Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment

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© Photo: Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
RIVM's headquarters building

The Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Dutch:Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu or simply RIVM) is a research institute that is an independent agency of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. It is a recognized leading center of expertise in the fields of health, nutrition and environmental protection.

RIVM's mission is to promote public health and a safe living environment by conducting research and collecting knowledge worldwide. The results are used to support the Dutch government in formulating policy.

RIVM is located in Bilthoven and employs over 1500 people, many of whom work in multidisciplinary fields.


RIVM was founded in 1910 when the Central Laboratory for Public Health was created and the present size of the institute is the result of a merger between three government institutes in 1984. RIVM has now become a large, complex organization with many different international links and a range of activities.[1]

RIVM's primary activities

RIVM's primary activities are:[2][3]

  • Research
  • Policy support
  • Intervention programs
  • Provision of reliable information to the general public and to professionals working in health care, infectious diseases, the environment, nutrition and safety.


In addition to the usual administrative sections (facilities management, finance, human resources, and communications), RIVM has four major technical divisions and/or centres each of which has a number of subsidiary divisions, centers and/or laboratories:[4]

  • Centre for Infectious Disease Control
    • Centre for Infectious Disease Control
    • National Coordination Centre for Outbreak Management
    • Diagnostic Laboratory for Infectious Diseases and Perinatal Screening
    • Laboratory for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
    • Microbiological Laboratory for Health Protection
  • Public Health and Health Services Division
    • Youth Health Centre
    • Centre for National Screening Programs
    • Expertise Centre for Methodology and Information Services
    • Centre for Public Health Forecasting
    • Centre for Prevention and Health Services Research
  • Nutrition, Medicines and Consumer Safety Division
    • Laboratory for Food and Residue Analyses
    • Centre for Biological Medicines and Medical Technology
    • Centre for Nutrition and Health
    • Centre for Quality of Chemical-Pharmaceutical Products
    • Centre for Substances and Integrated Risk Assessment
    • Laboratory for Toxicology, Pathology and Genetics
  • Environment and Safety Division
    • Advisory Service for the Inspectorate, Environment and Health
    • Centre for External Safety
    • Laboratory for Ecological Risk Assessment
    • Laboratory for Radiation Research
    • Laboratory for Environmental Monitoring
    • Centre for Environmental Health Research
    • Expertise Centre for Substances
    • National Poisons Information Centre