News story

Air quality is continuing to improve across the UK

Changing air pollution levels prompts fresh advice from PHE.


In the last few days a combination of local emissions, light winds, pollution from the continent and dust blown over from the Sahara caused a spike in the UK Air Quality Index compiled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

But through Friday air quality, as recorded on the website was improving and forecasts for the weekend were for air pollution levels to be generally low, though moderate, in some places.

Dr Sotiris Vardoulakis, head of the air pollution and climate change group at PHE’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards said:

PHE provides advice to Defra on the health effects of air pollution.

When pollution levels are moderate adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, who experience symptoms, should consider reducing strenuous physical activity, particularly outdoors. The advice on the Defra website suggests that others won’t need to take any protective steps.

It’s important that those people who may be at risk, including adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems, and older people, consider the health advice at when planning outdoor activities.

Air pollution forecast maps are available through the Defra website

Published 4 April 2014