Poland is one of the most polluted countries in the EU. Around 48 thousand people, mostly the elderly, die prematurely every year from diseases linked to air pollution. It shortens life expectancy of an average Polish citizen by around 9 months.
- According to a 2016 World Health Organization report, out of 50 most polluted cities in the EU, as many as 33 are in Poland.
- According to the latest report by the European Environmental Agency, in terms of poor air quality, Poland is the second in the EU just after Bulgaria.
- Household boilers are the main reason for such high concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5. The National Centre for Emissions Management (KOBiZE) estimates that around 50% of particulate matter and almost 90% of the carcinogenic benzo(a)pyrene comes from household boilers.
- Average annual concentrations of the carcinogenic benzo(a)pyrene in Poland reach 6 ng/m3, whereas the EU target value is set at 1 ng/m3. In many Polish towns and cities, the annual limit value is often exceeded by 1,000% and in the most polluted places even by 1,500-1,700%.
- In many cities, the number of days on which the average daily concentration of PM10 is above the limit value exceeds one third of the year. In the most polluted cities such as Kraków, concentrations above the EU daily limit value are registered around 150 days per year.