The effect of different environmental exposures on the development of the fetus and the child is investigated by the Environmental Health unit of the National Institute for Health and Welfare (workgroup: Juha Pekkanen, professor; Hannu Kiviranta, research professor; Jussi Lampi, MD; Timo Lanki, professor, Anne Hyvärinen, research professor; Anne Karvonen, researcher, Pirkka Kirjavainen, title of docent). Particular interest of the workgroup in the KUBICO is on environmental determinants of asthma and allergic diseases, especially exposure to the microbes in indoor air and air pollution, and on the effect of environmental chemical exposure to health and development of the offspring. Environmental exposures are assessed in KUBICO with comprehensive questionnaires. In addition, biological samples are collected for the chemical and microbiological analyses. Environmental Health unit is one of the leading groups on the field of environmental health in Europe and has executed several epidemiologic studies, including birth cohort studies. Environmental Health unit has the ability to produce extensive microbiological and chemical analyses.

Group leader:
Juha Pekkanen, MD
Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki
mail address: P.O.Box 20, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

Research professor
Department of Health Security, Environmental Health, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)
Address: THL, P.O.Box 95, FIN-70701 Kuopio, Finland
(street address: Neulaniementie 4,70210 Kuopio)

E-mail:Juha.Pekkanen (at) helsinki.fi

Selected publications:

  • Karvonen AM, Hyvärinen A, Roponen M, Hoffmann M, Korppi M, Remes S, von Mutius E, Nevalainen A, Pekkanen J. Confirmed moisture damage at home, respiratory symptoms and atopy in early life: a birth-cohort study. Pediatrics. 2009;124(2):e329-38.
  • Keski-Nisula L, Harju M, Järvelin MR, Pekkanen J. Vacuum-assisted delivery is associated with late-onset asthma. Allergy 2009;64(10):1530-1538.
  • Keski-Nisula L, Katila ML, Remes S, Heinonen S, Pekkanen J. Intrauterine bacterial growth at birth and risk of asthma and allergic sensitization among offspring at the age of 15 to 17 years. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2009;123(6):1305-1311.
  • von Hertzen LC, Savolainen J, Hannuksela M, Klaukka T, Lauerma A, Mäkelä MJ, Pekkanen J, Pietinalho A, Vaarala O, Valovirta E, Vartiainen E, Haahtela T. Scientific rationale for the Finnish Allergy Programme 2008-2018: emphasis on prevention and endorsing tolerance. Allergy 2009;64(5):678-701.
  • Keski-Nisula L, Karvonen A, Pfefferle PI, Renz H, Büchele G, Pekkanen J. Birth-related factors and doctor-diagnosed wheezing and allergic sensitization in early childhood. Allergy 2010;65: 1116-1125.
  • Lampi J, Canoy D, Jarvis D, Hartikainen AL, Keski-Nisula L, Järvelin MR, Pekkanen J. Farming environment and prevalence of atopy at age 31: prospective birth cohort study in Finland. Clin Exp Allergy 2011 ;41(7):987-993
  • Karvonen A, Hyvärinen A, Gehring U, Korppi M, Doekes G, Riedler J,Braun-Fahrlander C, Bitter S, Schmid S, Keski-Nisula L, Roponen M,Kaulek V, Dalphin JC, Pfefferle P, Renz H, Büchele G, von Mutius E, Pekkanen J. Exposure to microbial agents in house dust and wheezing, atopic dermatitis and atopic sensitization in early childhood: a birth cohort study in rural areas. Clin Exp Allergy 2012;42:1246-1256
  • Bergroth E, Remes S, Pekkanen J, Kauppila T, Büchele G, Keski-Nisula L. Respiratory Tract Illnesses During the First Year of Life: Effect of Dog and Cat Contacts. Pediatrics. 2012
  • Harju M, Keski-Nisula L, Raatikainen K, Pekkanen J, Heinonen S. Maternal fecundity and asthma among offspring—is the risk programmed preconceptionally? Retrospective observational study. Fertil Steril. 2012