travail par eux-mêmes. En nous inspirant des recherches sur la gouvernementalité, le vieillissement actif sert de référentiel en faveur de la prolongation des carrières (action sur la “conduite des conduites”, mais peut aussi, dans l’outplacement, agir pour responsabiliser les individus (action sur la “conduite de soi”. Sur la base d’une analyse microsociologique, l’article identifie alors les conduites attendues en termes de travail sur soi puis les réactions d’un public de plus de 45 ans qui se caractérise par des profils peu qualifiés. En conclusion, nous revenons sur une limite de ce travail en nous demandant s’il éclaire un travail sur soi ou une injonction au travail sur soi.This article presents a generalization of outplacement after 45 years in Belgium as being a possible version of active ageing aimed at encouraging individuals to seek work on their own. Taking our inspiration from research done on governmentality, active ageing serves as a frame of reference favouring the prolongation of careers (action on the “conduct of conduct”, but can also, in outplacement, act in making individuals responsible for themselves (action on “conducting oneself”. Based on micro-sociological analysis, the article then identifies the conduct expected in terms of working on oneself and subsequently the reactions of an over 45 year old public characterized as having rather unqualified profiles. In conclusion, we refocus the limits of this work in asking ourselves whether it leads to working on oneself or an injunction against working on oneself.

  12. Is the nuclear phaseout compatible with the respect of the Kyoto protocol? The example of Belgium; La sortie du nucleaire est-elle compatible avec le respect du protocole de Kyoto? l'exemple de la Belgique

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    Berger, A


    This document provides data and operations needed to evaluate the impacts of the nuclear phaseout on the respect of the Kyoto protocol. The data are based on the belgium electricity production. The author concludes that the nuclear power plants shutdown will lead to a non respect of the kyoto protocol in unacceptable limits. To respect the protocol, he presents two possibilities: the today nuclear park and the use of 1600 wind turbines of 2 MW, or the improvement of the energy efficiency of the thermal power plants. (A.L.B.)

  13. Unexpected sensitivity of the annual net ecosystem exchange to the high frequency loss corrections in a grazed grassland site in Belgium (United States)

    Mamadou, Ossenatou; Gourlez de la Motte, Louis; De Ligne, Anne; Bernard, Heineisch; Aubinet, Marc


    Although widely used to measure CO2 and other gas fluxes, the eddy covariance technique still needs methodological improvements. This research focuses on the high frequency loss corrections, which are especially important when using a closed-path infrared gas analyzer. We compared three approaches to implement these corrections for CO2 fluxes and evaluated their impact on the carbon balance at the Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory (DTO), an intensively grazed grassland site in Belgium. The carbon balance at DTO is also the object of a separate analysis (Gourlez de la Motte et al., Geophysical Research Abstract, Vol. 18, EGU2016-6813-1, 2016). In the first approach, the computation of correction factors was based on the measured sensible heat cospectra ('local' cospectra), whereas the other two were based on theoretical models (Kaimal et al., 1972). The correction approaches were validated by comparing the nighttime eddy covariance CO2 fluxes corrected with each approach and in situ soil respiration measurements. We found that the local cospectra differed from the Kaimal theoretical shape, although the site could not be considered 'difficult' (i.e., fairly flat, homogeneous, low vegetation, sufficient measurement height), appearing less peaked in the inertial subrange. This difference greatly affected the correction factor, especially for night fluxes. Night fluxes measured by eddy covariance were found to be in good agreement with in situ soil respiration measurements when corrected with local cospectra and to be overestimated when corrected with Kaimal cospectra. As the difference between correction factors was larger in stable than unstable conditions, this acts as a selective systematic error and has an important impact on annual fluxes. On the basis of a 4-year average, at DTO, the errors reach 71-150 g C m-2 y-1 for net ecosystem exchange (NEE), 280-562 g C m-2 y-1 for total ecosystem respiration (TER) and 209-412 g C m-2 y-1 for gross primary productivity (GPP

  14. Geostatistical interpolation of daily rainfall at catchment scale: the use of several variogram models in the Ourthe and Ambleve catchments, Belgium

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    S. Ly


    Full Text Available Spatial interpolation of precipitation data is of great importance for hydrological modelling. Geostatistical methods (kriging are widely applied in spatial interpolation from point measurement to continuous surfaces. The first step in kriging computation is the semi-variogram modelling which usually used only one variogram model for all-moment data. The objective of this paper was to develop different algorithms of spatial interpolation for daily rainfall on 1 km2 regular grids in the catchment area and to compare the results of geostatistical and deterministic approaches. This study leaned on 30-yr daily rainfall data of 70 raingages in the hilly landscape of the Ourthe and Ambleve catchments in Belgium (2908 km2. This area lies between 35 and 693 m in elevation and consists of river networks, which are tributaries of the Meuse River. For geostatistical algorithms, seven semi-variogram models (logarithmic, power, exponential, Gaussian, rational quadratic, spherical and penta-spherical were fitted to daily sample semi-variogram on a daily basis. These seven variogram models were also adopted to avoid negative interpolated rainfall. The elevation, extracted from a digital elevation model, was incorporated into multivariate geostatistics. Seven validation raingages and cross validation were used to compare the interpolation performance of these algorithms applied to different densities of raingages. We found that between the seven variogram models used, the Gaussian model was the most frequently best fit. Using seven variogram models can avoid negative daily rainfall in ordinary kriging. The negative estimates of kriging were observed for convective more than stratiform rain. The performance of the different methods varied slightly according to the density of raingages, particularly between 8 and 70 raingages but it was much different for interpolation using 4 raingages. Spatial interpolation with the geostatistical and

  15. Muslim consumer’s motivations towards meat consumption in Belgium : qualitative exploratory insights from means-end chain analysis

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    Karijn Bonne


    Full Text Available Dans cette étude, la théorie du Means-End chain (MEC a été utilisée afin d’examiner quelles caractéristiques de la viande fraîche sont importantes pour les consommateurs musulmans, quelles sont les motivations pour l’achat de viande (halal et dans quelle mesure les tendances en consommation de viande sont applicables aux consommateurs musulmans. Au total 50 interviews, sur base de la technique laddering, concernant la consommation de la viande ont été effectuées auprès de la première et deuxième génération de musulmans en Belgique. Les résultats sont repris dans une carte de valeurs hiérarchiques (HVM représentant une carte de structures cognitives agrégées. De manière générale, les consommateurs musulmans achètent de la viande pour atteindre les valeurs suivantes : la santé, la foi, le respect pour le bien-être des animaux mais également pour jouir de la vie et prendre soin de la famille. Les différences observées dans la comparaison des HVM pourraient être expliquées par des effets de génération, l’âge ou le sexe.In this study, the means-end chain (MEC theory is used to investigate which attributes of fresh meat are important to Muslim consumers, to depict their motivations to buy (halal meat and to assess whether meat consumer trends apply for Muslims in the same sense as for non-Muslims. A total of 50 in-depth laddering interviews about meat consumption have been performed with first- and second-generation Muslims living in Belgium. A common output of a means-end study is a Hierarchical Value Map (HVM representing an aggregate cognitive or motivational structure. Overall, health, faith, respect for animal welfare, enjoying life, and care for family are the main goals Muslim consumers strive for when buying meat. Differences in motivational structures are explained by generation, age or gender effects.

  16. Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage as an ecosystem service for Brussels, Belgium: investigating iron (hydr)oxide precipitation with reactive transport modeling (United States)

    Anibas, Christian; Possemiers, Mathias; Huysmans, Marijke


    In an evolving energy system it is important that urbanized areas contribute to their own energy demands. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions sustainable energy systems with a high efficiency are required, e.g. using urban aquifers as an ecosystem service. Here the potential of seasonal aquifer thermal energy storage and recovery (ATES) for the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium is investigated. An important shallow geologic formation in the Brussels Capital Region is the Brussels Sand formation, a 20-60 m thick phreatic aquifer. The Brussels Sand Formation is known for its potential for ATES systems, but also for its varying redox and hydraulic conditions. Important limiting factors for ATES systems in the Brussels Sand Formation therefore are the hydraulic conductivity and the geochemical composition of the groundwater. Near the redox boundary iron hydroxide precipitation can negatively influence ATES well performance due to clogging. The interactions between physical processes (e.g. particle transport and clogging in the wider proximity of the ATES well) and chemical processes (e.g. influence of the operation temperatures on precipitation processes) during ATES operation are complex but not well understood. Therefore we constructed numerical groundwater flow models in MODFLOW to estimate maximum pumping and injection rates of different hydraulic conditions and competing water uses in the Brussels Sand Formation. In further steps the thermal potential for ATES was quantified using MT3DMS and the reactive transport model PHT3D was applied to assess the effects of operating ATES systems near the redox boundary. Results show that initial mixing plays an important role in the development of iron(hydr)oxide precipitation around the ATES wells, with the highest concentrations around the cold wells. This behavior is enhanced by the temperature effect; temperature differences of ΔT≈10°C already influence the iron (hydr)oxide concentration. The initial injection into the

  17. Macroseismic investigation of the 2008-2010 low magnitude seismic swarm in the Brabant Massif, Belgium. The link between macroseismic intensity and geomorphology (United States)

    Van Noten, Koen; Lecocq, Thomas; Vleminckx, Bart; Camelbeeck, Thierry


    Between July 2008 and January 2010 a seismic swarm took place in a region 20 km south of Brussels, Belgium. The sequence started on the 12th of July 2008 with a ML = 2.2 event and was followed the day after by the largest event in the sequence (ML = 3.2). Thanks to a locally installed temporary seismic monitoring system more than 300 low magnitude events, with events as low as ML = -0.7, have been detected. Results of the relocations of the different hypocenters and analysis of the focal mechanisms show that the majority of these earthquakes took place at several km's depth (3 to 6 km) along a (possibly blind) 1.5 km long NW-SE fault (zone) situated in the Cambrian basement rocks of the Brabant Massif. Remarkably, 60 events (0.6 ˜ ML ˜ 3.2) were felt, or heard only sometimes, by the local population. This was detected by the "Did you feel it?" macroseismic inquiries on the ROB seismology website ( For each event a classical macroseismic intensity map has been constructed based on the average macroseismic intensity of each community. Within a single community, however, the reported macroseismic intensities locally often vary ranging between non-damaging intensities of I and IV (on the EMS-98 scale). Using the average macroseismic intensity of a community therefore often oversimplificates the local intensity, especially in hilly areas in which local site effects could have influenced the impact of the earthquakes at the surface. In this presentation we investigate if the perception of the people of how they experienced the small events (sound, vibrations) was influenced by local geomorphological site effects. First, based on available borehole and outcrop data a sediment thickness map of the Cenozoic and Quaternary cover above the basement rocks of the Brabant Massif is constructed in a 200 km2 area around the different epicenters. Second, several electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) profiles are conducted in order to locally improve the

  18. Chemical characterisation of atmospheric aerosols during a 2007 summer field campaign at Brasschaat, Belgium: sources and source processes of biogenic secondary organic aerosol

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    Y. Gómez-González


    Full Text Available Measurements of organic marker compounds and inorganic species were performed on PM2.5 aerosols from a Belgian forest site that is severely impacted by urban pollution ("De Inslag", Brasschaat, Belgium during a 2007 summer period within the framework of the "Formation mechanisms, marker compounds, and source apportionment for biogenic atmospheric aerosols (BIOSOL" project. The measured organic species included (i low-molecular weight (MW dicarboxylic acids (LMW DCAs, (ii methanesulfonate (MSA, (iii terpenoic acids originating from the oxidation of α-pinene, β-pinene, d-limonene and Δ3-carene, and (iv organosulfates related to secondary organic aerosol from the oxidation of isoprene and α-pinene. The organic tracers explained, on average, 5.3 % of the organic carbon (OC, of which 0.7 % was due to MSA, 3.4 % to LMW DCAs, 0.6 % to organosulfates, and 0.6 % to terpenoic acids. The highest atmospheric concentrations of most species were observed during the first five days of the campaign, which were characterised by maximum day-time temperatures >22 °C. Most of the terpenoic acids and the organosulfates peaked during day-time, consistent with their local photochemical origin. High concentrations of 3-methyl-1,2,3-butanetricarboxylic acid (MBTCA and low concentrations of cis-pinonic acid were noted during the first five days of the campaign, indicative of an aged biogenic aerosol. Several correlations between organic species were very high (r>0.85, high (0.7<r<0.85, or substantial (0.5<r<0.7, suggesting that they are generated through similar formation pathways. Substantial correlations with temperature were found for OC, water-soluble OC, MBTCA, and several other organic species. MBTCA and terebic acid were highly correlated with the temperature (r>0.7 and showed an Arrhenius-type relationship, consistent with their formation through OH radical chemistry.

