Doctors have urged the government to act on air pollution after another day of warnings over the heavy smog shrouding much of the UK.
Air pollution is forecast to remain high in some urban parts of the Midlands, south Wales and south west England tomorrow. The Government has advised people with heart and lung problems living in the affected areas to reduce their activity.
Winds from the continent and still weather conditions over Britain have led to unusually smoggy conditions. Air pollution levels were moderate to high across Wales, Northern Ireland and many parts of England and Scotland today.
Car exhausts and heavy industry are the main sources of everyday pollution, but high pressure weather conditions and still air can intensify the problem and increase risks to people with underlying heart and lung problems.
London smog: Then and now
London smog: Then and now
A London policeman wearing a mask for protection against the thick fog which hit most of the country and turned to smog in the city
A cyclist wears a mask with an air filter as he cycles through Hyde Park
Heavy smog in Piccadilly Circus, London, 1952
The Shard and St Paul's Cathedral from Hampstead Heath in London
A couple of office workers wearing masks to protect them from the dangerous smog in London, 1953
A cyclist wears an anti air pollution mask as she cycles along The Mall
A London bus makes its way along Fleet Street in heavy smog,1952
A view of London skyline covered in smog.The environment department confirmed that the air pollution level could reach the top rung on its 10-point scale
Morning traffic at Blackfriars, London almost at a standstill because of the blanket smog,1952
Dust settled on a vehicle in South Kensington, which has blown up from the Sahara desert
A tugboat on the Thames near Tower Bridge in heavy smog, 1952
A view of the Tower Bridge as the country continues to experience 'very high' levels of pollution
A couple wearing masks to protect them from the smog in Blackfriars,1954
Tourists wear face masks
A woman wears mask in London, 1953
A woman wearing an anti-pollution mask rides a bicycle at Hyde Park Corner
Smog masks have become all the rage in London due to the life threatening levels of air pollution with result in severe smog or 'pea soupers', 1953
A couple stands on the viewing platform of a skyscraper
The latest health warnings come almost exactly one year after millions of vulnerable people were warned to stay indoors because of unusually high levels of pollution in London and other cities.
Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said that people with respiratory problems like asthma and COPD should not panic, but should avoid commuting near main roads during rush hour and if possible exercise in an air-conditioned room rather than outside.
“Although this period of high pollution will pass as the weather changes, longer term, this problem is not going to go away unless we see action across all government departments to minimise the impact their policies are having on the quality of air that we breathe,” she said.
Air pollution contributes to 29,000 deaths in the UK every year, according to Public Health England estimates. City-dwellers are the worst-affected. Air pollution is never the single cause of death, but particulate matter can exacerbate underlying heart and lung conditions.Reuse content