|1||Mosina, Greater Poland|
|2||Swiebodzice, Lower Silesia|
|4||Zgierz, Lodz Voivodeship|
|6||Ksawerow, Lodz Voivodeship|
|7||Biala Podlaska, Lublin|
|8||Niepolomice, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|10||Sanok, Subcarpathian Voivodeship|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 35 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Bialystok is currently 1.7 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
| Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
| Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Sunday, Jan 29|
Moderate 54 US AQI
|Monday, Jan 30|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Tuesday, Jan 31|
Good 40 US AQI
Good 35 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 2|
Good 20 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 3|
Good 20 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 4|
Good 19 US AQI
|Sunday, Feb 5|
Good 17 US AQI
|Monday, Feb 6|
Good 15 US AQI
|Tuesday, Feb 7|
Good 12 US AQI
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Bialystok is the largest city in north eastern Poland and the capital of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. It is the tenth-largest city in Poland. It is located in the Białystok Uplands of the Podlachian Plain on the banks of the Biała River. According to a census conducted in 2020 Bialystok had an estimated population of nearly 300,000 people.
At the start of the fourth quarter of 2021, Bialystok was experiencing a period of “Unhealthy” air quality with a US AQI reading of 155. This figure is often used as a metric when comparing different cities in different countries. There are usually six of the most prolific pollutants which are measured and this figure is then calculated. If records for all six are not available, a number can still be calculated using the available information. For Bialystok, five figures were available which were; PM2.5 - 63.5 µg/m³, PM10 - 82.1 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 7 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 22.8 µg/m³ and sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 1.6 µg/m³. The level of PM2.5 can be seen to be over six times the target figure of 10 µg/m³ as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With air quality being at this “Unhealthy” level, the advice is to stay indoors where possible and close all doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Running an air purifier would be very beneficial if one is available but ensure the settings recirculate the air and don’t bring more in from outside. It is advisable to wear a mask when going outside. Strenuous outdoor exercise should be avoided until the quality improves. There is a downloadable app from AirVisual available for all operating systems which will give you the current air quality in real-time.
Looking back at the figures published for 2020 by IQAir.com, it can be seen that for four months of the year, the air quality was below the suggested target figure of 10 µg/m³ as recommended by the WHO. There were the months of May through till the end of August. The month of September returned “Good” quality air with a reading of 11.4 µg/m³. For the remaining seven months of the year the air quality was classed as being “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The worst month was January when the recorded figure was 22.0 µg/m³.
Historically, air quality records have been held since 2017 when the recorded figure was 17 µg/m³. This has improved with every consecutive year. 2018 brought 16.3 µg/m³ and 2019 brought 13.7 µg/m³. A very slight decline to 13.8 µg/m³ was noted for 2020. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic this figure may not truly reflect the real situation. Many vehicles were taken off the city roads as their drivers were encouraged to work remotely from home. Some factories and small production units were also closed on a temporary basis so their emissions were halted.
The main sources of air pollution are anthropogenic emissions, which include emissions from industrial activities, from the residential sector and from traffic emissions.
According to data collected by institutions monitoring air quality in Poland, the most responsible for the emissions of suspended dust PM10 and PM2.5 are outdated heating furnaces, the so-called "soot" used to heat single-family houses, leaving far behind sectors such as transport and the energy industry.
These emissions usually occur at a low height above ground level (so-called low emissions). As a result, they directly affect the concentration of pollutants in places where people stay and often determine the occurrence of exceedances of air quality standards for PM10 and PM2.5 particulate matter.
The second category of emission sources with a significant impact on the concentrations of PM10 particulate matter is road transport. Road transport emissions they also take place at a low altitude, therefore they also have a significant impact on the increase in the concentration of pollutants in areas where people stay and inhabited.
The phasing out or upgrade of domestic heating stoves is actively encouraged by the local authorities in many areas in Poland.
In early 2019, residents presented a petition to the local authorities with certain demands. These demands were primarily a greater number of sensors for air quality measurement stations in the city, because there were currently only two. The second postulate concerned the presentation of these measurements in publicly accessible places. They wanted to put up signs informing about air quality in the city. The third request was the appointment of an energy advisor who would help people reduce emissions in their homes. They also wanted Białystok to have more greenery, as they were currently felling trees, but no further plantings were being organized. They had more and more blocks, and the amount of this common green space was not increasing.
From 1st January 2022, financing of solid fuel boilers from public funds, including the Clean Air program, will be allowed to cover only biomass boilers (excluding projects under construction), and from 1st January 2023 only boilers for biomass with dust emission up to 20 mg/m³.
Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of respiratory infections (including pneumonia and bronchitis), especially among children and senior citizens. It is especially dangerous in the case of the elderly, because pneumonia is one of the most important causes of death in developed countries.
It has been shown that the presence of the finest particles of suspended dust (ultrafine particles, i.e., particles with a diameter below 0.1 µm) in the brain tissue can lead to various degenerative changes and to chronic inflammation, which in turn may contribute to the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as like Alzheimer's disease.
Exposure to increased concentrations of pollutants (particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, ozone) is associated with the exacerbation of symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in patients. Most likely, long-term exposure also contributes to the emergence of new cases of both diseases, although smoking remains the most important cause in COPD, and exposure to harmful factors in the workplace is also important.