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State of the environment

Healthy environment

The living environments in Finland are quite healthy. Urban air is weakened by fine particles. People are bothered by noise.
People walking in the park.
© Roine Piirainen,

Environmental quality is of great importance for people’s well-being. The living environments in Finland are mostly healthy and comfortable by international standards. The outdoor air is mostly clean. No harmful substances are generally present in soil or groundwater.

Large population centres have the most problems. Airborne fine particles occasionally degrade the quality of street air, which causes health hazards. City residents are also affected by noise and littering, as well as by the wear of local nature. People looking for the peace of nature will have to travel further, which contributes to the increase in traffic and the harm caused by it.

Towards a healthier environment

Determined actions have been taken to improve the healthiness of the living environment, and the work continues. Emissions to air have decreased and continue to decrease in line with the obligations set by the European Union. Noise problems are being addressed both through legislation and zoning.

More attention is being paid to the well-being of soil. In urban areas, soil condition is impaired by watertight soil covering, in rural areas by humus loss, erosion and the compaction of arable land.

Comparison with Europe

Air pollution in Europe
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Environment and health
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Finnish Environment Institute (Syke)