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Pollution still high across England and south Wales

Pollution levels remain 'high' across England and south Wales and 'very high' in London, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

Read: Sharp rise in 999 calls as parts of UK hit by smog

Cleaner, fresher air coming from south-west overnight

Showery outbreaks of rain will persist overnight across northern England and much of Scotland.

Misty and murky conditions will be forming out toward the North Sea coast, and we are still pulling up that polluted air from the south-east.

Things will be changing overnight, however - a south-westerly air flow will feed in much cleaner, fresher air.

Read: Sharp rise in 999 calls as parts of the UK are hit by smog

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Spike in breathing problems reported in north-west

Dust from the Saharan desert has been settling on cars in parts of the country.
Dust from the Saharan desert has been settling on cars in parts of the country. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire

The number of 999 calls from north-west patients struggling with breathing problems has soared by 15% this week, the region's ambulance has said.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the North West Ambulance Service has seen 985 such calls between Sunday and Wednesday compared to 858 between in the previous four days.

A spokeswoman for the service told the newspaper that while the increase appeared to be linked to an increase in pollution levels, the cause was not completely certain.

Read: Rise in 999 calls as parts of UK hit by heavy air pollution

Smog sees increase in West Midlands 999 calls

West Midlands Ambulance Service has experienced a noticeable spike in call-outs linked to breathing problems and chest pains.

Daily figures for calls reporting breathing or chest problems were largely level at around 460 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday last week.

But the corresponding figures for the first three days of this week were 547, 510 and 501.

The service covers Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Read: 'Very high' pollution in south-east and Greater London

Defra: High pollution levels reach north

Pollution levels have eased slightly in the south-east but have now increased in the West Midlands, north-west and Merseyside, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

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High pollution now in the West Midlands, North West & Merseyside. Improvement from V High to High in the South East. http://t.co/BA1M8OK7C9

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London

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

Air pollution levels rise in parts of the UK

The Department for Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs has warned there are high levels of pollution in the south east, London, Yorkshire and Humberside, and East Anglia:

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High levels in the South East, London, Yorkshire & Humberside and East Anglia http://t.co/Gizh5zIM56

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Defra ranks air pollution from one (the green areas) to 10 (marked in purple), with one being the lowest and 10 the highest.

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

Government 'must tackle underlying pollution problem'

Ministers, local authorities and the London mayor must get much tougher on the causes of air pollution, a campaigner from Friends of the Earth has said, as parts of the UK recorded high levels of pollution. Jenny Bates said:

We can't just rely on a change of weather or wind direction to tackle the deadly air pollution incidents which regularly hit Britain - strong Government action is needed to tackle the underlying problem too.

Without urgent action to tackle this national scandal, thousands of people in the UK are likely to die prematurely again this year.

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