  19. Quantification of human impact on past erosion and sediment dynamics - lessons learned from a case study in the Dijle catchment, Belgium (United States)

    Broothaerts, Nils; Notebaert, Bastiaan; Verstraeten, Gert


    Humans have changed the intensities and processes of soil erosion, sediment transport and sediment deposition since the introduction of agriculture. Although the general framework of these changes are well established, we still lack a detailed model of the impact-response relationship to fully grasp how, when and to what extent humans have changed the sediment transfers at the catchment scale. In this study we provide an holistic approach that combines detailed and well-dated data on erosion intensities and floodplain sedimentation with detailed data on human impact in the landscape, for the Dijle catchment (758 km²), Belgium. The field data shows increasing erosion and sedimentation rates throughout the Holocene resulting in important changes in floodplain morphology. These changes, however, are not occurring synchronous: large variability in the timing of the system response has been observed both at the scale of individual floodplain transects as well as at the catchment scale. Moreover, a detailed time-differentiated sediment budget, together with pollen-based quantitative measures of human impact , reveals important differences in time-lags, threshold levels and in the impact-response model at the catchment scale. We attribute this to the spatial and temporal variability in hillslope-floodplain connectivity and to differences in the timing and intensity of human activities between subcatchments. Overall, our data shows that the relationship between the intensity of anthropogenic disturbances and the changes in sediment dynamics is non-linear, both in space and time, and indicates that traditional extrapolation techniques and assumptions in erosion-sedimentation studies can be questioned. In particular, the use of point-specific volumetric sedimentation rates is problematic for obtaining a correct understanding of the human impact on sediment transfers. It also means that regional or global sediment databases needs to be sufficient large to correctly interpret

  20. Impact of passenger car NOx emissions and NO2 fractions on urban NO2 pollution - Scenario analysis for the city of Antwerp, Belgium (United States)

    Degraeuwe, Bart; Thunis, Philippe; Clappier, Alain; Weiss, Martin; Lefebvre, Wouter; Janssen, Stijn; Vranckx, Stijn


    The annual NO2 concentrations in many European cities exceed the established air quality standard. This situation is mainly caused by Diesel cars whose NOx emissions are higher on the road than during type approval in the laboratory. Moreover, the fraction of NO2 in the NOx emissions of modern diesel cars appears to have increased as compared to previous models. In this paper, we assess 1) to which level the distance-specific NOx emissions of Diesel cars should be reduced to meet established air quality standards and 2) if it would be useful to introduce a complementary NO2 emissions limit. We develop a NO2 pollution model that accounts in an analysis of 9 emission scenarios for changes in both, the urban background NO2 concentrations and the local NO2 emissions at street level. We apply this model to the city of Antwerp, Belgium. The results suggest that a reduction in NOx emissions decreases the regional and urban NO2 background concentration; high NO2 fractions increase the ambient NO2 concentrations only in close spatial proximity to the emission source. In a busy access road to the city centre, the average NO2 concentration can be reduced by 23% if Diesel cars emitted 0.35 g NOx/km instead of the current 0.62 g NOx/km. Reductions of 45% are possible if the NOX emissions of Diesel cars decreased to the level of gasoline cars (0.03 g NOx/km). Our findings suggest that the Real-Driving Emissions (RDE) test procedure can solve the problem of NO2 exceedances in cities if it reduced the on-road NOx emissions of diesel cars to the permissible limit of 0.08 g/km. The implementation of a complementary NO2 emissions limit may then become superfluous. If Diesel cars continue to exceed by several factors their NOx emissions limit on the road, a shift of the vehicle fleet to gasoline cars may be necessary to solve persisting air quality problems.

  1. A new groundwater radiocarbon correction approach accounting for palaeoclimate conditions during recharge and hydrochemical evolution: The Ledo-Paniselian Aquifer, Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blaser, P.C., E-mail: [Petraconsult buero fuer angewandte geologie dipl. geol. petra c. blaser, Bergstrasse 269, CH 8707 Uetikon am See (Switzerland); Coetsiers, M. [Laboratory for Applied Geology and Hydrogeology, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium); Aeschbach-Hertig, W. [Institut fuer Umweltphysik, Universitaet Heidelberg, D-69120 Heidelberg (Germany); Kipfer, R. [Department of Water Resources and Drinking Water, Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, CH-8600 Duebendorf (Switzerland)] [Institute of Isotope Geochemistry and Mineral Resources, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich (Switzerland); Van Camp, M. [Laboratory for Applied Geology and Hydrogeology, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium); Loosli, H.H. [Department of Climate and Environmental Physics, University of Bern, CH 3012 Bern (Switzerland); Walraevens, K. [Laboratory for Applied Geology and Hydrogeology, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent (Belgium)


    The particular objective of the present work is the development of a new radiocarbon correction approach accounting for palaeoclimate conditions at recharge and hydrochemical evolution. Relevant climate conditions at recharge are atmospheric pCO{sub 2} and infiltration temperatures, influencing C isotope concentrations in recharge waters. The new method is applied to the Ledo-Paniselian Aquifer in Belgium. This is a typical freshening aquifer where recharge takes place through the semi-confining cover of the Bartonian Clay. Besides cation exchange which is the major influencing process for the evolution of groundwater chemistry (particularly in the Bartonian Clay), also mixing with the original porewater solution (fossil seawater) occurs in the aquifer. Recharge temperatures were based on noble gas measurements. Potential infiltration water compositions, for a range of possible pCO{sub 2}, temperature and calcite dissolution system conditions, were calculated by means of PHREEQC. Then the sampled groundwaters were modelled starting from these infiltration waters, using the computer code NETPATH and considering a wide range of geochemical processes. Fitting models were selected on the basis of correspondence of calculated {delta}{sup 13}C with measured {delta}{sup 13}C. The {sup 14}C modelling resulted in residence times ranging from Holocene to Pleistocene (few hundred years to over 40 ka) and yielded consistent results within the uncertainty estimation. Comparison was made with the {delta}{sup 13}C and Fontes and Garnier correction models, that do not take climate conditions at recharge into account. To date these are considered as the most representative process-oriented existing models, yet differences in calculated residence times of mostly several thousands of years (up to 19 ka) are revealed with the newly calculated ages being mostly (though not always) younger. Not accounting for climate conditions at recharge (pCO{sub 2} and temperature) is thus producing

  2. Investigation of an excess of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 14b and MLVA type 4-7-3-13-10-2-2 in Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany during 2010. (United States)

    Mossong, J; Ragimbeau, C; Schuh, J; Weicherding, P; Peetso, R; Wildemauwe, C; Imberechts, H; Rabsch, W; Bertrand, S


    We investigated an increase of human cases of Salmonella Enteritidis occurring from August until November 2010 in Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany involving an estimated three hundred laboratory confirmed cases. Molecular typing indicated that the increase in Luxembourg and Belgium was due a particular strain having phage type 14b, MLVA pattern 4-7-3-13-10-2-2 and fully susceptible to the Enternet panel of antibiotics. MLVA and phage typing were found to have similar discriminatory power on a collection of 40 Belgian and Luxembourg strains isolated during 2010. Epidemiological investigations in Luxembourg suggested eggs as a possible source for some cases, although supermarket eggs tested were negative. No other EU countries observed a substantial increase of cases, although three smaller outbreaks in Germany were also due to a strain with the same phage type and MLVA pattern. In 2010 the EU directive banning battery cages came into force in Germany followed by a dioxin food scare incident. Given that the EU Laying Hens Directive will come into force across all Member States in 2012, a closer monitoring of Salmonella contamination of imported eggs at retail and wholesale level is recommended.

  3. Changes in species richness and spatial distribution of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) inferred from museum specimen records and a recent inventory: a case study from Belgium suggests recent expanded distribution of arbovirus and malaria vectors. (United States)

    Dekoninck, W; Hendrickx, F; Versteirt, V; Coosemans, M; De Clercq, E M; Hendrickx, G; Hance, T; Grootaert, P


    Mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) distribution data from a recent inventory of native and invading mosquito species in Belgium were compared with historical data from the period 1900-1960 that were retrieved from a revision of the Belgian Culicidae collection at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences. Both data sets were used to investigate trends in mosquito species richness in several regions in Belgium. The relative change in distribution area of mosquito species was particularly important for species that use waste waters and used tires as larval habitats and species that recently shifted their larval habitat to artificial larval habitats. More importantly, several of these species are known as vectors of arboviruses and Plasmodium sp. and the apparent habitat shift of some of them brought these species in proximity to humans. Similar studies comparing current mosquito richness with former distribution data retrieved from voucher specimens from collections is therefore encouraged because they can generate important information concerning health risk assessment at both regional and national scale.

  4. Belgium:Federal State that the Local Cultural Community to provide Cultural Services Security%比利时:地方文化共同体提供文化服务保障的联邦制国家

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    比利时是君主立宪制下的联邦制国家,按照语言分为荷语区、法语区、德语区和布鲁塞尔双语区四个语言区,法兰西、荷兰和德意志三个文化共同体。比利时的文化政策发展主要是在二战后,文化政策的框架形成于1960年代。比利时文化政策的目标基于政治和文化民主的原则上,三个文化体有各自坚持的原则。比利时的公共文化政策内容丰富,涉及跨文化交流、文化参与、文化多样性和包容性、文化创新、文化支持、数字文化、生态文化、艺术教育和跨文化教育、业余文化等方面。《宪法》和《文化协定法案》是比利时公共文化遵循的一般立法,除此之外还有公共文化立法和部门具体立法。按各级政府和部门对公共文化支出进行了分解,并对公共文化消费情况和雇佣情况进行了研究。%Belgium is a federal state under the constitutional monarchy.It divided into Flemish region, French region,German-speaking region and Brussels bilingual region four language areas and French,Flemish and German-speaking cultural community.The field of cultural policies in Belgium developed followed the Second World War and a framework of culture polices was completed towards the end of the sixties.Belgium cultural policy objec-tives are based on the principles of political and cultural democracy.Three cultural community have their own princi-ples.The content of Belgium cultural policy is rich which involves cultural communication,cultural involvement,cul-tural diversity and cultural inclusive,cultural innovation,cultural support,digital culture,eco-culture,art educa-tion and cross-culture education,amateur arts and so on.The Constitution of Belgium and Cultural Pact Art are the general legislation.In addition there are legislation on culture and sector specific legislation.It breaks down the cul-tural expenditures according to the levels of government and department

  5. Microbial adaption to a pesticide in agricultural soils: Accelerated degradation of 14C-atrazine in field soils from Brazil and Belgium (United States)

    Jablonowski, Nicolai David; Martinazzo, Rosane; Hamacher, Georg; Accinelli, Cesare; Köppchen, Stephan; Langen, Ulrike; Linden, Andreas; Krause, Martina; Burauel, Peter


    An increasing demand for food, feed and bioenergy, and simultaneously a decline of arable land will require an intensive agricultural production including the use of pesticides. With an increasing use of pesticides the occurrence of an accelerated degradation potential has to be assessed. Atrazine [2-chloro-4-(ethylamino)-6-(isopropylamino)-s-triazine] is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. Even though its use was banned in several countries it is still widely used throughout America and the Asia-Pacific region. Atrazine is the most widely used herbicide in maize plantations in Brazil and the US. The use of atrazine in Belgium and all EU member states was banned in September 2004, with the permission to consume existing stocks until October 2005. Atrazine and its residues are still regularly detected in soil, ground and surface waters even years after its prohibition. Its persistence in soil and in association with organic particles might become crucial in terms of erosion due to climate and environmental changes. Due to its potential microbiological accessibility, the microbial mineralization of atrazine competes with chemical/physical interaction such as sorption and binding processes of the chemical molecule in the soil matrix. Binding or intrusion of the chemical on soil components results in a decrease of its accessibility for soil microbes, which does not necessarily exclude the molecule from environmental interactions. In the present study the accelerated atrazine degradation in agriculturally used soils was examined. Soil samples were collected from a Rhodic Ferralsol, Campinas do Sul, South Brazil, and Geric Ferralsol, Correntina, Northeastern Brazil. The sampling site of the Rhodic Ferralsol soil has been under crop rotation (soybean/wheat/maize/oat) since 1990. The Geric Ferralsol site has alternately been cultivated with maize and soybean since 2000. Both areas have been treated biennially with atrazine at recommended doses of 1.5 - 3

  6. Dynamic modelling of future land use change under urbanization and climate change pressures: application to a case study in central Belgium (United States)

    Jacquemin, I.; Fontaine, C. M.; Dendoncker, N.; François, L.; De Vreese, R.; Marek, A.; Mortelmans, D.; Van Herzele, A.; Devillet, G.


    version of the model developed for natural vegetation has been upgraded to include crop systems and pastures. The ABM (Murray-Rust, Journal of Land Use Science, 6(2-3):83-99, 2011) describes the management choices (e.g., crop rotation, intensive agriculture or organic farming, etc) for each land plot, as well as the possible change in their affectation (e.g., conversion of farm fields to residential areas in response to urbanization), under different socio-economic contexts described in the storyline of three scenarios depicting general societal orientations (business-as-usual; market oriented; sustainability oriented). As a result, the ABM produces a dynamic evolution of land use and management options to be passed on to the DVM for further analysis. The outputs from the DVM allow evaluating quantitatively the provision of EGS by each land plot. This DVM-ABM modelling tool is thus able to describe the future evolution of land use and land cover, as well as of EGS production, in the context of socio-economic scenarios. The model is applied to a case study area covering four municipalities located in central Belgium close to Brussels and Leuven. The area is mostly composed of agricultural fields (crops and meadows), residential areas and a large protected forest (Meerdaalbos) and is subject to intense urbanization pressure due to the proximity to Brussels.

