In Poland, the awareness of air pollution problem and its sources is high. According to 59% of Poles, air pollution constitutes the most important environmental problem, and home stoves are rightly indicated as the major source of pollutants. At the same time, more than half of the home owners who heat with coal stoves declared willingness to replace it with more ecological ones .
However, knowledge about the environmental problem does not always translateinto actions aimed at mitigating it. Apart from the obvious economic limitations (e.g.high costs of stove replacement), our mindset does not allow to properly evaluatesituation as a red flag condition. According to Hausman and Stolper (2020), there isa general tendency in our thinking to underestimate the level of pollution in the place of residence and miscalculate the associated health risks. Most people are aware of some but not all of the health effects related to air pollution, while also greatly belittle the magnitude and probability of their occurrence.
Meanwhile, as many as 90% of people in the world breathe polluted air, and up to15% of natural deaths are attributed to particulate matter in the air. Monitoring and access to accurate, transparent information about local air pollution makes it easier to protect your own health. By realizing the threat, we can make a choice to less frequently expose ourselves to breathing “poisonous” air.
1 Based on the study of ecological awareness and behaviors, conducted on the sample of inhabitants of Poland in 2020 (tracking research) by the Ministry of Climate and Environment. Results are available here.