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|2||Zabierzow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|3||Krakow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
|1||Otwock - Brzozowa|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 86 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Otwock is currently 5.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
| Sensitive groups should wear a mask outdoors|
GET A MASK
| Sensitive groups should run an air purifier|
GET AN AIR PURIFIER
| Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
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| Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Monday, Mar 27|
Moderate 66 US AQI
|Tuesday, Mar 28|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Wednesday, Mar 29|
Good 35 US AQI
Moderate 86 US AQI
|Friday, Mar 31|
Good 40 US AQI
|Saturday, Apr 1|
Good 47 US AQI
|Sunday, Apr 2|
Good 17 US AQI
|Monday, Apr 3|
Good 15 US AQI
|Tuesday, Apr 4|
Good 17 US AQI
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Otwock is a town in east-central Poland, approximately 23 kilometres southeast of the capital city of Warsaw. According to a 2019 census, Otwock had an estimated population of 44,500 inhabitants. It is located on the right bank of the Vistula River.
Towards the middle of 2021, Otwock experienced a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 74. This United States Air Quality Index number is an internationally used set of metrics supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is used to compare the air quality in different cities throughout the world using comparable standards. It is calculated by using the levels of the six most commonly found pollutants. If figures are not all available, the figure is calculated using what information there is. There were three pollutants measured in Otwock which were as follows: PM2.5 - 23 µg/m³, PM10 - 32 µg/m³ and sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 1 µg/m³. With these figures, it can be seen that the level of the PM2.5 pollutant is over twice the recommended limit of 10 µg/m³ which is the level suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With a level such as this, the advice is to close doors and windows to prevent more dirty air from entering the room. Those of a sensitive disposition are advised to remain indoors or if travel outside is unavoidable, then a good quality mask is recommended.
Looking back at the figures published by the Swiss air monitoring company IQAir.com for 2020 it can be seen that the best quality of air was enjoyed in July when the WHO target figure was achieved which was less than 10 µg/m³. The months of June and August registered “Good” air quality with readings between 10 and 12 µg/m³. January and March were the worst months when the classification fell to “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with figures between 35.5 and 55.4 µg/m³. The remaining 7 months of the year saw air quality classed as being “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³.
Historically, records were kept since 2017 when the average air quality was recorded as being 29.3 µg/m³. Similar figures for the following year with 30.2 µg/m³. A vast improvement was seen in 2019 with a figure of just 18.2 µg/m³ but then it slipped down again in 2020 when the average figure was 22.4 µg/m³.
However, this may not be a truly accurate reflection on reality because of the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many vehicles were no longer used as the drivers were furloughed and not required to commute to and from work. There were also many factories and other non-essential production units which were temporarily closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
Measuring stations in Warsaw, Otwock and other cities in Poland recorded very large exceedances of air pollutants. The exceedances concerned mainly suspended dusts hazardous to health - PM10 and PM2.5. These are solid particles suspended in the air, mainly from the so-called low emissions, mainly - from the combustion of solid fuels in individual boiler houses.
The lack of wind and a drop in temperature contributed to the very bad air condition, forcing the combustion of fuels for heating houses and the phenomenon of temperature inversion, preventing the mixing of air from the lower layers of the atmosphere with air from higher layers. This causes the accumulation and stagnation of pollutants low above the ground, which intensifies the phenomenon of smog.
As much as 66 per cent of PM10 pollution comes from domestic boiler houses (while only 5 per cent of these pollutants come from industry, and the remaining 29 per cent from vehicle usage) and 85 per cent of PM2.5 pollution (from industry comes from only 4 per cent of these pollutants, and the remaining 11 per cent from vehicle emissions).
Smog is air pollution in which the concentration of substances harmful to health increases in it, which is favoured by fog, windless weather and high humidity. What poisons the most in smog are sulphur and nitrogen oxides, ozone, and aromatic hydrocarbons, of which benzoalfapiren is the most harmful.
Smog is measured by checking the air concentration of two types of dust (consisting mainly of solid particles and liquids, including the above-mentioned chemical compounds) - PM2.5 and PM10. The numbers indicate the size of the dust grains. PM10 is dust with grains not exceeding 10 microns while PM2.5 consists of particles four times smaller. Both can penetrate the respiratory system and lungs.
Encouraging cleaner forms of heating the home is one way to help reduce air pollution as well as encouraging the use of public transport, which in itself needs to be replaced with eco-friendly vehicles.
Doctors and scientists have been conducting research on the impact of air pollution on health for several decades. Some interactions are already very well-known and described (effects on cardiovascular and respiratory diseases), while others are still under investigation, and the exact mechanisms of impact are yet to be discovered (the relationship with the development of Alzheimer's disease, depression or a decrease in IQ in subsequent generations). One thing is certain, air pollution has a huge impact on our health and well-being. The higher the concentration of pollutants, the more often and more seriously we get sick, and on a national scale more people die prematurely. The World Health Organisation recognises air pollution as the most serious environmental threat to public health in the modern world.
Breathing air with high concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter, sulphur and nitrogen oxides, as well as ozone and carbon monoxide is associated with such diseases as: ischemic stroke, peripheral atherosclerosis, heart failure, ischemic heart disease, arterial hypertension, heart rhythm or thromboembolic complications.
Effects on the respiratory system begin already in the prenatal period, which means that children whose mothers spent their pregnancies in a polluted environment may have a less developed respiratory system, which will result in lower lung capacity and more frequent occurrence of respiratory infections. Breathing polluted air causes an increased incidence of pneumonia and bronchitis in both adults and children.
Data sources 2