About one in five people in Finland reported they experienced symptoms related to indoor air, said the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) on Thursday referring to a study.
The study jointly conducted by the THL, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and the University of Helsinki was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Some of the people who experienced symptom did not think the symptoms affected their functional capacity at all, but a small part found that the symptoms caused significant functional impairment.
About two in three people suffering from symptoms experienced at most mild functional impairment due to symptoms.
The more severe the respondents found the functional impairment due to symptoms, the more common were also many diagnosed illnesses, the person’s perception of poor health, diverse symptoms across the body and sensitivity to different environmental factors.
“Persons suffering from difficult symptoms and severe functional impairment make up a small part of those getting symptoms from indoor air. They need special support because they have also accumulated many other factors impairing their functional capacity,” said Senior Specialist of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health Sanna Selinheimo.
The differences in functional capacity and the prevalence of other health problems in symptomatic persons should be taken into account better in activities that support a symptomatic person’s rehabilitation and ability to cope with everyday life and work.
“The results support earlier research results in that, in addition to indoor air impurities, there are also many other factors behind the severity of symptoms related to indoor air,” said Professor Juha Pekkanen of THL and the University of Helsinki.
The study is based on the National Indoor Air Survey 2018, to which 4,997 Finnish-speaking people aged between 25 and 64 years and living in Finland were selected in a random sample. Of them, 1,797 responded to the survey.