Increase in hospital visits result of Sahara pollution

Defra pollution map released Thursday morning PNL-140304-093522001
Defra pollution map released Thursday morning PNL-140304-093522001

Hospitals have seen an increase in admissions after high levels of air pollution affected people with breathing problems.

At the start of last week Aylesbury town was given an index of nine, the highest 
level on the government body’s scale is 10 for air pollution after storms in the Sahara desert caused problems in the UK.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) scaled the threat level down to low by Friday, but as late as Thursday Waddesdon and Whitchurch still held a rating of eight.

On the same day Wendover and Princes Risborough were seven, which is still classed as high.

Along with other areas of the country, the Vale experienced high levels of pollution caused by the foreign storms.

Bucks Healthcare confirmed this week that they saw a small increase in the number of people attending hospital as a result of the polution.

At the height of the smog a statement from Defra read: “Generally if you are young and in a good state of health, moderate air pollution levels are unlikely to have any serious short term effects.

“However, elevated levels and/or long term exposure to air pollution can lead to more serious symptoms and conditions affecting human health.

“This mainly affects the respiratory and inflammatory systems, but can also lead to more serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

“People with lung or heart conditions may be more susceptible to the effects of air pollution.”

In areas where air pollution was high residents with heart and lung problems and older people were advised to avoid strenuous physical exertion.