Air in Poland today most polluted in Europe: environment agency
PR dla Zagranicy
The air in Poland on Monday morning was the most polluted in Europe, according to the European Environment Agency.
Smog in Warsaw on Monday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Sick and elderly people, as well as pregnant women and children, should limit the time they spend outside in such conditions, environmental inspectors have warned as high levels of smog hung over central and southern Poland.
Poland’s Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection (GIOŚ) said the PM (particulate matter) 2.5 concentration in Warsaw on Monday morning exceeded 115 micrograms per cubic metre while PM10 concentration was at 125 micrograms per cubic metre.
The World Health Organization’s recommended maximum 24-hour mean is 25 micrograms per cubic metre for PM2.5 and 50 micrograms per cubic metre for PM10.
In Kraków, southern Poland, the PM2.5 concentration was at 131 micrograms and PM10 at 159 micrograms per cubic metre.
According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), out of the 50 European cities most affected by smog, 33 are in Poland. The WHO estimates that around 50,000 Poles die every year due to illness caused by air pollution.
The WHO notes that even small concentrations of particulate matter can have significant health effects.
Particulate matter is described by the World Health Organization as “a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air.”
Polish environmental and health organisations last year asked for better information about air pollution, noting that the alert threshold for particulate matter is set at four times the World Health Organization’s maximum limit.
Tackling air pollution
Last week, Poland's new Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declared that tackling air pollution would be one of his government’s priorities.
Morawiecki also announced that the 33 most affected cities would each gain their own dedicated programme aimed at reducing the impact of smog.
In addition, from July 2018 there will be further restrictions on inefficient stoves, one of the main causes of smog in Polish cities.