The decree on housing health supports the assessment of housingconditions
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health's new decree on housing health contains provisions on health-related conditions in housing and other residential buildings and qualification requirements applicable to third-party experts who assist health protection authorities.
This decree replaces the Ministry's current housing health instructions. The contents of the decree on housing health are to a great extent based on the current housing health instructions and the prevailing practices of investigating the adverse health effects of buildings. The health-related guideline and reference values for housing and other residential buildings have been made more specific where needs for change have emerged in supervisory activities.
The most important reform that will enter into force along with the decree is qualification requirements applicable to third-party experts who assist health protection authorities. The aim is that the experts may be educated, and their vocational skills and competence may be assessed, consistently in all parts of the country.
The qualification requirements ensure that the experts have adequate competence in evaluating the consequences of damage caused by dampness and mould and other indoor air problems.
"The idea of the decree is that in the future, the adverse health effects of buildings are only examined by adequately qualified experts using sufficiently reliable methods. The details of the experts will be found in a public register. With the help of a qualified expert, indoor air problems can be discovered and fixed faster and better", says Ministerial Adviser Vesa Pekkola.
In addition to the qualification requirements the decree on housing health sets action limits, for example for the type of indoor noise to be considered harmful in terms of health protection, situations where it is possible to intervene in the nuisance caused to their neighbours by smokers, and temperature requirements for flats.
The decree also lays down action limits for microbial damage, ventilation that is sufficient from the perspective of health protection, and levels of chemical substances.
In order to apply the action limits, the authorities and experts need competence not only in making measurements but also in the overall assessment of nuisances and risk-management.
The Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on health-related conditions of housing and other residential buildings and qualification requirements set for third-party experts will enter into force on 15 May 2015.
Ministerial Adviser Vesa Pekkola, tel. +358 2951 63282, [email protected]