Over 40 thousand Poles die each year from diseases linked to air pollution. The main source of the pollution is the heating systems in our homes – according to “Rzeczpospolita” newspaper.

Kraków cityscape image

Kraków’s beautiful but smoggy cityscape

The number of victims of polluted air in Poland is thus more than ten times higher than the number of victims of road accidents, which is more than 3 thousand each year.

Kraków is one of the most air-polluted cities in Poland, and there are twice as many cases of allergies as in any other region of the country. There are still at least 25 thousand coal heating systems used at homes there, and many many more in the rest of Poland.

According to experts from the Warsaw University of Technology, the main source of air pollution in Poland are the heating systems in family houses and old tenement buildings.

In total (this is the so-called public utilities sector) they are responsible for exceeding the standards for PM10 and PM2.5 pollutants by nearly 90% and for 100% of pollution with the so-called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which have carcinogenic properties.

Car traffic is responsible for 5 to 10% of the pollution and for exceeding the standards for nitrogen oxides by 100%. The entire industrial sector, including energy production, has less than 3% shares in crossing the air quality standards.

At the beginning of this month, president Andrzej Duda signed a new anti-smog law, which is expected to help to improve the air quality in Poland. However, it is also a huge blow for the Polish coal mining industry and for the people who still use coal to heat their homes. Unfortunately, changing your home heating system requires great expenses.

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