Click the image above to open the air protection brochure (pdf).
Air Quality Plan for Helsinki
Air quality in Helsinki is generally good. However, the limit values for air quality, as defined by the EU based on health effects, are exceeded in the busy street traffic routes of the inner city area, due to traffic emissions and the increased number of diesel cars.
Air pollution can have harmful health effects. Those who are most susceptible to the health impacts of air pollution are children, asthmatics of all ages, and elderly people suffering from coronary artery disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Air Quality Plan for the City has therefore been drawn up to cover the years 2017–2024. Citizens and other interest groups were involved in the preparation of the programme.
In accordance with legislative requirements, the programme includes measures for reducing nitrogen dioxide emissions resulting from traffic in street canyons, where the limit value is exceeded. In addition to traffic, the themes of the Air Quality Plan are composed of other factors deemed to have a significant impact on the air quality of Helsinki: street dust and small-scale wood burning.
The air protection brochure presents the air quality problems in Helsinki and gives means for solving them
The air protection brochure describes sources of air pollution and their health effects. It describes what the City is committed to doing and what residents can do to improve air quality.
The limit values for street dust, i.e. respirable particles, have not been exceeded in Helsinki in recent years, but the risk of exceeding them still remains, particularly in busy street canyons. Furthermore, street dust reduces general air quality, especially in the spring.
Small-scale wood burning also reduces air quality in densely built single-family housing areas, where HSY's measurements show that the EU's target value for carcinogenic benzo[a]pyrene is at times exceeded.
Furthermore, in densely built family housing areas the burning of wood may sometimes raise the levels of particulate matter as high as or even higher than in busy inner city traffic areas.