Wroclaw City Council have advised people to minimise their time spent outdoors today due to the dangerous level of air pollution.
The concern is over the amount of PM 2.5 (a.k.a fine particulate matter), a pollutant that reduces visibility and has a negative impact on health.
According to Gazeta Wroclawska, the level of PM. 2.5 in the atmosphere is six times higher than what is considered normal. The amount of PM 10 detected is also high. Earlier this morning air quality readings showed that Wroclaw's air was 4 times as polluted as the air in Beijing.
In other cities in Poland, such as Katowice and Krakow, the situation is even worse.
The high levels of smog have come about due to the combination of very low temperatures combined with a lack of wind. The low temperatures mean more people are burning fuel in their fireplaces, while the lack of wind makes it difficult for the pollutants to dissapate.
The smog issue in Poland has been intensified by the amount of people burning rubbish and various inapropriate materials in their fireplaces to keep their homes warm. There are strong penalties in place for those that are caught doing so, however finding the guilty party and enforcing the law has been difficult.
Earlier this morning Anna Bytońska of Wroclaw City Council pleaded with people to stop burning rubbish in their homes:
We appeal to the residents of Wroclaw to stop burning garbage and fuel of an inferior quality in home furnaces. We would like to remind you that our air quality depends above all on what we burn in our furnaces and boilers.
To help reduce some of the smog, Krakow, Warsaw and Kielce have all decided to woo drivers into leaving their cars at home by making public transport free for the day. Wroclaw has not followed suit however.