  7. Impact of land-use and long-term (>150 years) charcoal accumulation on microbial activity, biomass and community structure in temperate soils (Belgium). (United States)

    Hardy, Brieuc; Cornelis, Jean-Thomas; Dufey, Joseph E.


    In the last decade, biochar has been increasingly investigated as a soil amendment for long-term soil carbon sequestration while improving soil fertility. On the short term, biochar application to soil generally increases soil respiration as well as microbial biomass and activity and affects significantly the microbial community structure. However, such effects are relatively short-term and tend to vanish over time. In our study, we investigated the long-term impact of charcoal accumulation and land-use on soil biota in temperate haplic Luvisols developed in the loess belt of Wallonia (Belgium). Charcoal-enriched soils were collected in the topsoil of pre-industrial (>150 years old) charcoal kilns in forest (4 sites) and cropland (5 sites). The topsoil of the adjacent charcoal-unaffected soils was sampled in a comparable way. Soils were characterized (pH, total, organic and inorganic C, total N, exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, Na, cation exchange capacity and available P) and natural soil organic matter (SOM) and black carbon (BC) contents were determined by differential scanning calorimetry. After rewetting at pF 2.5, soils were incubated during 140 days at 20 °C. At 70 days of incubation, 10 g of each soil were freeze dried in order to measure total microbial biomass and community structure by PLFA analysis. The PLFA dataset was analyzed by principal component analysis (PCA) while soil parameters were used as supplementary variables. For both agricultural and forest soils, the respiration rate is highly related to the total microbial biomass (R²=0.90). Both soil respiration and microbial biomass greatly depend on the SOM content, which indicates that the BC pool is relatively inert microbiologically. Land-use explains most of the variance in the PLFA dataset, largely governing the first principal component of the ACP. In forest soils, we observe a larger proportion of gram + bacteria, actinomycetes and an increased bacteria:fungi ratio compared to cropland, where gram

  8. Chemical characterisation of atmospheric aerosols during a 2007 summer field campaign at Brasschaat, Belgium: sources and source processes, time series, diel variations, and temperature dependencies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Gómez-González


    Full Text Available Measurements of organic marker compounds and inorganic species were performed on PM2.5 aerosols from a Belgian forest site that is severely impacted by urban pollution ("De Inslag", Brasschaat, Belgium during a 2007 summer period within the framework of the "Formation mechanisms, marker compounds, and source apportionment for biogenic atmospheric aerosols (BIOSOL" project. The objectives of this study were to determine sources, source processes, time series, and diel variations of the organic species, and to explore the relationships between their concentrations and those of trace gases (O3, NO2, SO2, and CO2 or meteorological parameters (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and rain fall. The measured organic species included (i low-molecular weight (MW dicarboxylic acids (LMW DCAs, (ii methanesulfonate (MSA, and (iii terpenoic acids originating from the oxidation of α-pinene, β-pinene, d-limonene and Δ3-carene, and (iv organosulfates related to secondary organic aerosol (SOA from the oxidation of isoprene and α-pinene. The measurements of MSA, the LMW DCAs and selected inorganic species were done with ion chromatography (IC, while those of the terpenoic acids and organosulfates were performed using liquid chromatography with negative ion electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry [LC/(−ESI-MS]. The organic tracers explained, on average, 5.3 % of the organic carbon (OC, of which 0.7 % was due to MSA, 3.4 % to LMW DCAs, and 1.2 % to organosulfates and terpenoic acids. The highest atmospheric concentrations of most species were observed during the first five days of the campaign, which were characterised by maximum day-time temperatures >22 °C. Most of the terpenoic acids and the organosulfates peaked during day-time, consistent with their photochemical origin, except the MW 295 α-pinene-related nitrooxy organosulfates and the terpenoic acids,

  9. Study on the Upgrading and Recognition of Qualifications in the Field of the Restoration and Rehabilitation of the Architectural Heritage. Summary Report. National Reports: Federal Republic of Germany, Belgium Dutch-Speaking Region, France, Italy, United Kingdom. CEDEFOP Panorama. First Edition. (United States)

    Paulet, Jean-Louis; And Others

    Five studies assessed the impact on systems and jobs of the recognition of qualifications in the field of the restoration and rehabilitation of the architectural heritage in five countries: Germany, Belgium Dutch-speaking region, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. A striking feature in all five countries was the insignificant share of initial…

  10. 13 September 2013 - Chairman of the Board of Directors of the von Karman Institute Kingdom of Belgium J.-P. Contzen visiting the ATLAS experimental cavern with ATLAS Former Spokesperson P. Jenni; visiting the LHC tunnel at Point 1 with Technology Department N. Delruelle and signing the guest book with Technology Department Head F. Bordry. International Relations Adviser T. Kurtyka present.

    CERN Multimedia

    Laurent Egli (visit)


    13 September 2013 - Chairman of the Board of Directors of the von Karman Institute Kingdom of Belgium J.-P. Contzen visiting the ATLAS experimental cavern with ATLAS Former Spokesperson P. Jenni; visiting the LHC tunnel at Point 1 with Technology Department N. Delruelle and signing the guest book with Technology Department Head F. Bordry. International Relations Adviser T. Kurtyka present.

  11. Aerial imagery and structure-from-motion based DEM reconstruction of region-sized areas (Sierra Arana, Spain and Namur Province, Belgium) using an high-altitude drifting balloon platform. (United States)

    Burlet, Christian; María Mateos, Rosa; Azañón, Jose Miguel; Perez, José Vicente; Vanbrabant, Yves


    A new type of untethered balloon based mapping platform allows affordable remote sensing applications from higher altitudes and with a greater range and payload capacity than common motorized UAV's. The airborne device, called "Stratochip", is based on a dual helium balloons configuration. At a defined altitude (comprised between 1000 and 30000m), the first balloon is released, drastically reducing the platform climbing rate. The payload (up to 10kg) can then drift in a sub-horizontal trajectory until it leaves a pre-defined area of interest. Leaving the pre-defined area, the second balloon is released and the payload is recovered after a parachute landing. The predicted flight path of the Stratochip, launch site and surveyed area are calculated using both forecasted (NOAA model) and real-time (inborne instruments) meteorological data, along with the physical parameters of the balloons and parachute. The predicted recovery area can also be refined in real-time to secure and facilitate equipment retrieval. In this study, we present the results of two cartographic campaigns made in Belgium (Famennian outcrops near Beauraing, Namur Province) and Spain (karstic field in the Eastern part of Sierra Arana, Granada region). Those campaigns aimed to test the usability of the Stratochip to survey a large area at medium altitudes (3000m-8000m) and produced an updated Digital Elevation Model and orthophoto mosaic of those regions. For that purpose, the instrument installed in the Stratochip payload was constituted of a digital camera stabilized with two IMU's and two brushless motors. An automated routine then tilted the camera at predefined angles while taking pictures of the ground. This technique allowed to maximize the photogrammetric information collected on a single pass flight, and improved the DEM reconstruction quality, using structure-from-motion algorithms. Three sets of data (DEM + orthophoto) were created from those campaigns, using pictures sets collected a

  12. Quality of life of residents with dementia in long-term care settings in the Netherlands and Belgium: design of a longitudinal comparative study in traditional nursing homes and small-scale living facilities

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    Luijkx Katrien G


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The increase in the number of people with dementia will lead to greater demand for residential care. Currently, large nursing homes are trying to transform their traditional care for residents with dementia to a more home-like approach, by developing small-scale living facilities. It is often assumed that small-scale living will improve the quality of life of residents with dementia. However, little scientific evidence is currently available to test this. The following research question is addressed in this study: Which (combination of changes in elements affects (different dimensions of the quality of life of elderly residents with dementia in long-term care settings over the course of one year? Methods/design A longitudinal comparative study in traditional and small-scale long-term care settings, which follows a quasi-experimental design, will be carried out in Belgium and the Netherlands. To answer the research question, a model has been developed which incorporates relevant elements influencing quality of life in long-term care settings. Validated instruments will be used to evaluate the role of these elements, divided into environmental characteristics (country, type of ward, group size and nursing staff; basic personal characteristics (age, sex, cognitive decline, weight and activities of daily living; behavioural characteristics (behavioural problems and depression; behavioural interventions (use of restraints and use of psychotropic medication; and social interaction (social engagement and visiting frequency of relatives. The main outcome measure for residents in the model is quality of life. Data are collected at baseline, after six and twelve months, from residents living in either small-scale or traditional care settings. Discussion The results of this study will provide an insight into the determinants of quality of life for people with dementia living in traditional and small-scale long-term care settings in

  13. Regional Inequalities in Lung Cancer Mortality in Belgium at the Beginning of the 21st Century: The Contribution of Individual and Area-Level Socioeconomic Status and Industrial Exposure.

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    Paulien Hagedoorn

    Full Text Available Being a highly industrialized country with one of the highest male lung cancer mortality rates in Europe, Belgium is an interesting study area for lung cancer research. This study investigates geographical patterns in lung cancer mortality in Belgium. More specifically it probes into the contribution of individual as well as area-level characteristics to (sub-district patterns in lung cancer mortality. Data from the 2001 census linked to register data from 2001-2011 are used, selecting all Belgian inhabitants aged 65+ at time of the census. Individual characteristics include education, housing status and home ownership. Urbanicity, unemployment rate, the percentage employed in mining and the percentage employed in other high-risk industries are included as sub-district characteristics. Regional variation in lung cancer mortality at sub-district level is estimated using directly age-standardized mortality rates. The association between lung cancer mortality and individual and area characteristics, and their impact on the variation of sub-district level is estimated using multilevel Poisson models. Significant sub-district variations in lung cancer mortality are observed. Individual characteristics explain a small share of this variation, while a large share is explained by sub-district characteristics. Individuals with a low socioeconomic status experience a higher lung cancer mortality risk. Among women, an association with lung cancer mortality is found for the sub-district characteristics urbanicity and unemployment rate, while for men lung cancer mortality was associated with the percentage employed in mining. Not just individual characteristics, but also area characteristics are thus important determinants of (regional differences in lung cancer mortality.

  14. Regional Inequalities in Lung Cancer Mortality in Belgium at the Beginning of the 21st Century: The Contribution of Individual and Area-Level Socioeconomic Status and Industrial Exposure. (United States)

    Hagedoorn, Paulien; Vandenheede, Hadewijch; Willaert, Didier; Vanthomme, Katrien; Gadeyne, Sylvie


    Being a highly industrialized country with one of the highest male lung cancer mortality rates in Europe, Belgium is an interesting study area for lung cancer research. This study investigates geographical patterns in lung cancer mortality in Belgium. More specifically it probes into the contribution of individual as well as area-level characteristics to (sub-district patterns in) lung cancer mortality. Data from the 2001 census linked to register data from 2001-2011 are used, selecting all Belgian inhabitants aged 65+ at time of the census. Individual characteristics include education, housing status and home ownership. Urbanicity, unemployment rate, the percentage employed in mining and the percentage employed in other high-risk industries are included as sub-district characteristics. Regional variation in lung cancer mortality at sub-district level is estimated using directly age-standardized mortality rates. The association between lung cancer mortality and individual and area characteristics, and their impact on the variation of sub-district level is estimated using multilevel Poisson models. Significant sub-district variations in lung cancer mortality are observed. Individual characteristics explain a small share of this variation, while a large share is explained by sub-district characteristics. Individuals with a low socioeconomic status experience a higher lung cancer mortality risk. Among women, an association with lung cancer mortality is found for the sub-district characteristics urbanicity and unemployment rate, while for men lung cancer mortality was associated with the percentage employed in mining. Not just individual characteristics, but also area characteristics are thus important determinants of (regional differences in) lung cancer mortality.

  15. L'authentification rapide des poulets de chair sous label: distinction entre poulets issus de souches à croissance lente ou rapide par la spectrometrie dans le proche infrarouge. Analytical methods for the authentification of agro-food products. Gembloux (Belgium. 20 Oct 1999

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    Fumiere O.


