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Monday's papers: Poverty, pesticides and pandemic smiles

The pandemic is also straining the capital's well-to-do areas, Finnish media outlets report.

Kansaneläkelaitoksen Kampin toimipiste Helsingissä.
Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva
Yle News

Helsinki continues to be divided between poor and affluent areas, reports Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun), which looks at the distribution of basic assistance recipients in the capital.

So far this year Kela has doled out more in basic social assistance — a last resort form of welfare support — than it did during all of 2019. HS said the pandemic has led to more people in wealthy central areas of the capital seeking welfare. In the newly built Kalasatama neighbourhood the share of recipients has risen to 4.8 percent, up from 1.7 percent last year.

The paper’s interactive neighbourhood map shows the share of residents living on basic assistance ranging from one percent in some areas to nearly 14 percent in others.

Retailers recall sesame products

K grocery stores are withdrawing three of their Pirkka-branded sesame seed products (seeds, crackers and buns (siirryt toiseen palveluun)) due to pesticide concerns, according to business daily Kauppalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

The Finnish Food Authority said the products’ ethylene oxide levels exceeded permitted amounts.

The retail group Kesko said that while eating the products containing the contaminated sesame seeds would not pose an immediate risk, health issues may occur from continued consumption.

Elevated levels of the same pesticide (siirryt toiseen palveluun) prompted discount grocer Lidl to withdraw batches of its Crownfield Muesli hazelnut bars from sale last week.

Finnish Customs rejected more food products with pesticide residues by the end of October 2020 than during all of last year.

Pandemic smiles

Queues for pediatric orthodontist treatment are growing in Finland during the coronavirus pandemic, with some 300 kids currently in line in Espoo, reports Swedish-language daily Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

"I’d estimate the queue is twice as long as usual," Espoo city chief dentist Annamari Nihtilä told HBL.

Espoo is not alone, according to HBL. At the beginning of the autumn Helsinki said it was limiting orthodontic treatment to the most severe cases across the city’s seven orthodontic clinics.

Dentists estimate that one in ten kids in Finland need orthodontic work.

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