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High pollution levels in London expected to fall

Air quality in London is expected to improve today after the highest level of pollution was recorded on Thursday.

London Ambulance Service reported a 14 per cent rise in call outs to people experiencing breathing problems. Credit: PA Wire

The capital has been blighted by increased levels this week with London Ambulance Service reporting a 14 per cent increase in emergency calls for people experiencing breathing problems.

Tom Cobler, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, said: "The air quality will improve throughout the day. It will edge out to the east over the North Sea as some slightly fresher air mass comes in across the UK from the west."

Meanwhile, David Cameron has been accused of failing to understand the long-term air pollution problem by the European Commission's environment spokesman.

Read: Boris Johnson accused of 'dangerous complacency' over pollution scare

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Defra issue health advice for at-risk individuals

Defra have issued health advice for at-risk individuals as 'very high' pollution levels hit London.

London Ambulance Service revealed earlier that there had been a 14 per cent rise in the number of people calling 999 for help with breathing difficulties.

Defra have issued health advice during the increased levels of pollution. Credit: Defra

Read: Ambulance service report 14% rise in breathing call outs

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Londoners wear masks amid 'very high' pollution

Masks were seen on the streets of London as air pollution reached "very high" levels in the capital this morning

A cyclist wears a mask as he crosses London bridge in the smog this morning.
A cyclist wears a mask as he crosses London bridge in the smog this morning. Credit: Jeff Moore/Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment
A woman covers her face as she pushes her baby in the smog.
A woman covers her face as she pushes her baby in the smog. Credit: Jeff Moore/Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

Mayor's pollution comments 'dangerously complacent'

Boris Johnson must take action and show real leadership on London's pollution problems, Labour have said, as they attacked the mayor's comments that air quality in the capital "seemed perfectly fine".

Onkar Sahota, health spokesman for the London Assembly Labour group, said:

The mayor's comments are dangerously complacent - the London Ambulance Service has seen a 14% increase in people calling them with breathing problems.

In 2008, Boris promised to make London the greenest city in the world. Instead, we've seen wasted opportunities and wasted money.

This latest smog episode should act as a wake-up call to our mayor, whilst sand blown in from the Sahara is a contributing factor, Boris has not taken decisive action to tackle local air pollution.

Boris needs to take action and show real leadership on this issue.

Read: Boris: 'I cycled this morning and it seemed fine to me'

Boris: 'I cycled this morning and it seemed fine to me'

Boris Johnson has dismissed talk of a pollution crisis claiming the air quality seemed "perfectly fine" when he cycled this morning.

Boris Johnson has dismissed talk of a pollution crisis in the capital. Credit: PA Wire

"I'm urging people just to have a little balance here, I cycled this morning and it seemed perfectly fine to me," Mr Johnson told ITV London's Simon Harris.

"I think we need to keep a little bit of a sense of proportion. I cycled perfectly happily around today. I understand asthmatics and people who are particularly vulnerable perhaps need to be cautious but there's no reason why people shouldn't go about their daily lives."

The mayor also claimed a Paris-style car ban was not needed to improve London's air quality, adding: "Frankly the position we've got in London is nothing like as bad as that and it's nothing like as bad as it was in Paris a few weeks ago."

Read: Ambulance service report 14% rise in breathing call outs

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Ambulance service report 14% rise in breathing call outs

London Ambulance Service has seen a rise in the number of people calling 999 for help with breathing difficulties as the capital continues to face "very high" pollution levels.

The service reported a 14 per cent rise in emergency calls for patients with breathing problems yesterday with an average of 200 increasing to 227 calls.

A barely-visible Shard is seen from Archway Bridge this morning. Credit: ITV News/Simon Harris

"More people are calling us with breathing difficulties, asthma and heart problems," Deputy medical director Fenella Wrigley said.

Ms Wrigley urged people with asthma to ensure they had their inhalers with them as they may need to use it more frequently in the current conditions.

"This is a busy time for us and I would urge Londoners to use us only in an emergency, and anyone with a minor condition should call NHS 111 or seek advice from their pharmacist or GP," she added.

Pollution levels in London hit highest levels

by Martin Stew, ITV Weather Presenter
Londoners have experienced poor air quality over the past few days. Credit: ITV News/Simon Harris

Pollution in London over the last 24 hours hit 10/10 which are classed as 'very high' levels according to the Met Office and Defra.

To put that in context we have seen nitrogen dioxide levels more than three times higher than the EU legal limit.

Read: 'Very high' pollution levels in south east and London

PM cancels morning run due to 'very high' pollution

David Cameron has revealed that he was forced to cancel his regular morning run due to the "very high" pollution levels.

London and other parts of southern England have been plagued by poor air quality in recent days.

The Prime Minister was forced to cancel his morning run. Credit: PA Wire

"I didn’t go for my morning run this morning. I chose to do some work instead. You can feel it," the Prime Minister told BBC Breakfast.

“But it’s a naturally occurring weather phenomenon. It sounds extraordinary, Saharan dust, but that is what it is.

Mr Cameron urged people to listen "very carefully" to what the Met Office is saying about the "unpleasant" weather.

Read: 'Very high' pollution levels in south east and London

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'Very high' pollution levels in south east and London

The south east and Greater London are currently experiencing "very high" levels of pollution, Defra has warned.

Purple areas are experiencing 'very high' pollution levels, green areas have 'low' levels.
Purple areas are experiencing 'very high' pollution levels, green areas have 'low' levels. Credit: Defra

Eastern England has been hit with "high" pollution levels so far this morning, Defra's Air Quality Index showed at 9am.

High pollution levels: Are you at risk?

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