    Full Text Available Rapid authentification of certified chicken meat: distinguishing slow and fast growing chicken strains using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy. Chicken meat market is characterized by numerous quality marks in Belgium and in Europe: ""Label de Qualite Wallon"" in Belgium, ""Label Rouge"" in France, Labels for geographical origin, organic agriculture, ... The authors have already tested, Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS to authenticate slow growing chicken meats. Their study was extended on a larger set and takes account of special labelling according to European regulation 91/1538/CEE. Our results show that the technique could be integrated in an analytical system of surveillance of slow-growing chicken meat products with quality mark.

  16. Characteristics of The new EU Common Agriculture Policy and Its Application in Belgium%欧盟新农业政策的特点和在比利时的实施

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王景文; 任世平


    The new EU Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) has two features: 1, the vast majority of subsidy will be paid independently of the volume of production, and EU farmers have more freedom to produce what the market wants. 2, the direct income payments will be linked to respect of environment, food safety and animal welfare standards, which achieves rural and agricultural sustainable development. The article gives also more information about the rural service and control systems, multifunctional agriculture in Europe and Belgium, which is reference significance to our agricultural policy and the new rural construction.%欧盟新农业政策的主要特点:一是把对农民的直接补贴与产量脱钩,农民具有更多的自主性;二是与环境、食品安全、畜牧标准相结合,实现农业和农村的可持续发展.本文简要介绍了欧盟及成员国比利时的农村服务体系、监督机制、多功能农业等基本情况,对我国农业政策和新农村建设有一定参考意义.

  17. Trends in young-adult mortality between the 1990s and the 2000s in urban and non-urban areas in Belgium: the role of a changing educational composition in overall mortality decline. (United States)

    De Grande, Hannelore; Vandenheede, Hadewijch; Deboosere, Patrick


    This study probes into the evolution in young-adult mortality according to urbanisation degree in Belgium and moves beyond mere description through decomposing mortality trends into changes in educational distribution and in overall mortality. As most of young-adult deaths are preventable and an enormous cost and loss to society, this study addresses a highly relevant public-health topic. Individual record-linked data between the Belgian censuses of 1991 and 2001 and register data on death and emigrations are used. Age-standardized mortality rates (ASMR), directly standardized to the European Population of 2013 are calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CI), as well as a decomposition measure to pinpoint the proportion mortality change attributable to differences in educational composition over time. The young-adult population consists of 2,458,637 19-34 year-olds in 1991, with 11,898 deaths in a five-year period, and is slightly smaller in 2001 with 2,174,368 young adults and 8138 deaths. Overall, there is a positive evolution towards lower young-adult mortality, with the strongest declines in men living in large urban areas (ASMR from 149.0 [CI 142.1-155.8] in 1991-1996 to 94.6 [88.9-100.3] in 2001-2006). Decomposition analysis shows that the decrease in male mortality in non-urban areas over time is largely due to changes in the educational composition, while mortality in urban areas mainly decreases because of a decline in overall mortality. In urban areas all educational groups have benefitted over time. This clearly demonstrates that living and growing up in an urban area does not always have to imply a health penalty, but can have health advantages as well.

  18. European symposium Germany - Czech Republic - Belgium. '90 years of Bauhaus, new challenges resulting from European energy policy'. (Passive houses, solar and ecological construction and modernization); Europaeisches Symposium Deutschland - Tschechien - Belgien. ''90 Jahre Bauhaus, neue Herausforderungen durch die Europaeische Energiepolitik''. (Passivhaeuser, solares und oekologisches Bauen und Sanieren)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    The proceedings volume contains the papers presented at the international symposium '90 years of Bauhaus', held at Bad Langensalza, Germany. At the 90th anniversary of the Bauhaus, international experts from Germany, Czechia, and Belgium discussed the relevance of the Bauhaus today and in future. Aspects of energy efficiency and ecology as well as solar architecture have come into focus since the early days of the Bauhaus. Energy efficiency, solar architecture and aesthetics can be combined better than ever against this background. Architects, town planners, builder-owners, local politicians and public utilities must be prepared to face this challenge, far more than in the past.

  19. U/Th dating and pollen analysis of a stalagmitic sequence of the isotopic stage 5 (''Galerie des Vervietois, Grotte de Han'' Belgium). Datation uranium/thorium et analyse pollinique d'une sequence stalagmitique du stade isotopique 5 (Galerie des Vervietois, Grotte de Han-sur-Lesse, Belgique)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quinif, Y. (Faculte Polytechnique de Mons (Belgium)); Bastin, B. (Louvain Univ., Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). Unite de Physique Nucleaire)


    The stalagmitic body of the 'Galerie des Vervietois' ('Grotte de Han', Belgium) has been sampled by numerous drillings. We present here two series studied by lithostratigraphy, palynology and absolute dating by the uranium series disequilibrium. These series allow one to date and reconstitute the palaeoclimatic sequence from isotopic substage 5.5 to isotopic substage 5.3, emphasizing the climatic deterioration of the isotopic substage 5.4 (Melisey I in the 'Grande Pile' sequence). (authors).

  20. Les relations entre syndicats et associations en Belgique : Le cas de la réforme du minimex Relations between Trade Unions and Other Voluntary Associations in Belgium with Special Reference to Basic Income.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean Faniel


    Full Text Available L’auteur se penche sur les relations entre organisations syndicales et milieux associatifs en Belgique. Dans la première partie, il passe en revue la littérature scientifique internationale consacrée au syndi­ca­lisme et aux “nouveaux mouvements sociaux” afin de dégager des hypothèses de travail spécifiquement applicables à l’étude, peu développée, des relations entre ces deux types d’acteurs. Dans la partie em­pirique, il aborde, dans le contexte belge, les positions adoptées par les syndicats et les mouvements as­sociatifs face à la réforme du “minimum de moyens d’existence” (minimex et les mo­bilisations engen­drées par cette réforme. Il souligne l’existence de différences importantes entre les atti­tudes de certaines associations (la Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, des organisations de sans-emploi et de pré­caires, etc. et la position officielle des grands syndicats. L’étude met également en lumière les diffé­rences de réaction perceptibles entre les associations elles-mêmes et au sein des deux principales orga­nisations syndicales nationales. L’auteur cherche enfin à expliquer les différentes logiques à l’œu­vre et confronte hypothèses de travail et étude empirique quant aux relations qu’entretiennent syndicats et associations.In the light of work on Trade Unions and New Social Movements, hypotheses as to their relationships in Belgium are here elaborated. Their respective positions and campaigns regarding basic income are empirically examined. Significant differences between the Union stance and that of given associations such those concerned with human rights or the unemployed, are highlighted. Divergences also appear amongst the associations themselves as well as between the two main Unions. The contribution concludes with an analysis of the various logics at stake and the empirical relevance of the afore mentioned hypotheses.

  1. Performance of FACSPresto Point-of-Care Instrument for CD4-T Cell Enumeration in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-Infected Patients Attending Care and Treatment Clinics in Belgium and Tanzania (United States)

    Daneau, Géraldine; Aboud, Said; Prat, Irena; Urassa, Willy; Kestens, Luc


    Background CD4 T-cell counts are widely used to assess treatment eligibility and to follow-up HIV-infected patients. The World Health Organization prequalification of in vitro diagnostics program conducted a performance evaluation of the FACSPresto (BD Biosciences), a new point-of-care instrument to measure absolute CD4-T cell (CD4) counts and percentages in venous and capillary blood samples from HIV-infected patients. Methods Patients were recruited in Belgium (200 patients) and in Tanzania (247 patients). Venous blood samples were analyzed in two nearby reference laboratories. In addition, nurses/technicians collected a capillary blood sample by finger prick directly into a FACSPresto CD4 cartridge. Assay precision was assessed on fresh blood and on external quality control samples. Trueness (bias) was assessed by comparing results from FACSPresto with the reference (single-platform FACSCalibur). Clinical misclassification was measured at 200, 350 and 500 cells/μL thresholds. Results Intra-assay precision was < 6%, and inter-assay < 8%. CD4 results from FACSPresto and reference method resulted in regression slopes of 0.99–1.11 using either venous or capillary blood. Correlation was better for venous than for capillary blood (minimum 0.97 vs 0.93 respectively). Capillary blood resulted in a larger bias than venous blood, with 24 and 83 cells/μL for absolute CD4 counts on capillary blood in Antwerp and Dar es Salaam respectively, vs 12 and 41 cells/μL on venous blood. Bias on CD4% was < 1% on both venous and capillary blood, and was proportionally better than for absolute CD4 counts. Clinical misclassification was in line with the average overestimation, showing a very good specificity, but sensitivity around 70–90%. The rejection rate was 11% on first reading, leading to 6% of all samples without final result after a second reading. Conclusions The FACSPresto performed very well on venous blood samples, and well on capillary blood samples. PMID:28129324

  2. Bilateral Comparison of 1 V and 10 V Standards between the SMD (Belgium) and the BIPM October to December 2014 (part of the ongoing BIPM key comparison BIPM.EM-K11.a and b) (United States)

    Solve, S.; Chayramy, R.; Stock, M.; Vlad, D.


    As part of the ongoing BIPM key comparison BIPM.EM-K11.a and b, a comparison of the 1 V and 10 V voltage reference standards of the BIPM and the Service Métrologie—Metrologische Dienst (SMD), Brussel, Belgium, was carried out from October to November 2014. Two BIPM Zener diode-based travelling standards (Fluke 732B), BIPM4 (Z4) and BIPM5 (Z5), were transported by freight to SMD and also back to BIPM. At SMD, the reference standard for DC voltage is a Josephson Voltage Standard (JVS). The output EMF (Electromotive Force) of each travelling standard was measured by direct comparison with the primary standard. At the BIPM, the travelling standards were calibrated, before and after the measurements at SMD, with the Josephson Voltage Standard. Results of all measurements were corrected for the dependence of the output voltages of the Zener standards on internal temperature and ambient atmospheric pressure. The final result of the comparison is presented as the difference between the values assigned toDC voltage standards by SMD, at the level of 1.018 V and 10 V, at SMD, USMD, and those assigned by the BIPM, at the BIPM, UBIPM, at the reference date of 5 November 2014. USMD - UBIPM = 0.14 mV; uc = 0.07 mV, at 1 V USMD - UBIPM = 0.09 mV; uc = 0.49 mV , at 10 V where uc is the combined standard uncertainty associated with the measured difference, including the uncertainty of the representation of the volt at the BIPM and at SMD, based on KJ-90, and the uncertainty related to the comparison. Main text. To reach the main text of this paper, click on Final Report. Note that this text is that which appears in Appendix B of the BIPM key comparison database The final report has been peer-reviewed and approved for publication by the CCEM, according to the provisions of the CIPM Mutual Recognition Arrangement (CIPM MRA).

  3. [Female patient with cutaneous anthrax in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gyssens, I.C.J.; Weyns, D.; Kullberg, B.J.; Ursi, J.P.


    A 23-year-old Turkish woman was admitted with an infection of the left thumb. The clinical picture was typical for cutaneous anthrax. Microbiological tests confirmed the diagnosis 'infection by Bacillus anthracis'. She recovered when treated with penicillin, although later tests revealed that the ba

  4. Hantavirus disease (nephropathia epidemica) in Belgium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tersago, K.; Verhagen, R.; Servais, A.;


    Recently, human cases of nephropathia epidemica (NE) due to Puumala virus infection in Europe have increased. Following the hypothesis that high reservoir host abundance induces higher transmission rates to humans, explanations for this altered epidemiology must be sought in factors that cause ba...

  5. Royal Observatory of Belgium Gravitational balance

    CERN Document Server

    van Ruymbeke, Michel; Zhu, Ping; Renders, Francis; Noël, Jean-Philippe


    An astatized symmetrical vertical pendulum is monitoring torque {\\Gamma}(M) resulting of gravitational attractions exerted by two external masses M moving up down. Local gravity field g produce the main pendulum restoring torque combined with a very weak variable torque {\\Gamma}(c) induced by rotation of watch needles fixed to the pendulum. Transfer of fundamental units to calibrate the {\\Gamma}(c) torques is obtained by a reference torque {\\Gamma}({\\mu}) resulting of precise displacements of a well known mass {\\mu}. We permanently monitored ratio between the gravitational effect {\\Gamma}(M) and calibrated {\\Gamma}(c) to determine G. Position of the pendulum is measured with a capacitive bridge. Bias voltages sent to two electrodes set-up at the bottom of the pendulum allows to feedback pendulum with a controlled electrostatic torque. We discuss potential interest of our prototype to design a multi pendulum system to check systematic effects for different geometries and various kinds of materials.

  6. Congolese women activists in DRC and Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Godin


    Full Text Available Congolese women are energetically engaged in peacebuilding, both in DRC and abroad.Their voices – inspired by different experiences and presenting different perspectives – deserve greater recognition.

