Small and medium-sized cities most polluted in Poland


The dramatic situation in small and medium-sized towns results from the burning of coal and wood in "cinders", which are the primary source of heat in over four million Polish homes.

According to the Polish Smog Alarm ranking, in 2018 the infamous leader in terms of carcinogenic benzo (a) pyrene concentrations was Nowy Targ in the voivodeship. Lesser Poland (1800% of the norm). The most days occurred in Pszczyna in Silesia, when PM10 concentrations exceeded norms - the inhabitants of this town breathed polluted air for as much as one third of a year.

In Poland, small and medium-sized cities are the most polluted. Last year, Pszczyna is the shameful record holder - the city with the highest number of days with air exceeding acceptable norms. In this city, the number of smog days was almost four times higher than the number allowed. Immediately after Pszczyna, Rybnik and Wodzisław Śląski came, where smog days were 110 (with 35 permitted by law). Small Godów (1922 inhabitants) has air with a higher average annual PM10 concentration than recognized as the capital of Polish smog Krakow or the capital of Silesia, Katowice - we read in the ranking of the Polish Smog Alarm.

Nowy Targ exceeds the acceptable norm of carcinogenic benzo (a) pyrene by up to 1800%! Sucha Beskidzka and Śląsk Rybnik with the concentration 13-fold exceeding the permissible norm are in the second and third place. In Żywiec in 14th position, BaP values ​​constitute 800% of the norm.

The Polish Smog Alarm has converted the concentration of inhaled benzo (a) pyrene into the equivalent of smoked cigarettes. And so the residents of Nowy Targ "smoke" in this way as many as 22 "cigarettes" a day! Residents of Zakopane and tourists visiting the city - 10 "cigarettes" per day.

- Air quality in our country during the heating season is still dramatic - says Andrzej Guła, leader of the Polish Smog Alarm. Unfortunately, this situation is common not only in dozens of Polish cities and towns where air quality is measured, but also in thousands where there is no measuring station. Our ranking does not serve to stigmatize "record holders" because we are convinced that there are thousands of similar cities in Poland, with the only difference that nobody measures air quality there - adds Guła.