Smog alert issued for Easter break

The Government today issued a "smog alert" for the Easter weekend for ozone and polluting particles known as PM10s, which can affect people's health.

Officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said high levels of pollution are expected across England and Wales over the weekend because of warm and still conditions brought on by the high pressure system.

Some people, including those who have asthma, could be affected by the high pollution levels and may notice an impact on their breathing.

The public is being advised to take "sensible precautions", including avoiding taking exercise outside in the afternoon if they are susceptible to the pollutants and not taking unnecessary short car journeys - in a bid to help reduce the build-up of ozone.





Defra said elevated levels of PM10s and ozone, reaching high or moderate measures, were expected from now until at least Sunday, while other pollutants will remain at low levels.

Experts said people suffering from lung diseases including asthma, particularly the elderly, should be aware that their breathing could worsen.

Ground level ozone is formed when sunlight acts on nitrogen dioxides and other atmospheric substances which come from a range of sources, including petrol and other fuels.

Particulates, or PM10s, also come from sources such as vehicles.

The smog alert, the first for more than a year, comes as monitoring in London revealed that one site, on the Marylebone Road, has exceeded EU rules for the number of days in the year in which high levels of PM10s are permitted.

The UK will not face fines for the breach, as the EU has given Britain an extension which means it has until June before it has to start meeting the standards in the capital.

But Green Party London Assembly member Jenny Jones said London's residents and visitors should be made aware of the high pollution levels ahead of the Royal wedding.



Cher Piddock, Asthma UK Adviceline nurse, said the smog warning was a "timely reminder" that the combination of warm weather and pollution could pose health risks, and asthma symptoms could worsen during hotter weather due to higher levels of pollen and pollution.

She said: "Around two-thirds of people with asthma say pollution triggers their condition, so Asthma UK recommends that people who have pollution as a trigger avoid going out if air quality is poor.

"We also recommend that people always carry their inhaler, avoid exercising outdoors on hot days, especially in the afternoon, and keep windows shut whenever possible.

"It may also be helpful to keep a regular check on air quality levels in the local area, so that it is possible to make changes to plans for the following day if pollution levels will be high."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all