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A cloud of smog described as an 'invisible menace' prompted a major health warning today as air pollution in our region reached some of its highest and most dangerous levels.
Warm, still conditions combined with traffic fumes, pollution from the continent and dust from the Sahara desert pose a serious threat to the young and elderly suffering from respiratory diseases - particularly in the East Sussex area.
Warnings were issued to those with heart and lung conditions to keep medication close by and avoid strenuous activity. Andy Dickenson reports and we hear from Andrew Grieve, air quality analyst, Dr Yvonne Doyle from Public Health England, and Tim Hutchings, founder of the Brighton Marathon.
Air pollution like that seen today in the South, shortens people's lives by 6 months, according to Andrew Grieve. He's an air quality analyst and says government data confirms the long-term damage on health.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has confirmed there are currently five regions which have been affected by high pollution today:
- South East
- Greater London
- West Midlands
- Yorkshire & Humberside
Doctors are warning those with heart or lung problems or asthma to stay indoors and avoid heavy activity outside due to the air pollution today.
Dr Yvonne Doyle from Public Health England told ITV News: "If you're fit and healthy you probably will notice nothing. But if you have heart and lung conditions then you need to ease of quite a bit on heavy activity."