Allergy, Skin and Asthma Federation research unit in SE Finland
South Karelia Allergy and Environment Institute is a regional research and educational service unit located near to the eastern border of Finland. In 2016, the premises were relocated to Vuoksenniska in the city of Imatra. Before that, the office building, functionalistic in its architecture, was situated on the shores of lake Saimaa at Tiuruniemi, Lappeenranta.
In 1983, Tiuruniemi hospital provided the roots for the action. In 1988, the institute was officially founded and the administration was taken over by the Allergy and Asthma Federation. In the spring 2013 we celebrated the 30-year anniversary.
Our main goal is to improve the health and living conditions of public and allergic people, in particular, by increasing knowledge of the interaction between humans and their environment. Main research issues deal with the allergic disorders, the effects of air pollution on human health and the changes in biodiversity. As a result, 1,864 writings of the results have been published from the peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals to articles in the magazines and newspapers between the years 1983 and 2017.
In addition, the institute arranges seminars and advices the public in matters concerning allergy and human-induced changes in the environment. Between 1992 and 2000, exhibitions with varying themes were primarily directed to the school children, but were open to the public as well. Since 2001 exhibitions were replaced by Allergy and Environment School, namely Capri, which provided allergy orientated education in nature for the children between 6 and 15 years. More than 3,000 pupils participated in the action until the end of action in 2010.
Previously the Slot Machine association (RAY), and nowadays the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA), has grant allowance to the Institute between 1989 and 2010, and again from 2012 onwards. Research projects and other activities have also been financed by many other institutions, such as the Academy of Finland, The Ministry of the Environment, The Technology Development Centre, the municipalities of South Karelia and the local industry.
The head of the Institute is the adjunct professor Kimmo Saarinen and the chairman of the board is Ilpo Hakula. The staff includes 5-7 persons depending on the ongoing projects.