  7. Industrial uses of radiation processing in Belgium (United States)

    Lacroix, J. P.

    Since 1979, the Irradiation Department of IRE, in conjunction with universities and the industrial sector, has set up an extensive programme of research, development and promotion of the radiation process applied to cross-linking and polymerization of plastics, to waste treatment and to food preservation. Starting from scratch, it is thanks to our research in this last-mentioned field that we have been able to develop and to increase the application of the irradiation process within the food industry. At present, two irradiation facilities of a total design capacity of 2.5 10 6 Ci irradiate 24 hours per day mostly for the agro-industry.

  8. Regulatory framework for NORM residues in Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pepin, S.; Dehandschutter, B.; Poffijn, A.; Sonck, M. [Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC), Rue Ravenstein 36, 1000 Brussels (Belgium)


    The Belgian radiation protection authority (Federal Agency for Nuclear Control - FANC) has published in March 2013 a decree regulating the acceptance of NORM residues by nonradioactive waste treatment facilities. This regulation is based on the concept of 'work activities involving natural radiation sources' in the sense of article 40 of the 96/29/EURATOM directive. The disposal or processing facilities which accept NORM residues with an activity concentration above a generic exemption level will be considered as 'work activities' and submitted to declaration according to the Belgian radiation protection regulations. On basis of this declaration, specific acceptance criteria for the different types of processing/ disposal of the residues (disposal on landfill, recycling into building materials, etc.) are imposed. FANC has drafted guidelines for these acceptance criteria. A methodological guide for the operators of the concerned facilities was also published. Moreover, sites where significant quantities of NORM residues are or have been disposed, are subjected to an environmental monitoring in the framework of the national program of radiological surveillance of FANC. FANC also introduced in its regulations the concept of anthropogenic radon-prone areas: e.g. former phosphogypsum stacks have been defined as anthropogenic radon-prone areas, which allows some form of regulatory control of these sites. (authors)

  9. A 500 year seasonally resolved δ18O and δ13C, layer thickness and calcite fabric record from a speleothem deposited in equilibrium of the Han-sur-Lesse cave, Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Van Rampelbergh


    Full Text Available Speleothem δ18O and δ13C signals have already proven to enable climate reconstructions at high resolution. However, seasonally resolved speleothem records are still scarce and often difficult to interpret in terms of climate due to the multitude of factors that can affect the proxy signals. In this paper, a fast growing (up to 2 mm yr−1 seasonally laminated speleothem from the Han-sur-Lesse cave (Belgium is analyzed for its δ18O and δ13C values, layer thickness and changes in calcite fabric. The studied part of the speleothem covers the most recent 500 years as indicated by layer counting and confirmed by 20 U/Th-ages. Epikarst recharge occurs mainly in winter and lesser during spring and fall. a good correlation can be established between lower winter temperatures and lower winter precipitation (DJF based on the measured data by the Belgian meteorological institute since 1833 indicating that a dry winter is also a cold winter. Colder and dryer winters cause lower winter recharge and generally drier conditions in the cave. Lower winter recharge decreases the amount of isotopically light (δ18O winter precipitation added to the epikarst in comparison to the heavier spring and fall waters, which leads to a net increase in δ18O value of the water in the epikarst. Increased δ18O values in the Proserpine are consequently interpreted to reflect colder and dryer winters. Higher δ13C signals are interpreted to reflect increased prior calcite precipitation (PCP due to colder and dryer winters, when recharge is lower. Thinner layers and darker calcite relate to slower growth and occur when drip rates are low and when the drip water calcium ion concentration is low due to increased PCP, both caused by lower recharge during periods with colder and dryer winters. Exceptionally cold and dry winters cause the drip discharge to decrease under a certain threshold value inducing anomalies in the measured proxy records. Such anomalies occur from 1565 to

  10. Regulatory corpus related to the contamination of food products by radionuclides. Application in France and comparative study with Belgium, United-Kingdom, Switzerland and Norway. Report nr 298; Corpus reglementaires relatifs a la contamination des denrees alimentaires par les radionucleides. Application en France et etude comparative avec la Belgique, Le Royaume-Uni, la Suisse et la Norvege. Rapport no. 298

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bataille, C.; Crouail, P.


    The first part of this report gives an overview of the international legal context: arrangements of the Codex Alimentarius, standards established by the Codex Alimentarius Committee on food additives and contaminants, recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, role of the IAEA. The second part presents European regulations: those adopted after the Chernobyl accident, those to be applied in case of a radiological accident. A synthesis of international and European regulations is proposed. The regulations applicable in France are presented (protection of population against hazards of ionizing radiations, application modalities). The other parts of the report present the legal framework, the modalities of food product control, and the post-Chernobyl peculiarities for Belgium, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Norway. The author finally proposes a synthesis and a comparative analysis

  11. Comparative study of various methods for allocating electricity transmission capacity at the France-Belgium interconnection; Etude comparative de differentes methodes d'allocation de capacites de transport d'electricite a l'interconnexion France-Belgique

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    The French and Belgian regulators, CRE and CREG, organised in October 2002 a public consultation concerning the allocation methods applied by the network operators at the border between Belgium and France. In July 2002, the Belgian and French transmission system operators, Elia and RTE, had forwarded a joint study to the regulators relative to the methods for allocation at the border between the two countries, in accordance with the stipulations set out in the action plan drawn up in March by the transmission system operators and the regulators. This document presents a French and English summary of this study and a complete version in French of it. It analyses the specific features of the networks and markets concerned, then summarizes the characteristics, advantages and drawbacks of the various allocation mechanisms known at this day, either because they are already in use somewhere in the world or because they are at the design stage with academic researchers or industry. On the basis of this study, ELIA and RTE propose considering the replacement of current local mechanisms with the coordinated management of interconnections in the area comprising France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Given the time required for implementation, the system that would facilitate reaching this target in the medium term in an economically efficient manner consists in a system of coordinated auctioning. It would establish economic competition, ensuring the exchange of correct signals between market actors and network operators. This mechanism must have a sufficiently large scope to avoid 'pancaking' and represent in a sufficiently precise manner the 'edge effects' of contiguous control areas that would not be part of the mechanism.

  12. Questions and answers on the Belgian model of integral end-of-life care: experiment? Prototype? : "Eu-euthanasia": the close historical, and evidently synergistic, relationship between palliative care and euthanasia in Belgium: an interview with a doctor involved in the early development of both and two of his successors. (United States)

    Bernheim, Jan L; Distelmans, Wim; Mullie, Arsène; Ashby, Michael A


    This article analyses domestic and foreign reactions to a 2008 report in the British Medical Journal on the complementary and, as argued, synergistic relationship between palliative care and euthanasia in Belgium. The earliest initiators of palliative care in Belgium in the late 1970s held the view that access to proper palliative care was a precondition for euthanasia to be acceptable and that euthanasia and palliative care could, and should, develop together. Advocates of euthanasia including author Jan Bernheim, independent from but together with British expatriates, were among the founders of what was probably the first palliative care service in Europe outside of the United Kingdom. In what has become known as the Belgian model of integral end-of-life care, euthanasia is an available option, also at the end of a palliative care pathway. This approach became the majority view among the wider Belgian public, palliative care workers, other health professionals, and legislators. The legal regulation of euthanasia in 2002 was preceded and followed by a considerable expansion of palliative care services. It is argued that this synergistic development was made possible by public confidence in the health care system and widespread progressive social attitudes that gave rise to a high level of community support for both palliative care and euthanasia. The Belgian model of so-called integral end-of-life care is continuing to evolve, with constant scrutiny of practice and improvements to procedures. It still exhibits several imperfections, for which some solutions are being developed. This article analyses this model by way of answers to a series of questions posed by Journal of Bioethical Inquiry consulting editor Michael Ashby to the Belgian authors.

  13. Paleoparasitology at "Place d'Armes", Namur, Belgium: a biostatistics analysis of trichurid eggs between the Old and New World Paleoparasitologia na "Praça das Armas", Namur, Bélgica: uma análise bioestatística de ovos de tricurídeos entre o Velho e o Novo Mundo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gino Chaves da Rocha


    Full Text Available Paleoparasitological findings about human occupation and their domestic animals, from Gallo-Roman period up to recent times, were described at the archaeological site of "Place d'Armes", Namur, Belgium, by preventive archaeological excavations. Organic sediment samples from cesspools, latrines and structures-like were analyzed and revealed intestinal parasite eggs (helminthes in all of the different archaeological contexts. The parasitic association Ascaris sp. and Trichuris sp. was found although it is not easy to determinate the specific parasite species. Trichurids were described inboth New and Old Worlds since the prehistorical time. To elucidate the zoological origin of the organic remains, the parasites and the prior function of the sanitary structures Trichuris eggs were statistically analyzed for morphometric parameters, and suggest that it could be an important tool to help the whole paleoparasitological diagnosis.Achados paleoparasitológicos sobre a ocupação humana e seus animais domésticos, desde o período Galo-Romano até períodos recentes, foram registrados no sitio arqueológico da "Praça das Armas", em Namur, Bélgica, através de excavações de salvamento arqueológico. Amostras de sedimentos orgânicos coletados de fossas, latrinas e estruturas semelhantes foram analisadas e revelaram ovos de helmintos intestinais, em todos os diferentes contextos arqueológicos. A associação parasitária Ascaris sp. e Trichuris sp. foi encontrada, sem identificação de espécie. Tricurídeos foram descritos em ambos, Novo e Velho Mundo, desde tempos pré-históricos. Para contribuir na elucidação da origem zoological dos vestígios orgânicos, dos parasitos e a função primárias das estruturas sanitárias, ovos de Trichuris foram analisados estatisticamente através dos seus parâmetros morfométricos, e sugerem que esta pode ser uma importante ferramenta para o diagnóstico paleoparasitológico.

  14. Les politiques d’employabilité en Belgique : traitement clinique des chômeurs et traitement statistique du chômage The Politics of Employability in Belgium : Clinical Treatment of the Unemployed and Statistical Treatment of Unemployment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-François Orianne


    Full Text Available Cet article interroge la mise en œuvre et le suivi des politiques européennes d’employabilité en Belgique à la lumière de la sociologie de Norbert Elias, en reliant les dimensions sociogénétiques et psychogénétiques de la construction européenne. Le traitement clinique des chômeurs, qui repose principalement sur la construction professionnelle de troubles de l’employabilité, contribue à l’intériorisation de normes à grande échelle, à la socialisation de la population active au marché du travail et renforce la concurrence entre les actifs occupés et les actifs inoccupés (principale condition de stabilité de la monnaie unique. Parallèlement, le traitement statistique du chômage, qui consiste en un jeu rationnel entre États (et Régions de maximisation des indicateurs de résultats, renforce la compétition territoriale pour attirer les investisseurs et encadre, légitime, dynamise ce mouvement incertain d’harmonisation ou d’intégration des systèmes de protection sociale en Europe.This article investigates the setting up and follow-up of European employment politics in Belgium, in light of the sociology of Norbert Elias, in blending the socio-genetic and psycho-genetic dimensions of European construction. The clinical treatment of the unemployed, principally based on the professional construction of employability troubles, contributes to the internalization of standards on a vast scale, to the socialization of the active population on the job market and reinforcing competition between occupied actives and unoccupied actives (a principal condition for the stability of a unique currency. At the same time, the statistical treatment of unemployment, consisting in a deliberate game between States (and Regions of maximization of result indicators, reinforces a territorial competition aimed at attracting investors as well as organizing, legitimating and dynamizing the unsteady movement toward harmonization or

  15. Carbon balance of a grazed grassland in Belgium (United States)

    Jérôme, E.; Beckers, Y.; Bodson, B.; Moureaux, C.; Aubinet, M.


