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Government issues Easter smog alert

21st April 2011

The government has issued an Easter weekend smog alert for England and Wales.

It is concerned about ozone and polluting particles known as PM10s, which can affect people's health and are in the air.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said high levels of pollution were likely throughout the weekend and are a result of the warm and still conditions brought on by a high pressure system.

Defra fears that people asthma and the elderly could be affected by the high pollution levels and may notice an impact on their breathing so have urged them to take precautions.

This included not taking exercise outside in the afternoon if they are susceptible to the pollutants and not to take unnecessary short car journeys, to help reduce the amount of pollutants from exhausts.

Asthma UK adviceline nurse Cher Piddock warned: “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.”

The smog alert comes with Britons enjoying a run of two double bank holiday weekends with more cars on the road as people take a break.

The warm weather is set to continue through the Easter weekend for most of the UK, especially in England and Wales.

Defra said its freephone helpline - 0800 556677 - would give regular updates on the levels of particles, and also offer health advice to those who may be particularly sensitive to air pollution.

 

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