|1||Lwowek Slaski, Lower Silesia|
|2||Zabierzow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|3||Krakow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|4||Zaborze, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|5||Miedzybrodzie Zywieckie, Silesia|
|6||Kurdwanow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|7||Rymanow-Zdroj, Subcarpathian Voivodeship|
|8||Sucha Beskidzka, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 153 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Ksawerow is currently 11.9 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Saturday, Feb 4|
Moderate 85 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 5|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 116 US AQI
|Monday, Feb 6|
Unhealthy 152 US AQI
Unhealthy 153 US AQI
|Wednesday, Feb 8|
Moderate 58 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 9|
Moderate 62 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 10|
Moderate 54 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 11|
Moderate 60 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 12|
Good 48 US AQI
|Monday, Feb 13|
Moderate 64 US AQI
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Ksawerow has seen some high levels of air pollution, both in times past and in the months continuing well on into 2021. There are numerous reasons behind these high pollution levels, with many of them being both anthropogenic and industrial in nature, as well as certain meteorological conditions (such as extremes of cold, along with lack of wind or rain) compounding the situation further and causing the elevated numbers as seen on record, which will be cited in the following questions using both PM2.5 and US AQI readings.
US AQI itself is an aggregated number, formed from the calculation of the several main pollutants typically found in the air. These include ozone (O3), or smog as it is more commonly known, along with nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Ozone is a secondary pollutant (one that forms later in the atmosphere rather than coming from a direct source), usually appearing when the various oxides of nitrogen (NOx) along with other gases or chemicals get exposed to solar radiation, more prevalent during the months of the year that see higher levels of sunlight.
The other two pollutants that go into this aggregate include both PM2.5 and PM10, with the former being the deadliest out of the two, and used as a measure of pollutant in its own right due to the severe risk it poses on the health of the general population.
Observing some US AQI figures on record in Ksawerow, it was seen that in late May of 2021, a US AQI reading of 53 was taken, placing Ksawerow into the ‘moderate’ pollution ratings bracket. This is color coded as yellow, and requires a US AQI reading of anywhere between 51 to 100 to be classified as such.
Whilst it is on the lower end of this scale, the criteria for a moderate level of pollution often dictates that no significant risk will be posed to the general public. However, many at risk individuals may start to experience mild respiratory irritation, with further elevations in the US AQI number causing these symptoms to become more apparent.
A moderate reading is color coded as yellow (as per all the air quality maps and graphs used throughout the IQAir website), as well as being used in the PM2.5 rating system, albeit with a different level of entry, with PM2.5 being recorded in micrograms per meter cubed, or μg/m³.
Other readings of US AQI collected over May of 2021 include highs of 115, which would place Ksawerow in the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, color coded as orange and requiring a US AQI reading of anywhere between 101 to 150. Whilst May of 2021 generally saw a lower level of air pollution when compared to months on record in years past, during days such as this, respiratory aggravation may start to show amongst the general population, and more so amongst vulnerable members such as young children, pregnant mothers and the elderly. Whilst the US Environmental Protection Agency classes any reading between 0 to 150 as being acceptable, on the higher end of this range, preventative measures and pollution exposure reduction may become increasingly important.
Pollution in both Ksawerow and throughout the whole of Poland is caused by several main issues, and as touched on briefly, compounded by other factors such as lack of strong winds to clear smoke and particle clouds away. Freezing temperatures lead to higher demand for electricity to heat both homes and businesses, along with certain organic materials such as charcoal and firewood being burnt to provide said heat, particularly in rural areas or lower income districts.
Other serious causes include ones such as automobile pollution, with this being an issue prevalent throughout the world. The overuse of cars and their massively increased ownership in recent times has lead to huge amounts of fumes and highly damaging fine particles being released into the air as a result. Heavy duty vehicles such as lorries and trucks also make the situation worse, utilizing leaded fuels or diesel, both of which contaminate the air at a much higher rate. Furthermore, many of the smaller cars and personal vehicles would be significantly aged and past their best years, giving out way more noxious pollutants, particles and oil vapors than a cleaner or more sustainable vehicle would.
Along with vehicles, the heavy use of coal burning in factories has led to some severe spells of pollution, present in Ksawerow and other major cities in Poland. With poor emission regulations, many factories, businesses, industrial areas and power plants put out huge clouds of smoke, haze and hazardous particulate matter, leading to the high levels of PM2.5 on record.
Some health issues that may occur during the more polluted months of the year would be ones that typically affect the pulmonary and cardiac systems, with this being far more apparent amongst vulnerable demographics of the population.
Increased risk of cancer, along with skin irritation, aggravation of the mucous membranes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other severe illnesses would all start to present themselves. Heart attacks, arrythmias, strokes, and premature deaths are all part of the terrible side effects that can occur when a population is exposed to high levels of air pollution.
Observing the PM2.5 readings taken over 2020, it can be seen that Ksawerow has the highest levels of pollution in the months of January through to March, as well as November and December. This indicates a pattern whereby the PM2.5 count starts to rise at years end, and continues on into the early months of the following year, before dropping down to relatively more appreciable levels.
The readings of all of these months were 52.5 μg/m³, 35.7 μg/m³, 41.9 μg/m³, 38.1 μg/m³ and 39.6 μg/m³ respectively, making January the most polluted month of the year with its reading of 52.5 μg/m³ (over five times the WHO's target goal for the best quality of air at 10 μg/m³ or less), with all of the above mentioned months sitting in the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket (35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³ required when using the PM2.5 ratings system).
Despite having many months of the year come in with larger spikes in air pollution, the mid-months of the year all had relatively cleaner readings, with some of them coming close to moving out of the moderate bracket of pollution and down into the ‘good’ ratings one (10 to 12 μg/m³ required).
April through to October all fell into the moderate pollution bracket, with June through to August having the cleanest readings, coming in at 17.4 μg/m³, 13.5 μg/m³ and 15.3 μg/m³ respectively, making July the cleanest month of the year and only 1.5 units away from moving into the good ratings category.