    This work seeks to analyze the C balance of a Belgian grassland grazed by the "Blanc Bleu Belge" breed of cattle. The site is located at Dorinne in the Belgian Condroz (50° 18' 44" N; 4° 58' 07" E; 248 m asl.). It is permanent grassland of ca. 4.2 ha with a moderate slope of 1 to 2 %. Homogeneity and topography criteria are met to ensure high quality turbulent flux measurements. The experimental field was equipped with an eddy covariance system. Flux correction, quality control and data gap filling were performed following standardised procedures. This device was completed by a micrometeorological station that measured temperature and humidity respectively in the air and within the soil, radiation, atmospheric pressure and precipitations. Carbon exported through mowing (CNBP,export), imported through compost application (CNBP,import) or through complementary feeds for cattle (CNBP,complement) was also measured. In addition, the vegetation development was followed in order to estimate herbage production and dry matter intake by grazing animals. Carbon lost through CH4 emissions (CNBP,CH4) was finally estimated, allowing the establishment of a full C budget. After one year of measurements (May 2010 - May 2011), the grassland was a net CO2 source (Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) = 172 ± 94 g C m-2 year-1). Net Biome Productivity (NBP) was calculated from NEE by taking into account imports and export of organic C and losses of carbon as CH4. Contribution of CNBP,CH4to NBP was small as it was 12 ± 1 g C m-2 year-1. The balance between CNBP,import and CNBP,export created not such a large departure of NBP from NEE, which is not the case of CNBP,complement. The NBP was finally estimated at 102 ± 95 g C m-2 year-1. At this stage, it is premature to conclude about the sink or source behaviour of the plot because the NBP value is very close to its uncertainty. Moreover, this result was obtained under particular climate conditions, characterised by drought during summer 2010 and spring 2011. First year full carbon budget will be discussed in relation with climate conditions and management practices. A second year of measurements will be also presented. Key words: grassland, carbon budget, carbon dioxide exchange, eddy covariance

  16. Relief in Small and Simple Matters in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Voet (Stefaan)


    textabstractThis article is based on a national report that was written for the XVth World Congress of the International Association of Procedural Law that was held in Istanbul in May 2015 and that focused on Effective Judicial Relief and Remedies in an Age of Austerity. It first of all sketches the

  17. Site investigations on cavernous limestone for the Remouchamps Viaduct, Belgium


    Waltham, Antony; Vandenven, Georges; Ek, Camille


    POOR GROUND CONDITIONS on cavernous limestone created severe difficulties at the sites of four piers of the Remouchamps Viaduct. The discovery, during excavations for foundations, of large open cavities prompted a major re-appraisal of site investigation procedure, and also some redesign of the viaduct structure. La situation défavorable des fondations de quatre des piliers du viaduc autoroutier de Remouchamps posa des problèmes de construction. La présence de cavités karstiques largement ...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Segura M. Trejo


    Full Text Available This article arises from the need to review and think approaches of regulation and management of violence in football spectacle regarding the installed complaining standpoint of heavy-hand. Taking into consideration the Mexican and the Argetinian contexts, it is possible to observe how media as well as other actors involved in the business quote time and again England´s success regarding their hooligans. In opposition to this vision that has been translated into security arrangements. Two management approaches are here compared: the commercial transformation of the British football and the Belgic experience of sanctions combined with social prevention schemas. The objective aims at generating public policy discussion in order to find useful and discernible tools for other contexts.

  19. Environmental and Financial Evaluation of Passenger Vehicle Technologies in Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maarten Messagie


    Full Text Available Vehicles with alternative drive trains are regarded as a promising substitute for conventional cars, considering the growing concern about oil depletion and the environmental impact of our transportation system. However, “clean” technologies will only be viable when they are cost-efficient. In this paper, the environmental impacts and the financial costs of different vehicle technologies are calculated for an average Belgian driver. Environmentally friendly vehicles are compared with conventional petrol and diesel vehicles. The assessments are done from a life cycle perspective. The effect on human health, resources and ecosystems is considered when calculating the environmental impact. The total cost of ownership (TCO model includes the purchase price, registration and road taxes, insurance, fuel or electricity cost, maintenance, tires replacement, technical control, battery leasing and battery replacement. In the presented analysis different vehicle technologies and fuels are compared (petrol, diesel, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs, battery electric vehicles (BEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs on their level of environmental impact and cost per kilometer. The analysis shows a lower environmental impact for electric vehicles. However, electric vehicles have a higher total cost of ownership compared to conventional vehicles, even though the fuel operating costs are significantly lower. The purchase cost of electric vehicles is highly linked to the size of the battery pack, and not to the size of the electric vehicle. This explains the relative high cost for the electric city cars and the comparable cost for the medium and premium cars.

  20. Environmental conditions and Puumala virus transmission in Belgium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Linard, Catherine; Tersago, Katrien; Leirs, Herwig;


    Background: Non-vector-borne zoonoses such as Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) can be Non-vector-borne zoonoses such as Puumala hantavirus (PUUV) can be transmitted directly, by physical contact between infected and susceptible hosts, or indirectly, with the environment as an intermediate. The objective...

  1. Belgium; Staff Report for the 1999 Article IV Consultation



    Economic activity picked up in the course of 1999, despite the dioxin crisis of mid-year, owing to a recovery in export markets following the world financial turmoil of late 1998, supportive monetary policy in the euro area, improvements in business and consumer confidence, and continued growth in employment. The situation in labor markets remains unsatisfactory, with a high unemployment rate and a very slow participation rate. Executive Directors commended the Belgian authorities for the mar...

  2. Chemical contamination of free-range eggs from Belgium. (United States)

    Van Overmeire, I; Pussemier, L; Hanot, V; De Temmerman, L; Hoenig, M; Goeyens, L


    The elements manganese, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, cadmium, antimony, thallium, lead and mercury, and selected persistent organochlorine compounds (dioxins, marker and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls, dichlorodiphenyltricholroethane (DDT) and metabolites as well as other chlorinated pesticides) were analysed in Belgian free-range eggs obtained from hens of private owners and of commercial farms. It was found that eggs from private owners were more contaminated than eggs from commercial farms. The ratios of levels in eggs from private owners to the levels in eggs from commercial farms ranged from 2 to 8 for the toxic contaminants lead, mercury, thallium, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and the group of DDT. DDT contamination was marked by the substantial presence of p,p'-DDT in eggs from private owners in addition to dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p-DDE) and dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethane (p,p'-DDD). It is postulated that environmental pollution is at the origin of the higher contamination of eggs from private owners. Extensive consumption of eggs from private owners is likely to result in toxic equivalent quantity intake levels exceeding the tolerable weekly intake.

  3. Decommissioning of the pool reactor Thetis in Ghent, Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cortenbosch, Geert; Mommaert, Chantal [Bel V, Brussels (Belgium); Tierens, Hubert; Monsieurs, Myriam; Meierlaen, Isabelle; Strijckmans, Karel [Ghent Univ. (Belgium)


    The Thetis research pool reactor (with a nominal power of 150 kW) of the Ghent University was operational from 1967 till December 2003. The first phase of the decommissioning of the reactor, the removal of the spent fuel from the site, took place in 2010. The cumulative dose received was only 404 man . μSv. During the second phase, the transition period between the removal of the spent fuel in 2010 and the start of the decommissioning phase in March 2013, 3-monthly internal inspections and inspections by Bel V, were performed. The third and final decommissioning phase started on March 18, 2013. The total dose received between March 2013 and August 2013 was 1561 man . μSv. The declassification from a Class I installation to a Class II installation was possible by the end of 2015. The activated concrete in the reactor pool will remain under regulatory control until the activation levels are lower than the limits for free release.

  4. Exposure to domoic acid through shellfish consumption in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Andjelkovic, M.; Vandevijvere, S.; Klaveren, van J.D.; Oyen, van H.; Loco, van J.


    A main known culprit causing amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans is domoic acid (DA). The toxin appearance in sea waters (by counting the toxin producing algae) and consequently in shellfish is closely monitored to prevent acute intoxications with gastrointestinal symptoms and neurological signs.

  5. Short notes and reviews Amphibians of France, Belgium and Luxemburg

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vences, Miguel


    As a general trend, accounts on regional and local herpetofaunas tend to become more and more colourful and extensive, and the classical borders between fieldguide, distribution atlas and handbook are fading. The book reviewed here is a good example for this trend. Edited by Rémi Duguet und Frédéric

  6. Assessment of governance strategies for climate adaptation in Flanders / Belgium


    Verhofstede, Björn; Leinfelder, Hans; Allaert, Georges


    Climate discourse in recent decades has mainly focused on the issue of mitigation. Through a better understanding and assessment of climate challenges, adaptation arises as a complementary strategy to mitigation. Vulnerability in relation to climate change is seen as a function of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Adaptation can influence sensitivity while mitigating impacts on the exposure to climate change. (IPCC, 2007). Adaptation requires space for climate on a local scale and ...

  7. Epilepsy surgery in Belgium, the experience in Gent. (United States)

    Boon, P; Vandekerckhove, T; Achten, E; Thiery, E; Goossens, L; Vonck, K; D'Have, M; Van Hoey, G; Vanrumste, B; Legros, B; Defreyne, L; De Reuck, J


    Between January 1992 and July 1998, 320 patients were presurgically evaluated for medically refractory epilepsy at the University Hospital of Gent. All patients underwent a comprehensive presurgical evaluation, including extensive neurological history and examination, video-EEG monitoring of interictal EEG and habitual seizures, and optimum magnetic resonance (MR). In a large subgroup of these patients, a comprehensive neuropsychological examination and interictal 18FDG-PET were performed. Subsequently, a bilateral carotid angiography and intracarotid amytal procedure (Wada-test) were planned in 49 patients to establish hemispheric language dominance and bilateral memory function. After proper selection, 23 patients underwent invasive video-EEG monitoring with intracranial implantation of parenchymal and/or subdural electrodes to further document the area of seizure onset. From the initial group of 320 potential surgical candidates, 75 patients (42 males, 33 females) with mean age of 29 years (range: 2 months-55 years) and mean duration of uncontrolled seizures of 15 years (range: 2 weeks-38 years) eventually underwent a surgical procedure. Sixty of 75 patients were on high dose antiepileptic polytherapy. Optimum MR detected structural abnormalities, confined to a limited brain area, in 71 patients. These abnormalities were of space-occupying nature in 31 cases; an atrophic lesion was suspected in 39 patients; a combination of space-occupying and atrophic lesion was seen in 1 case. Structural abnormalities were most frequently located in the temporal lobe (n = 53) and the frontal lobe (n = 10). Video-EEG monitoring documented complex partial seizures in 67 patients with occasional secondary generalisation in 32. Most patients had complex partial seizures of temporal lobe as defined by clinical and EEG criteria. Two patients had only simple partial seizures. Ultimately, an area of seizure onset could be determined in all patients. Temporal lobectomy with hippocampectomy was the most commonly performed procedure (n = 42). In 13 patients, complete lesionectomies were performed for epileptogenic structural lesions in and outside the temporal lobe. In 2 patients, only partial lesionectomies were possible; in 5 patients, only biopsies in combination with partial lesionectomies could be performed. Anterior 2/3 callosotomy was performed in 4 patients and hemispherectomy was performed in 2 patients. Postsurgical seizure control, after average follow-up of 50 months (range: 12-98 months), was excellent in 49 patients who became seizure-free. In these patients, antiepileptic therapy was tapered 2 years after surgery. Patients in whom only biopsies or partial lesionectomies were performed have poor seizure control. Epilepsy surgery is a rewarding therapeutic alternative for patients with medically refractory epilepsy. Comprehensive presurgical evaluation and epilepsy surgery provide excellent neurological, neurophysiological, neuropsychological and imaging research opportunities.

  8. René Sand (Belgium, President 1946 – 1953

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    Full Text Available The extraordinary significance of the life and work of René Sand lies in his central position as a mediator, promoter and coordinator of social work on an increasingly international level during the interwar-period and it can hardly be overestimated.

  9. Lifecourses, pensions and poverty among elderly women in Belgium

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peeters, Hans; Tavernier, Wouter De


    45 years. We find that pension policy can indeed account for the higher poverty risk of some groups of elderly women (e.g. divorcees) as compared to others (e.g. widows). Similarly, pension policy can, to a large extent, directly or indirectly explain how previous lifecourse events, such as marital......The precarious financial situation of many elderly women in developed countries is well established. Nevertheless, in-depth insight into the persistent vulnerability of this group remains largely absent. In this article, we demonstrate how a specific focus on the interaction between work history...... dissolution or childbirth, affect old-age poverty risk. However, our study also reveals some unexpected findings. Most notably, pension regulations fail to account for the beneficial situation of married women. Indeed, our analyses suggest that capital (income) may prove more decisive than pension rights...

  10. [A difficult stabilisation. Chlorpromazine in the fifties in Belgium]. (United States)

    Majerus, Benoît


    Through a Belgian case study the article tries to trace the gradual stabilisation of chlorpromazine as an antipsychotic in the 1950s. By varying ranges and angles of approach it shows the heterogeneity of actors involved and the semantic bricolage that accompany the marketing of the first antipsychotic. Far from being a revolution, the presence of Largactil in psychiatric practice is rather characterised by integration into a wider range of medicines and sinuous searching to give sense to this new drug.

  11. Food Recommendations in Domestic Education, Belgium 1890-1940 (United States)

    Scholliers, Peter


    This paper addresses the question of dissemination of nutritional knowledge in textbooks of household schools between 1890 and 1940. It starts by considering the nature of food recommendations in manuals that are used in Belgian household schools, and then deals with the sources that are referred to by those who give food advice, comparing the…

  12. Oil and Gas Emergency Policy: Belgium 2010 update

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    In 2007, the IEA published ''Oil Supply Security: Emergency Response of IEA Countries''. This publication provides an overview of the IEA oil emergency response system and a detailed look at the specific systems in each IEA country for responding to an oil supply crisis. This publication represented the findings of a five year review cycle of the emergency response mechanisms in IEA member countries. Since the 2007 publication, the IEA has started a new cycle of reviews which now includes reviewing gas emergency policies. Rather than waiting for the completion of the current review cycle to renew this publication, the IEA will make available updates to the country chapters as these become available following the country's review.

