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|Lodz, Lodz Voivodeship
|Poznan, Greater Poland
|Krakow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship
|Wroclaw, Lower Silesia
|Koszalin, Greater Poland
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 84 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Lodz is currently 5.6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Friday, Feb 23
Moderate 54 AQI US
|Saturday, Feb 24
Moderate 56 AQI US
|Sunday, Feb 25
Moderate 63 AQI US
Moderate 84 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Moderate 80 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 28
Moderate 80 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Moderate 57 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Moderate 90 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Moderate 100 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Moderate 78 AQI US
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Lodz is a city in Poland, counted as the third largest in the country, as well as having a history of being an important industrial hub. It finds itself approximately 120km away from the capital city of Warsaw, and is home to some 679 thousand inhabitants. In the past it was very much centered around the production and manufacturing of textile materials, gaining nicknames such as the ‘lingerie capital of Poland’ as well as being one of the most densely populated industrial cities at the turn of the century.
Nowadays, it is an important travel district, being located in the very center of Poland, and is thus well connected to many other major cities, with a large amount of infrastructure and road development having been set down over the last century, assisting in its economic development as well as instating it as a hub for business centers in Poland, being home to several multinational companies. Whilst this is good for its further development and quality of life, it has several adverse effects on the quality of air, due to the ever growing population coupled with increase in urban development and anthropogenic activity.
In 2019, Lodz came in with a PM2.5 reading of 19.9 μg/m³ as its yearly average, placing it into the ‘moderate’ pollution bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. This reading placed it in 906th place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as in 28th place out of all cities in Poland. Whilst this reading is not overtly hazardous, it still represents possible health risks for its citizens, and could do much to improve its air quality level and reduce the amount of smoke and haze that the city is subject to, particularly during certain months of the year.
As with many cities in Poland, Lodz still sees itself stuck with some habits left over from generations prior that it has not yet succeeded in phasing out amongst the general population. Whilst there are the ever present pollutive threats emanating from sources such as vehicles, one of the main forms of pollution in Lodz comes from the burning of coal, as well as other organic material such as wood or charcoal, all of which release a myriad of different pollutants into the air and can cause significant issues during months when the meteorological conditions are not in favor of dispersing the buildup of air contaminants.
Vehicles would still be responsible for raising the yearly average somewhat, especially as a central travel and transport hub. Large amounts of personal vehicles, as well as heavy duty ones such as trucks or lorries would pass through Lodz and contaminate the air with their exhaust fumes. These larger vehicles often run on diesel fuels, and this factor, along with the heavy use of coal, assists in seeing Poland have particularly bad placings amongst countries in Europe, coming in at 53rd place out of all countries ranked worldwide, significantly further up than many other countries in the region.
Observing the data collected over the course of 2019 as a good standpoint to go off (due to post the 2020 era subject to widespread lockdowns due to the covid-19 outbreak), it is clear that there are some months that show significantly worsened levels of pollution, and other months that come in with more appreciable readings of PM2.5.
During the winter months is typically when pollution levels start to get worse, with an increased demand for electricity to provide heating to homes and businesses. As well as this, the aforementioned burning of coal, wood and charcoal to provide direct heating for homes start to take place, more prominent in lower income districts and a major cause of the recorded PM2.5 elevations.
Pollution levels start to take a visible turn for the worse in September through to October, with September coming in at 13.4 μg/m³ whilst October came in with a reading of 22.5 μg/m³. This continued on until March and April of the following year, before the higher readings of pollution started to subside. The most polluted months of the year were January and February, with PM2.5 readings of 34.1 μg/m³ and 32.3 μg/m³ respectively, making January the most polluted month and only 1.3 units away from being moved up into the next tier of pollution ratings.
In following, as the pollution levels started to abate in April, Lodz entered into a period (during the warmer months) when the pollution levels were significantly lower, with one month even falling into the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, for the best quality of air. In March, the PM2.5 readings came in at 20.8 μg/m³, followed by 19.5 μg/m³ in April. This then took a significant drop in May with a reading of 13.1 μg/m³, which then continued to go down with subsequent readings of 12.5 μg/m³, 9.7 μg/m³ and 11.9 μg/m³ recorded between June and August. This represented the cleanest period of the year, with the month of July coming in at the most polluted free with its WHO target of 9.7 μg/m³ having been achieved.
With much of its pollution stemming from the use of vehicles, the burning of fossil fuels and organic material, as well as the lesser mentioned factory and industrial area emissions, Lodz would be subject to a wide variety of pollutants. The main ones from vehicles are the ever present sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), alongside black carbon being released, particularly from diesel engines. Black carbon is a major component of soot, and has notable carcinogenic properties when inhaled, as well as being visually unappealing by coating areas of heavy traffic in thick black residue.
Other types of pollutants also released from the combustion of fossil fuels would be ones such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOC's), some of which would include chemicals such as benzene, toluene, xylene, methylene chloride and formaldehyde. These are all particularly dangerous to breathe, and due to their volatile nature, are able to remain in a gaseous state even during the freezing winter months, hence easier to respire, making them a significant pollutive threat, alongside all the other ones mentioned.