Britain is on a health alert as a potentially dangerous cloud of toxic air blows over the country.
The smog, which contains nitrogen dioxide, small particles and other chemicals, can cause coughing, a sort throat and itchy eyes. The pollution is particularly hazardous to elderly or young people with heart, lung or breathing problems especially asthmatics.
The NHS warned people with respiratory problems to monitor their symptoms and if they get worse alter their treatment accordingly, for example, anyone with asthma should use their ‘reliever inhaler’.
People with health difficulties have also been told to avoid any strenuous outdoor activity while air pollution levels are bad.
Asthma UK issued the following advice to people with the condition:
carry your reliever inhaler with you
limit the amount of time you spend outside
when you’re indoors, keep windows and doors closed
plan any outdoor activities including exercise for earlier in the day when air quality tends to be better
if possible, avoid areas where there’s a lot of traffic, particularly in the afternoon, when air pollution levels are at their highest
A spokesman for Defra said: “Adults and children with heart or lung problems are at greater risk of symptoms. Follow your doctor’s usual advice about exercising and managing your condition.
“It is possible that very sensitive individuals may experience health effects even on low air pollution days.”
A Met Office spokesman added: “Some individuals, such as those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms.
“The Met Office is working very closely with Defra to ensure they have the most up-to-date and accurate air quality forecasts in order to provide relevant advice to the public.”