Air quality in Poland is consistently poor, with many cities ranking among the worst. Most recently, Poznan has topped the list of most polluted cities worldwide.
The poor air quality during winter in Poland concerns ecologists, scientists, and medical professionals. In provinces such as Silesia and municipalities like Krakow, people often joke that the air is so thick with smog that it can be cut with a knife, but the problem is quite serious. More and more cities in Poland are appearing on the world's worst air quality list, with the latest being the capital of Wielkopolska province.
Poznan has overtaken India
On January 10, a reading was taken of the air quality in Poznan, which was found to be worse than Delhi and Wuhan. The Air Quality Index (AQI) scale, which measures air quality, gave Poznan a score of 241, placing it in the purple category.
The AQI scale uses various colours to indicate air quality. Green signifies good air quality, and yellow indicates acceptable air quality but with a need for control. Orange represents air that is unsuitable for specific groups, such as asthmatics. Red indicates unhealthy levels, purple signifies very harmful levels, and maroon denotes dangerous levels.
Poznan was in the middle of the purple category, scoring 241 points. The 'very unhealthy' level is marked between 201 and 300 points. The US Environmental Protection Agency uses five environmental pollutants to determine the AQI: particulate pollution (including PM2.5 and PM10), ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
Wroclaw also in top 10
As of the time of writing, Lahore in Pakistan holds the top spot in the ranking of cities with the most polluted air. Delhi in India is in second place, and Dhaka in Bangladesh is in third place. Wroclaw, a city in Poland, is the only non-Asian city on the list, ranking at number eight due to high smog levels.