Public Health England – Air Pollution 10/11 April 2015

Current forecasts indicate air pollution levels are expected to rise during the course of the week beginning 6 April, with isolated highs or very high levels possible in localised areas today. This is due to locally generated particulate matter combining with pollution blown in from the near continent – and a contribution from Saharan dust.

The levels are not expected to be particularly high across the whole of the South West but they are expected to be moderate to high in Wiltshire; pollution is expected to have cleared the whole of the country by Saturday morning.

Dr Sotiris Vardoulakis, head of the air pollution and climate change group at PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards said:

‘Public Health England (PHE) provides advice to Defra on the health effects of air pollution.

‘While most people will not be affected by short term peaks in air pollution, some individuals, particularly those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms.

‘On occasions where levels are high, adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if they experience symptoms. People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often. Older people should also reduce physical exertion. Anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes, cough or sore throat should consider reducing activity, particularly outdoors.

‘Some parts of the country may record ‘very high’ levels of air pollution. PHE is advising people in those areas to reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors, especially if they experience symptoms such as a cough or sore throat. Adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems, and older people, should avoid strenuous physical activity. People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.’

Current forecasts indicate air pollution levels are expected to rise during the course of the week, with isolated highs possible in localised areas today, and high or very high levels tomorrow. This is due to locally generated particulate matter combining with pollution blown in from the near continent – and a contribution from Saharan dust.

The pollution is expected to have cleared by Saturday morning and we will be regularly updating this page with the latest forecast and health advice.

Dr Sotiris Vardoulakis, head of the air pollution and climate change group at PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards said:

‘PHE provides advice to Defra on the health effects of air pollution.

‘While most people will not be affected by short term peaks in air pollution, some individuals, particularly those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms.

‘On occasions where levels are high, adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if they experience symptoms. People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often. Older people should also reduce physical exertion. Anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes, cough or sore throat should consider reducing activity, particularly outdoors.

‘Some parts of the country may record ‘very high’ levels of air pollution. PHE is advising people in those areas to reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors, especially if they experience symptoms such as a cough or sore throat. Adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems, and older people, should avoid strenuous physical activity. People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.’

Forecast

Friday 10 April

Levels of air pollution are forecast to become high in many areas of central, eastern and northern England, with locally very high levels forecast for a time in the far southeast of England. This is due to a combination of pollutants trapped near the ground, a light southeasterly flow bringing additional pollutants from the continent and, in addition, a small amount of Saharan dust in the air. Across the rest of the United Kingdom, levels of air pollution are expected to be mainly moderate.

Outlook

During Saturday, clearer Atlantic air will spread from the northwest across all areas, bringing air pollution levels down to moderate or low during Saturday, and mainly low with isolated moderate levels for Sunday and Monday.