|5||Janow Lubelski, Lublin|
|6||Szczawnica, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|9||Ksawerow, Lodz Voivodeship|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 70 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Wroclaw is currently 4.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
|Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Sunday, Dec 4|
Unhealthy 152 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 5|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 133 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 6|
Moderate 78 US AQI
Moderate 70 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 8|
Good 46 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 9|
Moderate 69 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 10|
Moderate 68 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 11|
Good 24 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 12|
Good 12 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 13|
Good 8 US AQI
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Wroclaw is a city situated in western Poland in the Silesia region. The official population figure was 643,782 in June 2020. Towards the end of 2020, the air quality index showed measurements of 71 US AQI which would place it in the “Moderate” category according to recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In 2019 Wroclaw was ranked as the 37th dirtiest city in Poland with an annual average PM2.5 reading of 18.7 µg/m³. During the summer months of July and August the records show “Good” levels of air quality with figures between 10 and 12 µg/m³, for the remaining 10 months, the air quality was classed as “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. These figures show a slight improvement when compared to previous years. In 2018 a figure of 22.9 µg/m³ was recorded and in 2017 it was 21.9 µg/m³.
It happens that the sensors indicate the worst air not only in Poland but in the whole of Europe! Wroclaw has a problem with smog. Just like Krakow and other cities. It is especially dangerous during the winter when heating is required. It is felt not only by measuring stations but also by people. The air is so bad that it smells. The culprit is the emissions from stoves and/or furnaces. Some people burn garbage and unseasoned wood in old stoves. Such a combination causes the release of PM10 and PM2.5 dust into the atmosphere.
Topographically, Wroclaw is situated in a valley and because of this, pollutants are not always blown away. Add to this the phenomenon of temperature inversion in the colder winter months and it becomes more understandable.
In January 2020, it was revealed that Wroclaw had the second most polluted air in the entire world. Only Lahore in Pakistan recorded higher levels. This was according to figures released by the reputable Swiss air monitoring company IQAir.com.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) ranking of EU cities with the most polluted air discovered similar findings. Poland took 36 of the top 50 places, most of which were smaller cities.
There has been a very low uptake of people modernising their heating systems because of bureaucracy, inaccessibility, lack of communication and relatively low subsidies available to people who want to insulate their home and install a more energy-efficient boiler/heater. Having shown such low interest, the program is in danger of losing its EU financial support.
In Krakow, another notoriously polluted city, they are experimenting with the use of drones to establish what is being burned in the city’s stoves and furnaces. The local authorities have introduced more electric buses to their fleet and now offer free use of public transport when levels of air pollution rise beyond a certain figure. This is to encourage residents to leave their private vehicles at home.
It is known that air pollution is harmful. Extended lengths of stay in areas with polluted air may lead to many complications. Children are even more at risk of damaging their health because their bodies are not yet fully developed. That is why some cities buy air purifiers for kindergartens, schools and nurseries. This allows you to temporarily protect the youngest from the effects of poor quality air. Long-term exposure to pollutants can increase the risk of cancer and diseases of the immune and respiratory systems.
Ambient air pollution accounts for approximately 4.2 million premature deaths, each year. These are mainly due to chronic respiratory diseases, stroke, heart disease and lung cancer. According to a report by the WHO, around 91 per cent of the world’s population lives in places where the levels of air pollution exceed the recommended levels. Whilst air pollution can affect any country, it is the low to middle-income countries that suffer the worst consequences.
There have been cases of exceeding the recommended levels by as much as seven times. Such irregularities in the winter of 2018 were detected by the measuring station at ul. Korzeniowski. Such high concentrations mean that you can’t even leave the house in safety. Unfortunately, in Wroclaw, some measurements indicated worse air than even in Krakow, which is an extremely polluted city.
In cities such as Wroclaw, there are measuring stations operated by the Environmental Protection Inspection. Data is collected and analysed. These stations mainly measure suspended dust such as PM 10 and PM 2.5, which are the most harmful to the human respiratory system. PM10 refers to particulate matter with a diameter of less than 10 microns, whereas PM2.5 measures the microscopic particles of less than 2.5 microns. A PM2.5 is approximately 30 times smaller than a strand of human hair.
Additionally, the concentration of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon (C) is measured. Benzene (C6H6) and ozone (O3) are also measured. Based on all these parameters, the "Polish Air Quality Index" is calculated.
Personal measurements can be taken through the purchase of an air quality monitor which are reasonably priced on the IQAir.com website. Some room purifiers display the level of pollution in real-time and some will switch on when levels reach a certain figure.
More than 150 purifiers have already been delivered to nurseries in Wroclaw. The authorities also want to subsidise those who connect to clean, sustainable energy sources in their homes. Awareness is important. Especially that treatment of residents will be much more expensive than prophylaxis. The city also wants to limit the number of trucks that enter the city centre daily. They also want more sprinklers around town to slake the dust. This will result in lower quantities of dust suspended in the air and therefore the air will be less polluted. Air standards are exceeded too often.
Information boards at strategic places which display the current state of the air are being considered. I other countries, such information is available via a smartphone through a downloadable app.
Data sources 5