|1||Goczalkowice Zdroj, Silesia|
|3||Jelenia Gora, Lower Silesia|
|4||Wroclaw, Lower Silesia|
|6||Krakow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|7||Debica, Subcarpathian Voivodeship|
|9||Legnica, Lower Silesia|
|10||Sucha Beskidzka, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 178 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 107.3 µg/m³|
|NO2|| 29.2 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Goczalkowice Zdroj air is currently 21.5 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Thursday, Jan 13|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101 US AQI
|Friday, Jan 14|
Moderate 86 US AQI
|Saturday, Jan 15|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 126 US AQI
Unhealthy 178 US AQI
|Monday, Jan 17|
Good 34 US AQI
|Tuesday, Jan 18|
Good 30 US AQI
|Wednesday, Jan 19|
Moderate 62 US AQI
|Thursday, Jan 20|
Good 36 US AQI
|Friday, Jan 21|
Good 11 US AQI
|Saturday, Jan 22|
Good 17 US AQI
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Goczalkowice Zdroj sees a wide range of pollution levels throughout its year, coming in with air quality readings that span across several rating brackets. It is considered as one of top most polluted cities in Europe and Poland alike, having had a high yearly reading of pollution over the course of 2020, as well as continuing to show signs of elevated pollution levels in mid-2021. However, like many cities that are subject to less than perfect qualities of air, there can be times when the US AQI reading on record hits very clean numbers, and as an example, in late May of 2021, Goczalkowice Zdroj presented with a US AQI reading of just 21, placing it in the ‘good’ air quality bracket.
In order to attain such a rating, the US AQI level (which itself is an aggregated unit formed from a number of different pollutants in the air, which will be mentioned in short) must come in anywhere between 0 to 50. A ‘good’ air quality reading is color coded as green, with each air quality rating having its own color for ease of navigation when observing the air quality maps and graphs present on the IQAir website. These range from green all the way up to maroon (which would be the highest and most dangerous air quality ranking of ‘hazardous’, at US AQI readings of 301 and above).
With a reading such as 21 being present, Goczalkowice Zdroj would have air quality at that particular time that is considerably more free from smoke and haze, along with dangerous forms of particulate matter, namely the ultrafine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10) variety. These both go into the calculation of the overall US AQI level, with PM2.5 being a prominent measure of pollution even when taken on its own.
This is due to the fact that out of all the different types of pollution present in the air, particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter is extremely dangerous when inhaled, due to its incredibly small size allowing it to enter the bloodstream via the lungs. As well as this, the large variety of different materials that can constitute the PM2.5 collective see to it as being one of the more lethal forms of pollution.
Going back to the US AQI readings, it can also be seen that Goczalkowice Zdroj presented with readings of 58 and 65, both of which would be ranked as ‘moderately’ polluted, and color coded as yellow (requiring a reading of 51 to 100). High readings present in late April and May of 2021 were 105 and 121, both of which would fall into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, which is color coded as orange and requires a US AQI reading of anywhere between 101 to 150. It is during these higher spells of pollution that the general population may start to experience respiratory symptoms, along with more vulnerable or at-risk groups having a wider array of their own health issues. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), any US AQI reading between 0 to 150 is noted as acceptable, however on the higher end of this spectrum, individuals should be wary to safeguard against excessive pollution exposure.
Over the course of 2020, Goczalkowice Zdroj presented with a PM2.5 yearly average of 31.6 μg/m³, placing it into the ‘moderate’ pollution bracket, which on the PM2.5 scale, requires a reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such (and is still color coded as yellow like its US AQI counterpart). This placed Goczalkowice Zdroj in 355th place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as in 14th place out of all cities ranked in Europe, displaying how significant its pollution issue is.
In order to attain such high yearly readings as well as its poor ranking, the various sources of pollution present in Goczalkowice Zdroj include ones such as vehicle emissions, with countless numbers of cars and heavy freight vehicles such as trucks or lorries moving in and out of Goczalkowice Zdroj and throughout the surrounding region and country. Many of these vehicles, particularly the larger ones, would utilize diesel fuel, putting out greater amounts of chemical pollutants and fine particles. As well as this, the lack of stringent road rules for emissions standards means that many older or aged motors would still be in use across Goczalkowice Zdroj, which leads to higher leakage of noxious oil vapors and even further contaminating particles entering the air, due to the poor combustion processes taking place.
The heavy use, or rather overuse or reliance on fossil fuels such as coal in factories and power plants is also a significant issue, with the colder months driving up the combustion of such material to provide power to many homes and businesses, which have a massively increased demand for heating. Lastly, the burning of organic material such as firewood or charcoal in certain homes would further add to the pollution levels, once again even more so in the colder months of the year.
As mentioned, the US AQI unit takes into account several main pollutants, which are namely sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The two aforementioned types of small particles also go into the calculation of the US AQI level. The combustion of fossil fuels and organic material also leads to the production of pollutants such as black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), with some more well-known VOCs including chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde and styrene.
Observing the air quality data collected over 2020, it can be seen that the months that had the highest levels of air pollution were January, March and April, as well as November and December (with February showing an abnormal drop in PM2.5 levels despite appearing during the high pollution period). Their readings were 60.6 μg/m³, 45.3 μg/m³, 36.9 μg/m³, 43.8 μg/m³ and 54.4 μg/m³ respectively, making January the most polluted month of the year and the only month to fall into the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket (55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ required).
The mid-months of the year appear to be the time when Goczalkowice Zdroj has the least amount of smoke and pollution permeating its atmosphere, with lower fine particle counts. The months of June through to September all came in with the best readings, presenting with PM2.5 numbers of 15.7 μg/m³, 13.3 μg/m³, 15.6 μg/m³ and 18.3 μg/m³.
This showed that July was the cleanest month of the year by a significant amount and very close from moving down to the ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket, which requires its own reading of anywhere between 10 to 12 μg/m³.