  13. Belgium at CERN, from 2 to 3 April 2001

    CERN Document Server

    Patrice Loïez


    Fifteen Belgian firms visited CERN last 2 and 3 April to present their know-how. Industrial sectors ranging from precision machining to electrical engineering and electronics were represented. And for the first time, companies from the Flemish and Brussels regions of the country joined their Walloon compatriots, who have come to CERN before.

  14. Monitoring the Quality of School Buildings in Belgium's Flemish Community (United States)

    Leemans, Geert


    In the course of 2008, the Flemish Agency for Infrastructure in Education (AGIOn) evaluated the quality of school buildings in Flanders using a monitoring system based on international experience. The results showed that most school buildings satisfy the basic requirements of habitability and safety, but they often fall short when it comes to the…

  15. Brominated flame retardants in birds of prey from Flanders, Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Voorspoels, S.; Covaci, A.; Schepens, P. [Antwerp Univ., Wilrijk (Belgium). Toxicological Centre


    Since their introduction on the market, environmental levels of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are continuously increasing. This is caused by spillage and emission during production and use, but also by improper disposal at the end-of-life of the products in which they are used. These chemicals are highly persistent and lipophilic which results in bioaccumulation in fatty tissues of biota and biomagnification throughout the food chain. Because PBDEs have a high toxicological potential, this biomagnification can have serious health consequences for top-predators, such as birds of prey. Data about PBDE concentrations in terrestrial biota, especially in birds of prey, is scarce. A rapid increase of PBDE concentrations has been seen in pooled guillemot (Uria algae) eggs from the Baltic proper7 during the late 1970's and early 1980's, followed by a decrease during the 1990's8. In herring gull eggs from the Great Lakes, the PBDE concentrations increased exponentially from 1981 to 2000. Most of the studies look at concentrations in eggs, while less is known about tissue levels and distribution of these pollutants in birds of prey.

  16. Historical Configurations of Freemasonry in Belgium: Secularity, Politics, Fragmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey Tyssens


    Full Text Available Si la masonería belga era una sociabilidad a problemática durante una gran parte del siglo XVII, esta dinámica se transformó a partir de la anexión de Bélgica a Francia y a los Países Bajos a finales del siglo XVIII y durante las primeras décadas del XIX. Un conjunto de nuevas logias con una gran cantidad de nuevos miembros, principalmente burgueses generaron progresivamente una masonería que iba a ser cada vez más anticlerical y políticamente abierta como el núcleo duro del partido liberal del país. En est e artículo muestra cómo durante la secularización de sus discursos y prácticas, el Gran Oriente belga estaba a la vanguardia de lo que comúnmente se llamó la masonería “latina”. Sin embargo, aprincipios del siglo XX, cuando la democracia de masas cambió la identidad del país y las primeras simpatías socialistas se desarrollaron en las logias, se in ició un proceso de despolitización, más o menos completado, después de la Primera Guerra Mundial. La configuración masónica belga entonces tendió a la fragmentación. Este proceso se inició a principios del siglo XX y continuó hasta los inicios del XXI, don de los debates sobre la cuestión de la regularidad y aún más por la impugnación de la exclusividad de género de las grandes logias masculinas por las masonerías mixtas o femeninas. Si bien se rompió la antigua unidad organizativa, sin embargo, se pudo desa rrollar una convivencia relativamente benigna.

  17. Ministers from Belgium and the Netherlands visit CERN

    CERN Multimedia


    The Belgian Minister of Economy, Energy, Foreign Trade and Science Policy, Marc Verwilghen, with CERN's Director-General, Robert Aymar.From left to right, Frank Linde, Director of the Netherlands National Institute for Nuclear Physics and High Energy Physics (NIKHEF), Jos Engelen, CERN's Chief Scientific Officer, Maria van der Hoeven, Netherlands Minister for Education, Culture and Science, and Herman Ten Kate, Head of the ATLAS magnet project, visiting the ATLAS assembly hall. Marc Verwilghen, Belgian Minister of Economy, Energy, Foreign Trade and Science Policy, came to CERN on 8 April 2005, where he visited the CMS assembly hall and underground cavern, as well as the hall where the LHC superconducting magnets are being tested. A few days later, on 21 April, the Netherlands Minister for Education, Culture and Science, Mrs Maria van der Hoeven, was welcomed to CERN by the Director-General, Robert Aymar, and the Chief Scientific Officer, Jos Engelen. Minister van der Hoeven visited the ATLAS installations, t...

  18. 教育绩效的影响因素:来自比利时弗兰德语区的经验--荷语鲁汶大学Jan Van Damme教授专访%The Impact Factors on Educational Effectiveness:Experiences from the Flanders, Belgium An Interview to Prof. Jan Van Damme in KU Leuven

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宁波; Jan Van Damme[比利时


    比利时是一个联邦制国家,由荷语区(Flanders,弗兰德语区)、法语区(Wallonia,瓦隆语区)和德语区构成。自1989年宪法颁布实施以后,每一个语区承担自己的文化和教育事务。国际教育评价组织(International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement)组织的六科成绩调查(Six Subject Survey)显示,弗兰德语区和瓦隆语区的教育质量在20世纪70年代处于旗鼓相当的水平。进入21世纪以后,弗兰德语区在各种国际学生评价中的表现均优于瓦隆语区。这种优势体现在各门学科(包括语言,数学和自然科学)和各个教育阶段(小学和中学)。与其他工业国家相比,弗兰德语区的学生在语言和数学两个学科处于领先水平,但是在自然科学学科上却处于落后水平。在本期的专家访谈中,我们将与Van Damme教授就弗兰德语区的中小学教育状况展开讨论。Van Damme教授是荷语鲁汶大学(KU Leuven)的荣修教授,他和他的团队长期致力于学生学业成绩和幸福感跟踪研究。%Belgium is a federal country, consisted of the Dutch-speaking (Flanders), French-speaking (Wallonia), and Germany-speaking communities. Each of the three language communities shoulders the responsibilities of cultural and educational affairs since the 1989 Constitution. In the 1970s, students’ academic performance was balanced between Flanders and Wallonia, which was assessed by the Six Subject Survey organized by IEA. Up to the 2000s, the story was rewritten totally. Flanders performed much better in international student assessments than Wallonia, independent of subjects (language, math, or science) and educational stages (primary or secondary). Compared with other industrialized countries, Flanders tended to be top-performers in math and reading but weak in science. In this interview, we will discuss with Prof. Van Damme about the primary and secondary

  19. Étude des interactions mécaniques et physico-chimiques entre les argiles et les fluides de forage. Application à l'argile de Boom (Belgique A Study O the Mechanical and Physicochemical Interactions Between the Clay Materials and the Drilling Fluids. Application to the Boom Clay (Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tshibangu J. P.


    diffusivity law (20, and if we neglect the influence the concentration of the species s on the diffusion of the species r, assumption which is generally admitted (Put et al, 1987, 1991, we obtain a diffusivity law (21 known as Fick's law. In that equation Lr is the apparent diffusion coefficient which depends on the accessible porosity, on the density and on other factors as expressed in equations (22 and (23. The clay material and the experimental systemThe Boom clay materialWe have chosen the experimentally well known Boom clay material from Belgium in order to study the mechanisms of ions diffusion and/or osmotic transport. This is a gray clay rich in pyrite concretions and septaria, almost homogeneous in the middle part of the geological formation and more silty in lower band and in the upper part with rhythmic changes in silt content. This material from marine depositional environment contains 60% of clay minerals. The 100 m thick geological formation has a burial depth of about 200 m at Mol where a nuclear research center is installed Centre d'études de I'énergie nucléaire (CEN-Mol. Many known characteristics of the Boom clay are given in paragraph 3. 1 : mineralogical composition, geochemical parameters, petrophysical and hydraulic parameters, geomechanical parameters. Two cores were provided graciously by the CEN-Mol and appendices 1 to 4 show some scanner images. It clearly seems when observing these images that the material is heterogeneous on the X-rays point of view, and we think that the more absorbent regions are pyrite concretions. This material is very sensitive to the atmospheric conditions and reacts with oxygen to give a sodium sulphate pore water type whereas the original pore water is of sodium bicarbonate type. To minimize the influence of atmospheric conditions, the time delay has to be minimized between opening of the core and loading of the sample in the experimental system. Four samples were prepared, two of dimensions 40 x 80 mm for a triaxial

  20. Accelerated degradation of 14C-atrazine in an atrazine adapted field soil from Belgium (United States)

    Hamacher, Georg; Jablonowski, Nicolai David; Martinazzo, Rosane; Accinelli, Cesare; Köppchen, Stephan; Langen, Ulrike; Linden, Andreas; Krause, Martina; Burauel, Peter


    Atrazine [2-chloro-4-(ethylamino)-6-(isopropylamino)-s-triazine] is one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. Atrazine is considered to be mobile in soil and has often been characterized as a rather recalcitrant compound in the environment. In the present study the accelerated atrazine degradation in an agriculturally used soil was examined. Soil samples were collected from a Belgian field which was used for corn-plantations and was regularly treated with atrazine during the last 30 years. The experiment was conducted under controlled laboratory conditions (GLP) using 14C-labelled and unlabelled atrazine in accordance to the reported field application dose of 1 mg kg-1. Triplicates of treated subsamples were incubated at 50% WHCmax and under slurry conditions (1:4 soil:solution ratio, using distilled water) in the dark at 20° C. Control samples were collected at an adjacent pear orchard where no atrazine or other triazine pesticides application was reported. After 92 days of incubation, the mineralized amount of atrazine reached 83% of the initially applied 14C-activity in the atrazine treated soil for the slurry setup. A maximum of atrazine mineralization was observed in the treated field soil between 6 and 7 days of incubation for both, 50% WHCmax and slurry setups. The total 14C-atrazine mineralization was equally high for 50% WHCmax in the atrazine treated soil. After an extended lag-phase in comparison to the treated soil the overall mineralization of 14C-atrazine of 81% was observed in the atrazine untreated soil under slurry conditions. This observation might be due to a possible cross adaption of the microflora. These results could be attributed to an atrazine drift during application since the control samples were taken in an adjacent pear orchard with no atrazine application history. These results demonstrate an adaption of the microflora to mineralize atrazine rapidly. The formation of desorbable metabolites as well as the formation of unextractable, bound atrazine residues during the incubation process was monitored by accelerated solvent extraction, LC-MSMS and LSC analysis, subsequent to sample oxidation. Analysis of the atzABC and trzN genes that code for enzymes able to rapidly catabolize atrazine are under investigation. This outcome will give evidence of the global presence of an atrazine adapted soil microflora in atrazine treated field soils.

  1. RICH – A new AMS facility at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels, Belgium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boudin, Mathieu; Van Strydonck, Mark; Brande, Tess van den [Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Jubelpark 1, 1000 Brussels (Belgium); Synal, Hans-Arno; Wacker, Luckas [Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich (Switzerland)


    Since 1989 the radiocarbon dating lab has their own graphitization system for {sup 14}C AMS dating but RICH (Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage) did not possess their own AMS and measurements were carried out in collaboration with other AMS facilities. In April 2013 the Micadas (Mini Carbon Dating System) AMS was installed at RICH in Brussels and after 1.5 year operation the high stability and performance of the Micadas can be demonstrated by repeated analyses of primary standard OXA II and secondary standards. Results of unknown samples measured on the RICH–Micadas and on other AMS systems are in good agreement.

  2. [The Ethics Committee meeting in Belgium May 7, 2004, on human experimentation]. (United States)

    Dresse, A


    The European directive 2001/20/EC concerning the performance or clinical trials has been transposed in the Belgian law of May 7, 2004, entitled "Loi relative aux expérimentations sur la personne humaine" (Moniteur belge, May 18, 2004)". The range of the law is larger than those of the directive. Several new elements must be underlined: 1. Any experimentation on a human being may only begin if the promoter received a positive advice from an ethical committee according to the provision of the law. 2. For multicentric assays, a single opinion, identical for all the participating centres must be obtained. This implies a close dialogue between the ethical committees. A central committee is proposed by the industrial promoter. Each clinical trial of a drug must have a unique identification number obtained at the European agency for the evaluation of medicinal products (EMEA). 3. Taking into account the fear of the pharmaceutical industry that some clinical studies could be "delocalized", the authorities accepted to reduce to twenty- eight days (instead of 60) the delay granted to the ethical committee in order to produce their single opinion. 4. The law of May 7, 2004, clearly defines the dispositions related to the protection of the participants. Particular dispositions are foreseen for the protection of minors, incapable adults and patients in emergency. 5. The promoter endorses, even without fault, the responsibility of the damage caused to the participant or his descendants. An insurance covering this risk must be contracted.

