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HEAL in Poland highlights air quality problems on Polish TV

HEAL’s coal and health adviser in Poland and a pulmonologist from the Polish Society of Lung Disease were recently interviewed about air pollution on the biggest Polish TV news channel, TVN24.

Łukasz Adamkiewicz from HEAL Poland (left) and Dr Tadeusz Zielonka from the Polish Society of Lung Disease talked about air pollution with reference to the latest report by the Supreme Chamber of Control, published in December 2014.

In the report, the Supreme Chamber of Control warned that Poland has not meet EU air quality standards for years. Poland has the most polluted air in the EU and in many cities, the concentration of toxic and carcinogenic pollutants exceed the legal limits. The Chamber concludes that although authorities in Poland have spent large amounts of money on improving the air quality, there has been little improvement and as a result, Poland may receive up to a 4 billion PLN penalty for failure to meeting EU air quality standards.

During the interview, Lukasz stressed that air pollution in Poland causes around 45,000 premature deaths every year as well as very high external health costs to Poland. Dr Zielonka highlighted the health consequences of air pollution for the most vulnerable groups, including asthma, shortness of breath and other respiratory diseases triggered during a hot season in Poland.

As many studies suggest, including one on the impact of air pollution on children’s health in Krakow last year, air pollution can contribute to cardiovascular diseases and problems of the nervous system.

As a result of the Supreme Chamber of Control report, the Polish Ministry of Environment has announced 2015 as the year to prioritise air quality and has promised to implement a National Program of Air Protection.

Last updated on 13 February 2015

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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