|4||Ksawerow, Lodz Voivodeship|
|7||Radzyn Podlaski, Lublin|
|10||Szczawnica, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
1:10, Dec 7
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 35 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Szczecin 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, Dec 4|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 105 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 5|
Moderate 74 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 6|
Moderate 55 US AQI
Good 35 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 8|
Good 14 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 9|
Good 35 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 10|
Good 37 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 11|
Good 17 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 12|
Good 28 US AQI
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Szczecin is a city located in located in northwestern Poland, being the capital of west Pomerania province. It faces onto the Baltic sea, as well as sharing borders with Germany, and has a recorded history going back to when it came into existence as a stronghold city in the 8th century.
Nowadays it sees itself as both an administrative as well as industrial center for the region, as well as being home to many higher education and learning facilities. There is also a prominent shipping industry here, with the third largest port in Poland being situated in Szczecin, handling approximately 10 million tons of cargo every year. As well as having all these infrastructural features, it is well connected to the rest of Poland by a series of motorways and trainlines. This in turn has lead to increasing amounts of human activity within the city, which whilst it has beneficial effects on the economy and livelihood of the city’s inhabitants, also has the problematic effect of raising air pollution levels.
In 2019, Szczecin came in with a PM2.5 reading of 15.6 μg/m³ as its yearly average reading, one that placed it into the ‘moderate’ ratings bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. This is near the lower end of this rating, which is thankfully indicative that Szczecin has more appreciable levels of air quality through certain months of the year that contribute to improving its yearly average.
Szczecin’s reading of 15.6 μg/m³ put it into 1192nd place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as 53rd place out of all cities ranked in Poland.
Much of the pollution occurring in Szczecin would find its origins in anthropogenic activity, with large amounts of people making their daily commute (with some 401 thousand people inhabiting the city) and driving up the PM2.5 readings with the heavy use of personal vehicles such as cars and motorbikes, as well as heavy duty ones such as trucks and lorries, used for the transportation of industrial goods and other similar items. Many of these vehicles run on diesel fuel, as well as having a large percent of aged cars still in use, with engines that leak far more oil vapors, chemical pollutants and particulate matter than newer models would, in particular those that run on cleaner or more sustainable fuel sources.
Other causes of pollution would be the further use of fossil fuels such as coal, which is prevalent throughout the country, almost renowned for being overused due to Poland’s large amount of coal mines and natural reserves. In factories and power plants, the widespread use of coal as an energy source would lead to these industrial zones giving off large amounts of their own smoke and haze emissions, containing a plethora of different polluting compounds, some of which will be discussed in short.
Looking at the data gathered over the course of 2019, Szczecin, like much of Poland and indeed many countries that have a harsh winter period (as well as even mild winters playing a part in this) see a steady decline in the air quality as the temperatures decrease.
This became evident at around the month of October, with the previous month coming in at a more reasonable reading of 10.9 μg/m³, followed by a jump up to 14.5 μg/m³ in October, and then 23.4 μg/m³ in November. These elevations in PM2.5 continued on into the months of the following year, with the higher readings continuing on until April. After this month, the readings returned to more appreciable levels. The most polluted month of the entire year was February, with a PM2.5 reading of 27.6 μg/m³, and in closing, October through to April was the period in which Szczecin saw its highest pollution levels.
As the pollution levels drop down from their higher readings (with seven months of the year coming in with moderate ratings of air quality), a clearance in PM2.5 levels was seen in the transition of the month of April through to May. April came in with a PM2.5 reading of 19.3 μg/m³, which was then followed by a swift drop down to 11.6 μg/m³ in May, a drop of close to half the previous number, and a move from the moderate ratings bracket down to the ‘good’ air quality bracket, one which requires a very fine margin of entry at 10 to 12 μg/m³.
After the vast improvement seen in May, the air quality continued to stay at very respectable levels, with readings of 11.3 μg/m³ in June, 8.2 μg/m³ in July, 9.9 μg/m³ in August and 10.9 μg/m³ in September. This is indicative that the months of May through to September were the cleanest months of the year, coinciding with the warmer seasons of the year. Two months came in within the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, with July being the cleanest month at 8.2 μg/m³.
With some of the more polluted months of the year in mind, and Februarys elevated reading of 27.6 μg/m³ standing out, there would be a whole host of potential detrimental health effects that could occur during this time of the year. Of note is that any reading of pollution has the chance to cause harm, and this becomes more salient as the reading drifts over the WHO's target goal, with the risks and severity of ailments increasing as the PM2.5 reading does.
Some issues would be respiratory related ones such as reduced lung function, mainly through the scarring of lung tissue or rapid aging brought about by respiring harmful chemicals emitted from cars or other similar sources. With damage to the lungs occurring, individuals become more susceptible to further health problems, with conditions such as pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis and asthma all being possible pulmonary disorders that can occur.