‘Avoid strenuous exercise’ warning as Saharan dust and European pollution comes right at us


Health leaders are warning people with conditions like asthma not to exercise too strenuously while pollution levels are so high in our area.

The exceptionally poor air quality has been caused by wind blowing dust from the Sahara desert and pollution from mainland Europe in our direction.

Pollution from our area’s day-to-day emissions from traffic and other sources have also contributed to the problem.

Herts County Council’s cabinet member for public health Teresa Heritage today warned the public of the conditions.

She said: “It’s particularly high in parts of eastern England and is forecast to be here until Friday when it gets much fresher and we expect some rain.”

There is no major adverse health impact from the dust long-term and many people will not notice much difference other than haze.

But people who have asthma or get breathless are particularly vulnerable to the dust causing some short-term avoidable problems, which could be serious in some cases.

If you have asthma, a heart condition, are very overweight or have another long-standing health problem which may leave you breathless, it is particularly important that you do not engage in strenuous activity like running or cycling until the pollution clears and check the conditions on future days.

If you are worried, have experienced breathlessness or other symptoms of the pollution, call 111 for advice.

You can get more information on how to stay safe during high levels of pollution by clicking here