Despite the fact that many people in Poland are quarantined at home to limit the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the country continues to experience harmful levels of smog in certain areas.
In Krakow, levels of PM 2.5 (dangerous smog particles) have reached around 300% of the recommended limit even during the shutdown, with areas around it recording even higher levels – such as 460% in Januszowice.
Why has smog remained so bad? In fact, people staying home all the time might be part of the problem, as coal-burning home furnaces are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution. Krakow officials have officially banned such furnaces and have replaced many, but several thousand still remain. Meanwhile, they remain legal and common in other Polish cities.