pollution in Prague

Discussion in 'Expat Life' started by CzechPete, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. CzechPete

    CzechPete Member


    I have read several articles on the consistently high pollution levels in Prague (many times over the EU limits) especial in the coal burning winter season.

    We will be spending next winter there - how much should I be concern about my asthma condition? Is anyone asthmatic living in Prague and how are you coping? (I lived in Paris for a few years with no problems.)

  2. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    I don't think you should be concerned so much about it, I don't think it's such a big deal. I think cities in US or London has higher pollution levels.
    I don't see why winter should be somehow different than summer, Praguers don't use coal for heating. Houses in Prague are heated by some kind of central heating, you know radiator full of hot water. You can get it either from burning gas (mostly popular inolder houses in center) or just got it directly from pipes for hot water (all the high raised apartment buildings in the outskirts).

    And about asthma? I personally don't have asthma, but few of my friends have and they don't have problem with that.
  3. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

  4. CU

    CU Member

    r u kidding? No where in the west do I know of that has told its town folk to stay in doors on certain days. Usti Nad Lebem does this at least 3 days a year....pollution here is far worse than in the west

    Pražské služby, a.s., which runs an incinerator in Prague 10–Malešice, emitted 16,159 kilograms of toxic waste in the air last year.
    Scientists warn that pollution in Prague, a chronic problem, is worse than ever — thanks to a 30 percent increase in traffic since last year and ongoing construction throughout the capital.

    In Prague 5, doctors are noticing more cases of immune deficiencies among children and decreased fertility levels among men, trends that make some suspect pollution is to blame.

    It's enough to have City Hall now promising action. Starting next year, officials say, the city will allocate more money — though they're not saying how much — to clean Prague's air.

    "It's getting worse every year," says Radim Šrám, head of the Genetic Ecotoxicology Department (GED) at the Institute of Experimental Medicine in Prague. "What's most disturbing is the dramatic increase in the concentration of fine dust particles."

    Arnika, a nongovernmental organization, has just published a report that identifies the country's biggest polluters in various categories for 2005, and there's a special list of Prague offenders.

    Topping the city list for toxic chemicals is Pražské služby, a.s., which runs an incinerator in Prague 10–Malešice. The facility emitted 16,159 kilograms (35,550 pounds) of toxic chemicals into the air last year. For greenhouse gases, the leader is ťeskomoravský cement, a.s., a plant in Prague 5 that emitted a little more than 505 million kilograms of the

    gases in 2005. Pražská teplárenská, which has a heating plant in Malešice, released 2.7 million kilograms of toxic gases last year, making it the leader in emitting gases that cause acid rain.

    http://www.praguepost.com/articles/2006 ... ked-up.php
  5. MK

    MK Well-Known Member

    Maybe they just do not care about their citizens :?: :!:

    Speaking about Prague. I think main problem is lot of cars in the city and its location. Prague lies in valley (Prague basin) hence during inversion all smog get stuck in the city.

    We were used to continually decreasing pollution levels here but results from last years showed that it is again going up. Everybody now think that some action is in order...

    I second what gementricxs stated about asthma and Prague. With one exception. It will be wise to avoid all day long walks on the streets in city center or near highways (including Magistrala) during inversion. Just use your common sense.
  6. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I have seen occasional warnings to the public here in NY about not going swimming in certain areas of the lake due to high pollutant levels. Also, in areas where air quality is bad, it is not unusual for weather programming to give air quality reports as well. Yet, as CU mentioned, I don't recall hearing a warning as serious as staying indoors due to air pollution (then again, I've never lived in areas where air pollution is that bad, either). In general, the air quality is much better in the U.S.
  7. CU

    CU Member

    CR is terribly polluted, and you will only find bad/slanted information on expat sites ( this one is at least the best, try expats.cz and you will find nothing but spam and folks looking for your IP address) from people with a vested interest in deluding the general public. In addition to the below, note that 50% of the forest is dead from acid rain ( a source of pride to the Czechs for their love their countryside, but it cant compare to the west). There are days when it is hard to even breath here...note highest in the world, but who was it that said it isnt as bad as it is in the west....a 20 year old.

