Britain prepares for heatwave as air pollution levels set to rise

London in heat

Meteorologists have warned that temperatures will rise above 30C in some places of Britain this week.

With the country braced for its second heatwave of the summer, meteorologists also warn that air pollution levels are set to rise as a result of the heat.

Speaking to The Guardian, Alex Bukhill at the Met office said, ““We work closely with Defra [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] and although most people won’t have any real problems, people with pre-existing conditions in areas with high levels of air pollution may need to reduce the amount of strenuous work they do outside.”

Warnings have also been issued in Kent, where people with health problems have been advised to take care as the county expects a “toxic smog” that will reach air pollution index level 6 in some parts of the county.

Thanet, Dover and Herne Bay are amongst the towns with an index 6 forecast for tomorrow. Deal, Sandwich and the Isle of Sheppey have each been allocated level 5 pollution level indexes.

A high level of pollution is typically described between levels 7-9.

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of The British Lung Foundation said:

Stay away from pollution hot spots, and if you’re getting wheezy or coughing from walking outside, get in touch with your doctor.

“Air pollution worsens existing lung conditions, increases the risk of getting lung cancer and impairs child lung development.”

Referred to as the “Spanish Plume” temperatures are to be along the same levels as in Barcelona, Ibiza, and Valencia, although there are to be some showers across Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and south-west England.

Last week The Independent highlighted some of the worst polluted areas in London, which included hundreds of parks and green spaces.

The paper stated that nearly a quarter of the capital’s open parks — including Hyde and Regents Park — have over 40 micrograms of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre of air, representing the EU limit.

Upon entering his mayoral office Sadiq Khan pledged to fight air pollution in the capital and help it become one of the greenest cities in the world.

The London mayor has since been praised for bringing about swift proposals to tackle air pollution, including air pollution alerts in travel hotspots.

Hazy pollution in London

Andy has worked as a freelance journalist for a number of years and has been published in some of the UK’s top newspapers. He is now the editor Commercial Waste Magazine and contributes to a large selection of headlines and blog articles on the site.

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