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Crit-Air.fr Aktuelles 2017-02-21

Air pollution episode in Poland

Since last week, Poland has been experiencing the biggest peak of air pollution since air quality began to be measured. Low temperatures and lack of wind have contributed to the development of smog in several towns and cities. The situation is most dramatic in the south of the country, especially in Kraków. In Silesia schools were closed. Until now, the majority of the population was not aware of the health consequences of air pollution, for the government had never organized any education campaigns about this issue in Poland. The main cause of air pollution in Poland is private home heating. The coal industry and city traffic share part of the responsibility as well. According to different environmental associations that oversee the situation at a local level – such as, for example, Greenpeace Polska – the biggest problem is home heating, since paper and wood rests are still being burned in stoves without filters. It is the first time that a government takes a position on this issue in Poland: stoves without filters will be banned as of 2018. However, the government has rejected the option of reducing the limit of fine particle emission to a maximum of 100 µg/m³.