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Respiratory patients at risk from air pollution

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People with COPD are at risk from air pollution People with COPD are at risk from air pollution

Patients with lung conditions such as COPD and asthma will be at heightened risk of complications due to a higher than normal level of air pollution.

Due to an increase in particulate matter carried in the air, particularly dust swept to the UK from the Sahara desert, the air pollution rate will be high or very high in certain areas. PHE has said that this could lead to people with heart and lung conditions experiencing increased symptoms.

Dr Sotiris Vardoulakis, head of the air pollution and climate change group at PHE's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards said: 'While most people will not be affected by short term peaks in air pollution, some individuals, particularly those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms.'

According to pollution forecasts, the South East and eastern parts of England will be the most heavily affected, with London, Kent and East Sussex expected to receive very high levels of air pollution. PHE has also highlighted elderly people as being at higher risk during periods of high air pollution, recommending that they avoid physical exercise and remain indoors if they experience symptoms such as sore eyes, coughing, or a sore throat.

Dr Vardoulakis added: 'On occasions where levels are high, adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if they experience symptoms. People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.'

PHE have stated that the high levels of pollution are likely to have cleared by 13 April.

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