  3. Bulgarian Human Trafficking in Belgium and Proactive Learning Entrepreneurship: Developments 2002–2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Leman


    Full Text Available The paper discusses the mechanisms of proactive learning in the Bulgaro-Belgian human trafficking business between 2002 and 2007 through three profiles, starting each time with a case study. The profiles and cases are the result of an in-depth study of 16 Belgian court files. The study reveals three profiles: post-violent entrepreneurship in prostitution (2002–2005, international and inter-ethnic entrepreneurship in prostitution (2004, and labour exploitation (2004–2005. Each time one can identify learning processes in the minds of the entrepreneurs when comparing their activities with those of their predecessors, as described in previous articles by the same researchers. The image that comes to the fore from our analysis is one of organisations that are successful in all sorts of ways at covering themselves against police and judicial investigations, and that at the same time in many places and many ways – both in the regions of origin and in the country in which the activities take place – manage to infiltrate the economy.

  4. Mobile-Assisted Language Learning Community and Culture in French-Speaking Belgium: The Teachers' Perspective (United States)

    Van de Vyver, Julie


    This paper focuses on the perceptions and uses of mobile technologies by 118 Belgian teachers in foreign language teaching and learning in secondary education. The purpose of the study is to analyze the teachers' attitudes towards the use of mobile technologies in- and outside the classroom via an online questionnaire. The preliminary findings…

  5. Life-course schemes and employability - the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium compared

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huiskamp, R.; Vos, K.


    Over the last decade life-course arrangements have been introduced in several EU Member States with the aim of enhancing in a coherent way individual flexibility and employability over an employee's whole working life. In this article we examine the effects of existing schemes with a life-course dim

  6. From federated federalism to harmonized federalism: the case of EU subsidiarity scrutiny in Spain and Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vandamme, T.


    In political science literature, federal systems can be classified as ‘dual’ or ‘cooperative’ polities. Also for legal research, this classification has proven to be a good tool for analysis as evidenced by the recent work of Robert Schütze when he described the evolution of the EU from a dual to a

  7. Cyclist exposure to UFP and BC on urban routes in Antwerp, Belgium (United States)

    Peters, Jan; Van den Bossche, Joris; Reggente, Matteo; Van Poppel, Martine; De Baets, Bernard; Theunis, Jan


    Ultrafine particles (UFP) and black carbon (BC) concentrations show a highly dynamic micro-variability in urban area. Mobile monitoring using a bicycle platform (354 runs in 1 month) was adopted in this study to characterize the micro-variability in relation to traffic intensity, street topology and meteorological conditions. For UFP and BC a positive relationship was demonstrated between pollutant concentration and traffic intensity. In addition, the distance to the traffic and the street topology were the dominant factors influencing the UFP and BC concentrations. A high variability between streets and even within streets was observed, and also between days and hour of the day. The exposure of cyclists in urban environments is strongly linked to the spatio-temporal variability of the pollutant concentrations. Fixed-track comparisons through time revealed significant differences in exposure between days and hour of the day, but even more importantly due to the occurrence of peak concentrations along the cycling track. Peaks were mainly found near busy cross-roads and in tunnels.

  8. Yogurt's flexible image during its rise in popularity in post-war Belgium. (United States)

    Verriet, Jon; Leroy, Frédéric


    The consumption of yogurt in Western countries has risen for over a century, first slowly, then more rapidly. The purpose of the present study was to investigate this prolonged phase of growth, by examining the popularity and the projected image of yogurt. A particular focus was on the way these aspects were reflected in consumption patterns and media representations. The data showed how during its period of rapid popularization, yogurt's visibility in the media greatly increased. It was concluded that the product's image was highly flexible in post-war decades, evidenced by the multi-pronged approach taken by marketers. Yogurt was not only advertised as both tasty and healthy, but also as natural and convenient, a strategy that appears to have been informed by consumers' preferences and existing cultural values. This demonstrates how a high degree of product differentiation and diversification during a product's growth stage can result in a heterogeneous image, allowing for a broad range of marketing strategies.

  9. Macropolitics Caught Up in Micropolitics: The Case of the Policy on Quality Control in Flanders (Belgium) (United States)

    Kelchtermans, Geert


    Using the case of the Flemish policy on educational quality and based on a series of case studies, the author argues that the impact of central policy measures on educational practices in schools is never simply straightforward. Policy measures are always interpreted by and translated to the particular context of a school. In these processes of…

  10. How Belgium helped establish a surveillance programme for Argentina's Atucha-2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitev, Lubomir [NucNet, Brussels (Belgium)


    Collaboration between Belgian experts and Argentina on the commissioning of Argentine reactors helped overcome problems caused by delays with construction. Marc Scibetta, deputy manager for nuclear materials science, from the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN) gave an interview in which he told some facts to Lubomir Mitev of NucNet. The cooperation between SCK CEN an Argentina's Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica (CNEA) started in 2002. The first project was a support for the safety evaluation of the Atucha-1 reactor pressure vessel. When Argentina resumed the construction of Atucha-2 in 2006 - originally, construction started in 1981 but was suspended in 1985 due to financial reasons -, SCK CEN was asked to develop and implement a surveillance programme for the unit.

  11. Internalized Stigma and Psychological Well-Being in Gay Men and Lesbians in Italy and Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giorgia Lorenzi


    Full Text Available Several studies have shown that internalized homophobia is a risk factor for mental health illness in homosexual individuals, whereas the perception of social support is a protective factor for their psychological well-being. In line with those studies, the present research has investigated the levels of internalized homophobia, anxiety, depression and social support, among two groups of gay men and lesbian individuals living in two European countries (N = 194: 86 Italian and 108 Belgian, where legislations grant different civil rights to lesbian and gay individuals (LG. The main goal of this research has been to verify the possible differences between the two groups. Results showed some significant differences in terms of observed levels of internalized homophobia, which was higher in the Belgian gay men’s group compared to the Italian one. Furthermore, path analysis emphasized the role of social support as a potential factor of mediation between internalized homophobia and mental health.

  12. Distribution of responsibility for social security and labour market policy. - Country report: Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. De Deken


    High levels of unemployment, or high levels of social expenditures as well as the growing demand for a flexible labour force have given new impetus to the world-wide discussion on what model to use for an efficiently operating labour market and in particular on the role of institutions. Although the

  13. Assessment of radio frequency exposures in schools, homes, and public places in Belgium. (United States)

    Verloock, Leen; Joseph, Wout; Goeminne, Francis; Martens, Luc; Verlaek, Mart; Constandt, Kim


    Characterization of exposure from emerging radio frequency (RF) technologies in areas where children are present is important. Exposure to RF electromagnetic fields (EMF) was assessed in three "sensitive" microenvironments; namely, schools, homes, and public places located in urban environments and compared to exposure in offices. In situ assessment was conducted by performing spatial broadband and accurate narrowband measurements, providing 6-min averaged electric-field strengths. A distinction between internal (transmitters that are located indoors) and external (outdoor sources from broadcasting and telecommunication) sources was made. Ninety-four percent of the broadband measurements were below 1 V m(-1). The average and maximal total electric-field values in schools, homes, and public places were 0.2 and 3.2 V m(-1) (WiFi), 0.1 and 1.1 V m(-1) (telecommunication), and 0.6 and 2.4 V m(-1) (telecommunication), respectively, while for offices, average and maximal exposure were 0.9 and 3.3 V m(-1) (telecommunication), satisfying the ICNIRP reference levels. In the schools considered, the highest maximal and average field values were due to internal signals (WiFi). In the homes, public places, and offices considered, the highest maximal and average field values originated from telecommunication signals. Lowest exposures were obtained in homes. Internal sources contributed on average more indoors (31.2%) than outdoors (2.3%), while the average contributions of external sources (broadcast and telecommunication sources) were higher outdoors (97.7%) than at indoor positions (68.8%). FM, GSM, and UMTS dominate the total downlink exposure in the outdoor measurements. In indoor measurements, FM, GSM, and WiFi dominate the total exposure. The average contribution of the emerging technology LTE was only 0.6%.

  14. European Liaisons? A study on European bi-national marriages in Belgium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koelet, S.; de Valk, H.A.G.


    European bi-national marriages as a special case of interethnic unions have received relatively little attention in research. Existing studies on interethnic marriage mainly orient on union formation among non-western migrants and in particular intermarriages between the majority group and non-weste

  15. Divided They Stand: Managing Diversity in Belgium’s Divided Society. (United States)


    control fell to the Frankish majority which continued to speak an old form of Dutch called Diets ( Herremans 1967, 3). The remaining Celtic or Gallic... Herremans 1967, 3). Birth of the Movement The Flemish movement got its start during the 1830’s among a small group of middle-class intellectuals

  16. Soil piping in a temperate humid climate. The Flemish Ardennes (Belgium).


    Verachtert, Els


    Collapsible loess-derived soils are prone to subsurface soil erosion (piping), whereenlargement of macropores may lead to a subsurface pipe network and eventuallyto soil collapse. This PhD aimed at understanding the factors controlling theoccurrence of collapsed pipes in the Flemish Ardennes. In total, 137 parcelswith 560 collapsed pipes were mapped, indicating significant soil losses in aland use –pasture– that is typically considered to be non-susceptible to surfaceerosion. Logistic regress...

  17. 78 FR 79662 - Stainless Steel Plate in Coils From Belgium: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative... (United States)


    ...) (Assessment Policy Notice). Cash Deposit Requirements The following antidumping duty deposit rates will be... (the Act): (1) For ASB, the cash deposit rate will be the rate established in the final results of this... the original less-than-fair-value (LTFV) investigation, the cash deposit rate will continue to be...

  18. First report of multinodular pulmonary fibrosis associated with equine herpesvirus 5 in Belgium


    Verryken, Kirsten; Saey, Veronique; S.; Maes; Borchers, K; Van de Walle, Gerlinde; Ducatelle, Richard; Deprez, Piet


    A 20-year-old horse was evaluated for symptoms of weight loss, anorexia, fever and lethargy. Clinical examination revealed tachypnea, poor body condition and increased breath sounds on auscultation. Ultrasound showed multiple consolidations on the lungs. Thoracic radiography revealed a severe nodular pattern. The horse was treated with antibiotics, corticoids and supportive medication. Since no improvement was observed, the horse was euthanized. At necropsy, numerous coalescing fibrous nod...

  19. Revisiting the Principle of Relative Constancy: Consumer Mass Media Expenditures in Belgium. (United States)

    Dupagne, Michel; Green, R. Jeffery


    Proposes two new econometric models for testing the principle of relative constancy (PRC). Reports on regression and cointegration analyses conducted with Belgian mass media expenditure data from 1953-91. Suggests that alternative mass media expenditure models should be developed because PRC lacks of economic foundation and sound empirical…

  20. Carbon balance of an intensively grazed permanent grassland in southern Belgium (United States)

    Gourlez de la Motte, Louis; Jérôme, Elisabeth; Mamadou, Ossénatou; Beckers, Yves; Bodson, Bernard; Heineisch, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc


    Grasslands are an important component of the global carbon balance but their carbon storage potential is still highly uncertain. Especially, the impact of weather variability and management practices on grassland carbon budgets need to be assessed. This study investigates the carbon balance of an intensively managed permanent grassland (Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory (DTO)) and its uncertainties by combining 5-years of eddy covariance measurements and other organic carbon exchanges estimates. The specificities of this study lie in: (i) the age of the pasture, which has probably been established since more than one century; (ii) the intensive character of the management with a mean grazing pressure larger than 2 livestock unit ha-1 and stocking cycle including stocking and rest periods, (iii) the livestock production system, typical of Wallonia, farming intensively Belgian Blue breed of cattle in order to produce meat. The results showed that, despite the high stocking rate and the old age of the pasture and the high stocking rate, the site acted as a relatively stable carbon sink from year to year with a 5-year average Net Biome Productivity of ‒173 [‒128 ‒203] g C m-2 yr-1. The carbon sink behavior of the pasture was directly increased by management practices through food complementation and organic fertilization and indirectly by mineral fertilization. The relatively low carbon budget inter-annual variability could be explained both by: (i) grazing management of the farmer that regulated Growth Primary Productivity by adapting the stocking rate to the Leaf Area Index which itself depends on weather conditions, (ii) carbon imports through food complements only when grass regrowth was not sufficient to feed the cattle. The results suggest that management practices that tend to optimize forage availability for meat production could contribute to maintaining a carbon sink. Keywords : grassland, carbon budget, carbon dioxide flux, management, eddy covariance