Close your windows and hold your breath – for the level of dangerous pollutants in the air above Kraków has reached more than three times recommended ‘safe’ levels.
Tiny particles called Particulate Matter 10 (PM10), capable of causing extreme damage and penetrating the smallest parts of the human lung, reached 150 micrograms per cubic metre on the night of October 23-24. The limit is 50 micrograms.
Pollution is expected to remain high at least until the weekend, with eventings and mornings being hit the worst. That’s because, with colder temperatures, heating systems in homes across the city are being turned on and pumping out dangerous waste. Residents who burn household rubbish in their heating systems – easily spotted by the dirty colour of the resulting smoke – will be fined.
The problem of air pollution returns every year to Kraków; last year, limits were exceeded by 600 per cent. Then, some nursery schools were closed to protect children.
Check live updates of the situation, at the Małopolska regional website.
- Air pollution still at dangerous levels in Europe, report finds (guardian.co.uk)