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Air quality advice

Published Thursday, 03 April 2014

The Government Department for the Environment, DEFRA, has today issued a warning that air quality is likely to be poor this week. On the DEFRA scale of 1-10, the air quality score in Southern England is likely to reach 8 or 9 today.

These air quality problems are due to pollution from traffic and industry. In addition the wind direction has led to sand and dust particles being blown over from the Sahara. 

One way of reducing the risk of future air quality problems is to reduce vehicle emissions by using public transport or walking and cycling.  This has the added benefit of improving your health and wellbeing.

However, during this period of poor air quality adults and children with lung problems or heart problems should avoid strenuous physical exercise particularly outdoors.  People with asthma may find that they need to use the inhaler more often and older people should reduce physical exertion.

Anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes cough or sore throat should consider reducing activity. The vast majority of people should not be affected by the air quality issues, but those with medical conditions should take extra care. If you are concerned about your health or the health of your family you should contact your GP.

Up-to-date information on air pollution levels and related health advice for your area can be found at the DEFRA website .

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