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>I also took a look at Google Search Trends and there seem to be an annual pattern during the Winter when interest in 'smog' gains traction, probably because people burn coal/things to keep themselves warm.
The coal is the lesser one of our problems. It is a well known fact that there a lot of people burning their trash because it's cheaper and they don't care. So I'd much rather have all people who use furnaces to keep themselves warm using coal.
Also it is not a problem exclusive to lesser Poland since I live in upper Silesia and I've seen plenty of dark smoke comming from chimneys of people burning garbage and as an effect the air quality meters for PM2.5, PM10, sometimes for SO2 (this is probably because coal) and NO2 regularly shoot up above 200 or even 400% of the norm.
If you want more data about air quality maybe contact creators of The canary. It is an app that collects data about air quality form a lot of stations spread out across Poland and makes them easily readable.
Hi, I'm the author of Canary mobile app (daily up to 50k users, and around 6GB of data transfer on Firebase). Now with a team we are working on Icelytics for exactly the reason you mentioned, drop us a message and we can see what we can do or will notify at point of time when we announce publicly feature that you are mostly looking forward to. For now we monitor internally usage of data on Firebase and as well in custom backend for few apps (canary among them) to monitor things such as which data you use most, does new app version helps reduce usage, which users use data most, are there any patters on that, how much user waits for data retrieving etc. as we didn't find any tool out there and data provided by Firebase is too little to work with (also data available for them internally is too little as well). Also let us know if you have any hints/needs as we are still shaping our SDK.
> Any polish friends know if there are any plans to fix this situation?
Population puts huge pressure on government to do something about it. In last two years, many android apps that pull data from public Pm sensors got created and they have 100s of thousands of installations each (    ) Some TV stations started reporting pollution levels during weather forecast segments.
Many local governments run programs that subsidize replacement of old heating furnaces with new low-emission models and some cities got "drone squads" that fly from chimney to chimney measuring emissions and fine people found to burn trash in them.
Overall, most difficult first step (admitting that there's a problem) has already been done - now it's only a matter of time until it gets fixed.
Kanarek...Winter is comming ;)
Są w apce Kanarek - Android i iOS
On my phone I use Kanarek with a widget.
On my PC I check the Windy.
Before I leave my house I often just look at the numbers on my air filter. If it is working hard not to get above 7 (it is set to AUTO and goes to SLOW instead of SILENT) then it means the air outside is bad.
I sometimes just open the door to my garden and smell the air. Air really smells bad when the smog levels are high.
The official website by GIOS (Environmental Protection Inspectorate) is not precise but there are websites in which you can select a specific air control station nearest to your home like this one - https://aqicn.org/map/warsaw/pl
What you need to keep in mind is that there are few different types and sizes of particles. NO2, PM10, PM2.5 and aerosols. All of these are then measured by different organizations in different ways. So 100% for WHO would also could be counted as 40% for GIOS. I just go with WHO measurements because it is a global organization with access to biggest amount of data.
What you should be concerned about are the particles around PM2.5 (two and one half microns or less in width). Your lungs can ignore almost everything above that size and PM10 are only harmful if the humidity (aerosols) are high because these particles can literally stick to your lung as if you were a smoker. So just keep it safe and go with PM2.5 WHO measurements. Anything above 50 PMs/msq is harmful.
You can prepare by getting some filtered masks, like these: https://dragonmask.pl/maski-antysmogowe-sport (any N99 filters will do) and installing smog alert apps like Canary
([https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pl.tajchert.canary](Play Store)/[https://apps.apple.com/pl/app/kanarek/id1493134142?l=pl](App Store)) and setting the quality index to WHO (not Polish, which seems to have limits set 3x higher than WHO for some [statistical] reason).
When you have this mask on, and you take it off outside you immediately feel the metallic taste in your mouth. Personally, I don't go outside without it ever for 3 years now.
Get Canary. It will inform you when the pollution norms are exceeded based on your location.