City braced for high levels of air pollution

The city is braced for high levels of air pollution over the next few days – with warnings issued to asthmatics and those with breathing difficulties.

High pressure is being blamed for the prevailing smog, which also led to the sky being hazy over the weekend.

One scale used to measure air pollution showed that levels in the city were three times the normal amount at its peak over the weekend.

And Nottingham was yesterday rated a nine – one off the top – on a Government website for air pollution, compared to just three in London and Birmingham, and a two in Bristol.

Jonathan Gribbin, consultant in public health at Nottinghamshire County and Nottingham City councils, said people with lung diseases may feel their symptoms worsen.

He said: “Most people will experience no ill effects. Those suffering from lung diseases, including asthma, particularly the elderly, should be aware that their symptoms might worsen.

“They may need to consider modifying their treatment as they usually do when symptoms increase, consulting their doctor if this is not effective.

“People who have noticed in the past that their breathing is affected on hot, sunny days should avoid strenuous outdoor activity, particularly in the afternoon.

“Children with asthma should be able to take part in games in the usual way, although they may need to increase their use of reliever medicines before participating. There is no need for them to stay away from school.

“Those suffering from a heart condition and who notice a change in their symptoms should get medical advice as they normally would.”

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs echoed this advice, saying: “Adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly if they experience symptoms.

“People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.”

The elevated levels are due to the south easterly air flow affecting the UK, bringing over dirty air from the continent.

A city council spokesman said: “Air pollution is currently higher than usual in the area as a result of an area of high pressure sitting over continental Europe, meaning their emissions are being carried over to Britain at the moment.

“The forecast is for this to continue for the next few days and improve when there is a change in wind direction.”

Figures from the QMC accident and emergency department show that 16 people have attended the hospital with asthma-related conditions in each of the past two weeks, with eight coming in over the weekend.

via City braced for high levels of air pollution | Nottingham Post.

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