|1||Swiebodzice, Lower Silesia|
|3||Krosno, Subcarpathian Voivodeship|
|4||Lask, Lodz Voivodeship|
|5||Sanok, Subcarpathian Voivodeship|
|8||Krakow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|9||Wroclaw, Lower Silesia|
|10||Zgierz, Lodz Voivodeship|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 73 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 22.8 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Orzesze air is currently 4.6 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
|Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Tuesday, Jan 25|
Unhealthy 175 US AQI
|Wednesday, Jan 26|
Unhealthy 157 US AQI
|Thursday, Jan 27|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 142 US AQI
Moderate 73 US AQI
|Saturday, Jan 29|
Good 37 US AQI
|Sunday, Jan 30|
Good 17 US AQI
|Monday, Jan 31|
Good 43 US AQI
|Tuesday, Feb 1|
Good 31 US AQI
|Wednesday, Feb 2|
Good 12 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 3|
Good 40 US AQI
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Orzesze is a city located in the southern region of Poland, within a historical area known as Silesia, which encompasses land in the Czech Republic and Germany, as well as having the majority of its landmass within Poland. It stands as one of the more polluted cities in Europe, if not the most polluted city, looking at its recent history of air quality readings that are on record. It has many months out of the year coming in with high readings of PM2.5, as well as current readings showing poor levels of US AQI.
In May of 2021, Orzesze came in with a US AQI reading of 29, a great reading by any standards that shows that despite having periods of time in which the pollution levels spike dramatically, there are also periods of respite in which the clouds of smoke, haze and dangerous particulate matter are less prevalent in the atmosphere. This reading of 29 would place Orzesze into the ‘good’ air quality ratings category for the time and day in which it was taken, representing a level of air quality that would clean and without risk to breathe (although of note is that any level of air pollution at all has the chance to cause adverse effects, particularly in vulnerable individuals, who will be discussed later in the article).
Other days on record prior to the ‘good’ reading taken above showed far less appreciable readings, with numbers such as 156 and 168 showing up in both May and April, representing an ‘unhealthy’ level of air quality.
Regarding the air quality recorded in the previous year of 2020, Orzesze came in with a PM2.5 reading of 44.1 μg/m³. This is an extremely high reading, putting it in first place in both Poland and the whole of Europe, as well as coming in at 152nd place out of all cities ranked worldwide over 2020. This indicates that Orzesze indeed has some poor levels of air pollution that can be, or rather need to be improved upon as soon as possible.
The main causes of high air pollution readings in the city come from numerous combustion sources. These include ones such as emissions from industrial areas, with both factories and power plants falling under this bracket. The heavy use of fossil fuels such as diesel, natural gas and in particular coal all release large amounts of both chemical compounds and hazardous particulate matter when combusted in the various boilers across both Orzesze and the rest of the country.
Other sources of air pollution include vehicular emissions, coming from both the engines of smaller vehicles such as cars and motorbikes, as well as heavy duty freight vehicles such as lorries and trucks. Construction sites and the burning of raw materials such as firewood and charcoal are also major contributors.
The winter months are typically when Orzesze has its highest levels of pollution, due to the extra demand placed on power plants to provide energy for the heating of both homes and businesses, as well as the increased burning of materials as mentioned above.
The months of January, November and December all had the highest readings, coming in at 92.9 μg/m³, 81.5 μg/m³ and 96.3 μg/m³ respectively, making December the most polluted month of the year.
Whilst the air in Orzesze is heavily tainted by the colder months of the year and the ensuing pollution emitted as a result, it also has very good months in which the air quality improves substantially, showing that if industrial activity were to have more stringent measures put into place, the city as a whole could see its high ranking improve by a significant amount.
April through to September all had the cleanest levels of air pollution, all of which sat within the ‘moderate’ air quality ratings bracket. The exception here was July, which came in with a very respectable reading of 9.2 μg/m³, placing it within the WHO's target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less for the best quality of air, and being the only month of the year to achieve this goal.
Whilst even young and healthy or fit adults can succumb to the ill effects posed by overexposure to noxious pollution, with other factors such as location or exposure length being taken into consideration (those that live near busy roads or industrial areas, or those that have to commute on a daily basis through heavy traffic being examples), it still stands to reason that certain groups will be even more vulnerable to the harsh effects that high levels of vehicular fumes, smoke and other air contaminants can bring.
These groups contain people such as young children and the elderly, both of whom are highly susceptible to adverse effects due to children still going through their important developmental phase in life, and thus can have their nervous system and both mental and physical growth altered negatively via overexposure. The elderly are also at risk usually due to frail health, which can lead to common respiratory ailments turning into terminal conditions.
Other groups include expectant mothers, as well as newly born babies. Those with pre-existing health conditions or compromised immune systems should also take extra care in order to avoid exposure to pollution. Keeping up with the air quality reports via the air quality map available at the top of this page, as well as on the AirVisual app can be of great help for those who wish to keep their exposure levels as low as possible, as well as those who may need to do it out of sheer necessity.
Other health issues that arise as a result of breathing polluted air (as well as having one’s skin and mucous membranes exposed to it) are conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema and aggravated forms of asthma, all of which fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease bracket, or COPD for short.
Other issues are ones such as the scarring of lung tissue, which can reduce full lung function as well as making individuals more susceptible to the above mentioned ailments. Due to its incredibly small size, PM2.5 and smaller particles can enter the blood stream via the alveoli in the lungs, causing a whole host of further issues within the body. Damage to the liver, kidneys as well as even reproductive health may occur, along with other serious issues such as heightened risk of strokes, heart attacks, arrythmias and ischemic heart disease. Cancer rates in particular may also soar, due to the carcinogenic nature of many pollutants found in the air.