A health warning was issued over “very high” air pollution in and around West Norfolk as air quality in the surrounding area became the worst in the country, partly down to sandstorms in Africa.
The borough’s air pollution rating is forecast to be 10 on a 10-point scale of pollution severity again today after the situation arose yesterday.
A Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) spokesperson said: “The high level of air pollution this week is due to a combination of local emissions, light winds, pollution from the continent and dust blown over from the Sahara.
“We want to keep improving air quality and have introduced a new five day forecast service in addition to investing heavily in local and transport initiatives to tackle this issue head on.”
Defra advised adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems and older people to avoid strenuous physical activity. The conditions could mean people with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.
Even those without additional health issues, were warned to reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors, especially if symptoms such as cough or sore throat were experienced.
Air pollution is predicted to fall to a “high” level tomorrow and back to low from Friday.
Lynn New reader Lucy, on email, said it was another reason why an incinerator should not be built in Saddlebow.
She said: “I myself and many others I know have been feeling unwell with respiratory problems, tight chest, fever etc.
“Whilst this could be a seasonal bug, I think the GPs are going to be overwhelmed with people with health problems related to this.
“A level 10 high pollution risk is not something that should be reported on lightly as the scale only goes up to 10. We will have experienced a number of days of the highest levels of pollution. It may make people rethink the incinerator plans.”
Of nine specific West Norfolk locations where air pollution is forecast, including Lynn, Terrington, Gayton and Downham, the Queen’s residence – Sandringham House – is the only one to have a less than “Very High” pollution rating today. Sandringham House’s forecast is High.
Tomorrow, the eight other locations are forecast to drop to “High” while Sandringham House is expected to drop to moderate.
On Friday, all of the areas were expected to be “low.”