    The Czech Republic suffers from air, water, and land pollution caused by industry, mining, and agriculture. Lung cancer is prevalent in areas with the highest air pollution levels. In the mid-1990s, the nation had the world's highest industrial carbon dioxide emissions, totaling 135.6 million metric tons per year, a per capita level of 13.04 metric tons. Like the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic has had its air contaminated by sulfur dioxide emissions resulting largely from the use of lignite as an energy source in the former Czechoslovakia, which had the highest level of sulfur dioxide emissions in Europe, and instituted a program to reduce pollution in the late 1980s. Western nations have offered $1 billion to spur environmental reforms, but the pressure to continue economic growth has postponed the push for environmental action.
    The Czech Republic has a total of 15 cu km of freshwater resources, of which 1% is used for farming and 57% is used for industry. Both urban and rural dwellers have access to safe drinking water. Airborne emissions in the form of acid rain, combined with air pollution from Poland and the former GDR, have destroyed much of the forest in the northern part of the former Czechoslovakia. Land erosion caused by agricultural and mining practices is also a significant problem.

    As of 2001, the endangered list included seven mammal species, six bird species, six types of freshwater fish, and seven plant species. Endangered species include the Atlantic sturgeon, slender-billed curlew, and Spengler's freshwater mussel.

    http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Euro ... NMENT.html
  8. fabik317

    fabik317 Well-Known Member

    yeah, and besides, it's a big drunken atheist whorehouse, we've heard that already.
  9. CU

    CU Member

    your right, lets instead just live in denial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Czech gambling is not another form of entertainment that happens to bring in 90.6 billion Kč ($4.3 billion) annually. It's a massively profitable, barely regulated piece of a global industry notorious for corruption and organized crime backing.

    That gaming is legal in the Czech Republic, as in many other European countries, is positive because driving an industry like this one underground is the best possible way to ensure corruption. And, as with prostitution or drugs, making it illegal would do little to stamp it out.

    The post-1989 state has chosen to handle this particular vice with a policy of realpolitik, accepting gambling as not just inevitable but as the source of handy revenue streams for an inefficient government that's in the habit of hemorrhaging money.

    Whether that's the best choice for society when seen from a moral framework is an open question. What's certain is that if casinos and herna bars (those smoky pubs featuring one-armed bandits and men with glazed eyes unceasingly pumping coins into them) are allowed to proliferate as they have been, Prague's reputation for sleaze will worsen.

    With the Czech capital already known the world over for its sex industry and easy, round-the-clock access to cheap alcohol, making its image worse would be no small achievement. But it seems that the gambling industry is ready to get us there in short order.
    It's encouraging to hear that Petr Vrzáň, the new director of the Finance Ministry's gambling regulation arm, the State Supervision of Gaming and Lotteries, is committed to cleaning up this industry — even if the crackdown comes 15 years too late.

    Stepping up enforcement of the Czech rules governing casinos, known collectively as the lottery law, is also clearly a good move, as is expanding the team of full-time inspectors. Hiring five full-time staff to handle licensing and collect fees is a better idea still — particularly in light of the government's share, which was 5.6 billion Kč last year, with state and municipal budgets scoring 2.3 billion Kč of that. (It's doubtful, of course, that all taxable gambling was really reported.)

    Another 2.3 billion Kč in gambling fees went, by law, to support sports, cultural and other social programs last year, a 10 percent jump over the previous year. That's all good news to politicians struggling to rein in budget deficits and burgeoning costs of health care and pensions that are only expected to grow in future years.

    But the history of the lottery law, which Parliament has stalled on updating for eight years, does not inspire confidence. And ministers have kept reforms to deal with modern gambling technology from even reaching the floor of the Chamber of Deputies.

    Meanwhile, other areas of gambling regulation remain a confused mess: No one is able to explain why Vrzáň's office is empowered to police casinos but only limited aspects of the far more common herna bars. Indeed, many owners are already thinking that if the new casino rules are not to their liking, they may simply remove their card tables and roulette wheels and leave only slot machines, making them exempt from the feds.

    And gambling operators are able under current law to choose the sports teams that their fees to the state will fund, which seems an open invitation to conflicts of interest. Sports betting is a cornerstone of the industry and corruption scandals in Italy this year have shown how easily well-monied gambling organizations can influence the performance of teams on which huge bets ride.

    Despite the progress, the odds on truly clean and transparent gaming in the Czech Republic remain long indeed.
  10. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    What this all has to do with pollution in Prague, I don't know. Returning to the topic at hand, Europe in general has more pollution that the U.S., largely because of the difference in population densities. The Czech Republic is no exception. Whether Prague is more polluted than other European cities of comparable size, I can't comment, as I haven't travelled Europe much. Personally, I didn't have any trouble with air quality, although it definitely wasn't as good as what I'm used to in the U.S., but then I also don't have asthma.

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