Preliminary information regarding inside air symptoms inquiry

The City of Vantaa carries out continuous follow-ups on students’ symptoms. Furthermore, the City ordered an inquiry regarding inside air symptoms in schools and daycare centres which was carried out by the University of Turku. The inquiry, presumably the most extensive one in Finland, surveyed symptoms, illnesses and adverse factors associated with inside air. In the preliminary results, six schools - Jokiniemi, Korso, Mikkola, Vantaankoski, Veromäki, and Länsimäki - stand out. The results are based on the answers from students and guardians; materials gained from the inquiries to the personnel, the daycare centres, and Vantaa Vocational College Varia have yet to produce preliminary results.

One of the focal points was the respondents’ suffering from worsened health conditions and adverse environmental conditions.

-The preliminary information does not surprise us greatly. The City of Vantaa takes the inside air matters of facilities seriously. Of these schools, five already have had a multidisciplinary inside air working group established, whose job is to handle inside air matters in situations in which the adverse conditions are continuing despite repairs. The adverse environmental conditions have also been investigated in the Länsimäki School on the basis of the preliminary information from the study, and the matters that emerge will be addressed urgently, says Chief Financial Officer Eila Tanninen.

The director of the research project Tuula Putus, Professor of Occupational Health Care of the University of Turku, presented the progress report of the study to the City Council’s evening meeting on Monday 11 February 2019. The final overall results of the study and all reported unit-specific results will be completed by the end of March, after which the City will provide the schools and daycare centres with more detailed information.

The personnel, pupils, and guardians of the students of the Jokiniemi, Korso, Mikkola, Vantaankoski, Veromäki, and Länsimäki schools will receive a Wilma message regarding school-specific preliminary information on 11 February. The schools will receive assistance with processing the results and deciding on further actions. School-specific inside air groups will go through the results and decide on actions, i.e. more detailed environmental measurements or surveys on structural dimensions.

The inquiry was conducted 3 November 2018 – 12 January 2019, and the participants were the personnel, pupils, students, or clients in the city’s day care centers, primary schools, secondary schools, and Varia, as well as the staff of Vantti. A total of 40,000 persons and 200 schools and day care centers were included in the target groups of the inquiry.

- I am pleased that this important issue is dealt with more thoroughly than before. Our City Strategy features improvements to the inside air conditions as one of its main points, which makes a health promotor such as me very happy. I am eagerly waiting for the final scientific analysis, says Director of Health Services Piia Vuorela.

The personnel included in the target group of the inquiry responded to the inquiry at a rate of nearly 70 percent, according to the preliminary information. The response level of students in secondary schools was 55 percent, and about 40 percent in primary schools.

According to the preliminary information, the rate of response by early education clients was 38 percent, and 17 percent by the students who received the inquiry at Varia. The response rates may still be adjusted for accuracy.

The inside air inquiry is part of the Satakunta project.

Published: 11.2.2019 
(modified: )