Air pollutants affect all of us

Symptoms of exposure to air pollutants may include cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, irritation of the airways or inflammation of the airways.

Long-term exposure lasting years or decades is more harmful than short-term exposure, as it may increase and exacerbate chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and therefore shorten life expectancy. Poor air quality affects all of us, but children, asthmatic people of all ages and elderly people with coronary artery disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are particularly sensitive to the health effects of air pollution.

Air pollutants can cause serious harm to human health. Although air quality in Finland is relatively good, air pollutants are estimated to continue to cause approximately 1,600–1,800 premature deaths per year in Finland.

More about air pollutants

How to reduce your exposure to air pollutants

Monitor air quality in your residential area
Select the cleanest route in terms of air quality when travelling
Avoid outdoor exercise on busy streets and routes, especially at peak times
Avoid heavy physical strain in busy traffic areas
Air your home through windows from the courtyard side or when there is less traffic
Change and maintain air filters in your home regularly

You can reduce the effects of air pollutants

The health effects of air pollution are caused by exposure to harmful substances in the air. Exhaust emissions are the primary cause of air pollutants in urban areas with busy traffic, whereas wood burning smoke causes pollution in residential areas with detached houses. Many of us suffer from symptoms especially in the spring when there is plenty of road dust in the air. We can all affect the quality of the air we share in the city and reduce our exposure to air pollutants.

Read tips for residents