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Air pollution levels dangerously high in Aberdeen

Market Street
Market Street

Asthmatics in the north-east are being warned about dangerously high levels of pollution in the air.

Aberdeen is currently at the highest level of pollution, with Market Street four times the daily limit.

Pollution is measured in levels of particulate matter – Aberdeen is currently at PM10.

The general advice from the Scottish Government to the public when air pollution is high is to “reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors, especially if you experience symptoms such as cough or sore throat”.

Adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems, and older people are advised to avoid strenuous physical activity.

People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.

The stable, calm weather over the past few days have prevented the pollution from dispersing.

Emilia Hanna, air pollution campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland said:

“Pollution from road traffic is the key cause of this current air pollution episode. During an episode like this, asthmatics are more prone to an attack and we may see an increase in hospital admissions for respiratory conditions and heart attacks. This type of pollution kills more than 2000 people every year in Scotland.

“In France, urgent action has been taken, with free public transport announced for everyone in Paris to discourage car use. The Scottish Government needs to look at similar action to protect people’s health here.

“Some of this air pollution has blown in from Western Europe, but it has added to our existing air pollution from road traffic. This current episode is a strong reminder that the Government needs to do much more to tackle Scotland’s ongoing air pollution problem.

“The government is currently consulting on a Low Emission Strategy to tackle air pollution. Whilst the strategy is a step in the right direction, it lacks vision and clarity.

“We need the strategy to commit to cutting traffic levels and cleaning up vehicle emission standards. We need better cycle and walking paths, cleaner public transport, and Low Emission Zones rolled out in our cities.

“Low Emission Zones are where the most polluting vehicles are banned from key areas of cities and have proven to be successful in several major European countries as well as in London.”

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