Air pollution and health in Poland: anti-smog movement in the most polluted polish cities
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Keywords

low-carbon economy, air pollution, health, institutions, Poland

Abstract

The aim of this paper is assessing measures undertaken in Poland by local authorities and government to solve the problem of the poor quality of air in many regions. The low-altitude emissions (LAEs) of air pollutants (up to 40m altitude) are commonly caused by combustion of coal in household furnaces in an inefficient way. The problem is enhanced by combusting garbage and emissions from road transport. The consequences of those emissions are health problems (diseases of respiratory and circulatory systems), as well as degradation of natural environment. The paper presents the results of research carried out in selected Polish cities from the list of 50 most polluted cities in the European Union (2018), where the problem of air pollution is particularly severe. Data published in Public Information Bulletin and on official websites of cities were analyzed to answer the question about the role of socio-political factors in the fight for clean air in Poland. The main finding is that the increase in ecological awareness of residents and access to EU financial funds give local societies an opportunity to develop investment plans, whose implementation should improve the air quality. This, however, will be a long-drawn-out process, because of the scale of long-term negligence in this field and inconsistent government activities.

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