Desert dust from Sahara causing 'very high' pollution levels

Desert dust from the Sahara is sweeping across the Midlands today, thanks to a continental air flow which has travelled all the way from Africa.

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Midlands and East England braced for air pollution

"Very high" levels of air pollution will be casting a shadow of the Midlands and East of England over the next couple of days, Government experts have warned.

North-west Norfolk experienced some of the worst pollution, Defra said. Credit: PA

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has warned of high levels of air pollution, linked to sandstorms in the Sahara, which are expected to effect the Midlands and East of England the most.

Defra have also warned South England and Wales were likely to be hit.

The elevated pollution levels have been caused by a combination of light south-easterly winds, the continental air flow and dust which has blown up from the Sahara desert, a spokeswoman said.

High levels of pollution are expected to continue across East Anglia and the Midlands on Thursday.

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Health advice issued amid pollution warnings

Health warnings have been issued in parts of England as air pollution is forecast to hit high or very high levels today.

The following health advice has been issued for people in areas experiencing "very high" pollution levels:

  • 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
  • Reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors, especially if you have a cough or sore throat

Desert dust from Sahara sparks pollution warning

Desert dust and sand from the Sahara is sweeping across the Midlands today, thanks to a continental air flow which has travelled all the way from Africa.

Government health bosses today warned that people in the Midlands - one of the worst-affected areas in the country - should be prepared for "very high" levels of pollution over the next few days.

Dust has been swept up from the Sahara by the wind

It comes after a number of reports from people that their cars were covered in a light coating of red dust.

High pollution warnings are expected to be in place across the region tomorrow and Thursday, but should start to fall by Friday.

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