You may have seen my other thread about a possible Krakow to Berlin itinerary. Recently I have happened across information on the web suggesting that Krakow and Wroclaw suffer from horrible air quality. Apparently lots of people burn various fuels for heat, and they also incinerate trash. I have Googled extensively on this, but was just wondering whether anyone has found air quality issues to have seriously worsened your visit to these cities. My wife and I don't have any health issues, but if the smog is likely to be especially oppressive that would be really disappointing. This site seems to suggest air quality is up and down. Common sense suggests that winter would be worst for burning, our trip would be the very end of April and the first half of May. I guess it's just like asking what will the weather be, who knows, right? What are your thoughts?
My thought is that I wouldn't even worry about this in the least unless you and your wife had health issues...and you were going in winter. Or you were going to visit for a month or two. I was in Poland only nine days total (half the time in those two cities) in September some years ago and of course I noticed no problems with air quality - it rained half the time. I'd go back to Poland in a heartbeat at any time of the year. Loved both of those two cities.
You should have seen the air (and environmental) quality under communism...this is nothing. Unfortunately, Poland still uses a lot of coal as an energy source and they probably do burn things in rural areas. I would not worry about things like this as a tourist, I doubt you'll notice anything that's off. I don't remember experiencing any oppressive smog when I'm visiting (my family lives there). You should also note that Paris and other cities suffer from the same issue. There were scary photos posted of the Eiffel Tower shrouded in a very thick layer of smog, and it wasn't pretty.
My DH has emphysema and take Spiriva every day. He had no problem in the big cities (Krakow, Warsaw) or the small villages. China, yes, Poland NO!
I've never noticed poor air quality in either Krakow or Warsaw, summer or winter, at least no different than any other Western city.