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Frequently asked questions

1. How long do the investigations take?

The planning process of an indoor air investigation has many stages and involves many operators. Once the investigation is started, it will usually take 3–6 months to be completed. Observations made during the investigation may cause the investigation to be expanded.

2. What effects can microbial damage have on the health of the users of the space?

The health effects depend on the stage and extent of the damage, its connection to indoor air, the operation of ventilation, the duration of exposure, and the individual properties of each person.

The mechanism of microbe-induced health hazards is not known exactly. The starting point is that microbial growth should not occur in structures connected to indoor air.

Microbial damage is not the only cause of poor indoor air or symptoms. Irritation of the eyes or respiratory tracts may be caused by industrial mineral wool fibres used as thermal and sound insulation materials in structures and ventilation systems, for example. Any such fibre sources should be either removed or coated.

3. What are air leaks?

Impurities may be carried into rooms through various air leak routes. There may, for example, be construction waste underneath the building, and soil always contains microbes and some amount of radon.

If the building is not airtight and there are air leaks from the base floor structures into the building, the air flow may carry impurities into the indoor air. Air leaks in structures are repaired through sealing repairs.

4. How long will it take to get temporary facilities?

The city often uses so-called pavilion and slice facilities as temporary facilities. There are usually no temporary facilities empty, as they must be designed to fit the purpose and ordered from an external supplier.

Acquiring new temporary facilities usually takes approximately 10–12 months. The time consuming phases include the tendering process of the construction, acquiring a building permit, excavation work, and organising sewerage and electricity.

5. Who can prohibit the use of a facility and in what circumstances?

The City Environment Committee’s Environment and Permits Sub-committee acts as the health protection authority, and is therefore the body that may prohibit the use of a facility if the property owner or operator has not taken action to remove the hazard or limit the use of the facility. Only the Sub-committee can allow the facility to be used again. A prohibition may also be placed on a part of a building or an individual space.

Factors causing the use of a facility to be limited include exceptionally high radon content, presence of asbestos, radiation danger, severe microbial damage, contaminated drinking water, or strong smell of cigarette smoke. Every case is considered individually and assessed as a whole.

The questions and answers will be updated.

06.12.2019 19:19