Lancashire TelegraphSahara smog hits East Lancs (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Sahara smog hits East Lancs

Lancashire Telegraph: The grey mist hanging over Blackburn yesterday The grey mist hanging over Blackburn yesterday

REMINISCENT of ‘pea souper’ days of old, a cloud of smog — caused by sand from the Sahara Desert — hung over East Lancashire yesterday.

Although pollution levels remained low compared to other areas, people with asthma and existing heart or lung conditions were advised to take extra care.

‘High and very high’ pollution levels were recorded by the Met Office in parts of southern England, while moderate levels were recorded in Bolton and Wigan.

Public Health England [PHE] said a perfect storm of dust from the Sahara, pollution from the Continent, low south-easterly winds and domestic pollution caused air quality to plummet.

The agency told people with lung and heart conditions to avoid strenuous activity outdoors, while people suffering symptoms of pollution —including sore eyes, coughs and sore throats — were told to cut down the amount they do outside.

Asthmatics were warned of the need to use their blue reliever inhalers more often as the pollution made them more prone to attacks.

However, Lianne Robinson, an emergency matron at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said staff had not seen any increase in admissions as a result of the smog, which was visible across Pennine Lancashire.

For many elderly residents, the cloud brought back memories of the smoke-saturated sky above former cotton towns such as Blackburn and Burnley in the mid-20th century, when the sun was often never more than a dull orange glow.

Dr Sotiris Vardoulakis, head of the air pollution and climate change group at PHE, said: “Some parts of the country have now recorded very high levels of air pollution. PHE is urging people in those areas to reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors, especially if they experience symptoms such as a cough or sore throat.

“Adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems, and older people, in areas where high levels are recorded should avoid strenuous physical activity.

“People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.”

The smog cloud was forecast to clear today.

Comments (2)

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12:56pm Fri 4 Apr 14

M.DANNY says...

Sahara smog? we might end up with record temperature of 40c ride on camels on the sand and wear a robe and long scarves in Blackburn.Welcome to Casablanca ?
Sahara smog? we might end up with record temperature of 40c ride on camels on the sand and wear a robe and long scarves in Blackburn.Welcome to Casablanca ? M.DANNY
  • Score: 4

9:50pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Noiticer says...

The two conditions Saharan sand/dust and smog are being seen as one phenomenon when in actual fact they are quite separate but have come together coincidentally to produce the poor climatic conditions of recent days. The smog is caused largely by traffic fumes which is becoming an increasing problem especially in the south east and being covered up by the government who want to ignore it. Now the EU is to take legal action against the UK Government for allowing pollution levels to reach alarming levels far above those regarded as acceptable.
However, it's not just a problem of the south east as a pall of brown smog hangs over the local motorway network, especially the M6, on calm warm days throughout the year and streets in many towns also suffer from high levels of pollutants.
The two conditions Saharan sand/dust and smog are being seen as one phenomenon when in actual fact they are quite separate but have come together coincidentally to produce the poor climatic conditions of recent days. The smog is caused largely by traffic fumes which is becoming an increasing problem especially in the south east and being covered up by the government who want to ignore it. Now the EU is to take legal action against the UK Government for allowing pollution levels to reach alarming levels far above those regarded as acceptable. However, it's not just a problem of the south east as a pall of brown smog hangs over the local motorway network, especially the M6, on calm warm days throughout the year and streets in many towns also suffer from high levels of pollutants. Noiticer
  • Score: 2

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