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|4||Poznan, Greater Poland|
|6||Krakow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship|
|8||Lodz, Lodz Voivodeship|
|9||Rzeszow, Subcarpathian Voivodeship|
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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 31 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Poznan is currently 1.5 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Thursday, Sep 21|
Good 40 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 22|
Good 36 AQI US
Good 31 AQI US
|Sunday, Sep 24|
Good 31 AQI US
|Monday, Sep 25|
Good 32 AQI US
|Tuesday, Sep 26|
Good 43 AQI US
|Wednesday, Sep 27|
Moderate 51 AQI US
|Thursday, Sep 28|
Moderate 55 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 29|
Moderate 55 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 30|
Moderate 64 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 1|
Moderate 70 AQI US
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Poznan is a city located in the western central region of Poland, famous for its old renaissance town section and cathedrals. Nowadays it sees itself as an important hub for Polish culture as well as being a center for business and trade, with a large and growing population numbered at some 534 thousand inhabitants. It is ranked highly in terms of being a business friendly city, as well as having a good quality of life and healthcare.
Whilst all these factors such as business and trade can add to the economic and urban growth of a city, it can also see more air pollution being produced, with buildings and other structures popping up, alongside a growth in population. In 2019, Poznan came in with a PM2.5 reading of 20.4 μg/m³ as its yearly average, a number that placed it into the ‘moderate’ ratings bracket, one which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³.
Whilst it is not overtly terrible in nature, it is a reading that indicates that the city is subject to its own share of air pollution issues, with some months climbing even higher, a feat that is not too often seen in many cities throughout Europe. This 2019 reading of 20.4 μg/m³ place Poznan into 867th place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as 24th place out of all cities ranked in Poland.
Poznan, and many cities across Poland, see much of their pollution arising from similar sources. These include ones ranging from vehicle fumes, industrial emissions to even the burning of charcoal and wood in homes. To address the issue of vehicular emissions first, it is known that they represent a significant danger to air cleanliness in all cities worldwide, with large amounts of traffic often correlating with a heightened amount of chemical compounds and particulate matter in the air. Furthermore, many of the vehicles in Poznan would be of the aged variety, something that is not an unusual site to see across the country, with many cars, motorbikes and even heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and buses running on sub optimal and aged motors or engines. This can contribute to the further leakage of oil vapors, as well as the production of higher amounts of smoke and fumes.
Other sources of pollution in Poznan include ones such as fine particulate matter released from construction sites, smoke and haze released from industrial areas and power plants (more prominent during certain months of the year due to a change in energy demands based on the weather), and as touched on before, the widespread use of wood and other organic materials being burnt by the population.
Looking at the data taken over the course of 2019, there are distinct peaks in pollution levels that occur during certain times of the year, as well as periods of cleaner air quality. In terms of when the air quality takes a turn for the worst, is typically when the colder months set in, triggering off a massive demand for electricity to provide heating for both homes and businesses, as well as the mass burning of charcoal and wood.
The pollution levels start to increase around October, with September showing a somewhat more respectable reading of 13.2 μg/m³, only to be followed by 21.6 μg/m³ in October. This then continued up to 29.6 μg/m³ in November, and 25.4 μg/m³ in December. The worst months of the year were between January and February, which both came in with readings of 34.8 μg/m³ and 36.9 μg/m³ respectively, showing that the higher levels of pollution that appear towards the end of the year carry through into the earlier months of the following year.
The reading of 36.9 μg/m³ taken in February made it the most polluted month of the year, as well as going up a pollution rating bracket into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ rating, one that requires a PM2.5 number of 35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. In closing, October through to February is the period that sees the worst pollution levels in Poznan.
After the highly polluted month of February comes to a close, the PM2.5 reading of 36.9 μg/m³ drops significantly down to 17.5 μg/m³ in March, whereby Poznan enters into a period of relatively cleaner air. This continues on, with May showing readings of 14 μg/m³, 12.7 μg/m³ in June and then the cleanest months of the year between July and August, with readings of 8.2 μg/m³ and 10.4 μg/m³ respectively.
This shows that July was the cleanest month of the year, falling into the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less for the most optimal air quality, as well as August hitting the ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket with its reading sitting in between the required 10 to 12 μg/m³. In closing, the months of May through to September showed the best quality of air in Poznan.
With PM2.5 readings going as high as 36.9 μg/m³ in the colder months, there would be a significantly heightened risk of adverse health issues occurring. Whilst any reading above 10 μg/m³ has the chance to cause illness or health conditions, the higher the number goes so too does the risk chance as well as the severity of the conditions.
Some of these issues include ones such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema and aggravated asthma attacks, as well as irritation to the skin, eyes, nose and mouth. Children may develop allergies if over exposed, and pregnant mothers are the most at risk to overexposure, with it resulting in possible chances of miscarriage, premature birth or a low birth weight, as well as both cognitive or physical defects present in these newborn babies. Instances of cancer, particularly of the lungs, can go up significantly, as well as damage to the lung tissue and other organ systems throughout the body.
5 Data sources