The air pollution in Britain has been too high these days, BBC News UK reports. The government warned that outdoor activities must be avoided, especially for those with heart and breathing problems. BBC News UK adds that the record highs were measured on Tuesday. The suggested reason is that there is dust coming from the Sahara and mixing with the air.
Robert Harrabin, environment analyst, comments that according to the Worth Health Organization, air pollution is the biggest environmental risk linked to seven million deaths a year, mostly from lung diseases. The causes of air pollution are not only the outdoor traffic and industry, but also the indoor cooking stoves. He adds later that the wind is lifting the winds and the desert dust up, but in the UK it mixes with the local air and causes even higher air pollution to irritate people’s lungs.
Harrabin hopes that the since the government has been previously avoiding the warnings of the European Union and failing to reduce the excessive amounts of nitrogen dioxide in the air, it should be a good sign to draw their attention. The EU has already launched legal proceedings against the UK government for allowing the air pollution in Britain to be too high.
Residents in London had immediate complains, saying that the sky appeared to be “milky-white”, which means that the air pollution is greater than normal. Professor MacKenzie from the University of Birmingham explained that the cause of the air pollution in Britain to be too high is due to the arrival of the Saharan dust from the south, pushing the quality of air to worrisome levels.
The New York Times states that the high levels of air pollution is Paris last month caused the French government to impose a partial ban on driving, reduce speed limits and offer free public transportation for several days.
It is not advised to be active outdoors at this time, especially for people with heart and lung problems due to worsening their symptoms, Sotiris Vardoulakis, the director at the Center for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards of Public Health England, said in a statement for the New York Times. He added that most people don’t actually feel air pollution.
Dr. Keath Prowse, an honorary adviser for the British Lung Foundation, said for the Telegraph that air pollution has a large impact on the people with respiratory conditions, especially on those with asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). She mentioned that asthma flare-ups could take a while to settle down. The people with COPD are going to get more mucus that would take a while to get rid off.
The Telegraph adds an interview with Dr. Helen Dacre, a meteorologist at the University of Reading. She said that the air pollution can cause health problems in the short-term and long-term from the toxic gases and dust from the Saharan desert. Ian Colbech, professor of environmental science at the University of Essex, added that air pollution is the biggest world problem nowadays.
The air pollution in Britain is going to be too high for the next couple days, according to the meteorologists reporting for BBC News UK. Some parts of the eastern Midlands and Wales will experience the highest level of pollution, with level 10 or above on the Defra scale. The pollution will continue moving towards East Anglia, and will eventually clear out by Friday.
by Marija Makeska