Health chief issues advice over high air pollution levels in Milton Keynes

editorial image

Milton Keynes health chiefs have said high air pollution levels could cause problems for people with existing heart or lung conditions.

The message comes after a warning that parts of England are experiencing the highest level of air pollution recorded by Defra.

Defra ranks air pollution from one to 10, with one being the lowest and 10 the highest.

Across most of England, moderate to high air pollution levels have been forecast, with level 10 - “very high” - forecast in parts of East Anglia and the East Midlands.

Tomorrow, high levels of pollution are forecast for East Anglia, the Midlands, Lincolnshire, eastern parts of Wales, through the Wirral and the north coast of Wales. High levels will move north over much of coastal north-west England, to south-west Scotland and the north-east of Northern Ireland.

The elevated pollution levels have been caused by a combination of light south-easterly winds, the continental air flow and dust which has blown up from the Sahara desert.

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. Older people should also reduce physical exertion.

Anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes, cough or sore throat should consider reducing activity, particularly outdoors.

Up-to-date information on air pollution levels and related health advice can be found at:

Muriel Scott, Director of Public Health for Milton Keynes, said: “Most adults and children will not be affected by the higher level of pollution. Those with asthma and other lung and heart diseases should reduce strenuous outside physical activity during this period.”

Further information about daily air quality levels are available on the following Defra webpages: and

Defra also issues alerts and Tweets (@DefraUKAir) when there are elevated levels of air pollution expected. Levels of air pollution are categorised into a banding system (or Daily Air Quality Index) and for each banding there is pre-prepared health advice – please see for more details. In the event of elevated levels of pollution forecast then Defra will provide this pre-prepared health advice alongside any alert.