Nainen pyöräilee. Katupölyä on runsaasti ilmassa aurinkoisina ja kuivina päivinä.

The season of road dust is arriving in Oulu


Spring has progressed in Oulu to the point where the majority of roads are free of snow and ice. Once the roads have dried, road dust will rise into the air due to traffic and wind. High dust density was measured in the Oulu city centre for the first time this spring on March 18. In the coming days and weeks, the dust density will vary every day depending on the weather. There will be a lot of road dust in the air on sunny and dry days. Rain and melt waters will reduce dust density by binding it into the roads.  

Before the road sweeping this spring can be started, the road dust is reduced with dust suppression. When the dust density is high, the roads are sprayed with diluted calcium base. It keeps the road surfaces wet for days and prevents the dust from rising into the air. The sweeping of roads and streets can be started when the harsh night frosts are over.  

Many react negatively to road dust 

The health effects of road dust are especially bad for people with asthma, small children, the elderly and people with respiratory and heart illnesses. Road dust often makes the symptoms of heart and respiratory illnesses worse. Road dust can cause irritation symptoms, such as flu and coughing as well as eye and throat itching, to healthy people as well. 

You can limit the exposure to road dust by avoiding areas with busy traffic. You can reduce road dust in indoor air with efficient air filters, simultaneous ventilation system adjustment and by keeping windows closed during dust-heavy periods. You should also take care of the condition of the weather strips of your windows and doors. Drivers can reduce dusting by avoiding driving on the edges of roads.  

The Environment Office of the Oulu Region monitors dust density in the measurement stations in the city centre and in Pyykösjärvi.  

Oulu’s up-to-date measurement results can be seen on the Finnish Meterological Insitute’s service: (in Finnish)


Further details: 

Information about road dust: 
(Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare): (in Finnish)