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Pollution levels to soar across Kent as Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issues health warning

By KentOnline reporter

Officials are warning that parts of Kent are going to be hit by high levels of air pollution today.

The Thanet coast is expected to be worst affected, with levels reaching nine - the second highest on the government scale.

People with lung and heart problems are being advised to avoid too much exercise outdoors, while those with asthma might need to use inhalers more often.

High pollution levels are expected across Kent. Picture: Defra
High pollution levels are expected across Kent. Picture: Defra

The highest pollution levels are due to affect Thanet and Herne Bay, with slightly lower levels affecting Whitstable, Sheppey and Deal.

High pollution will also stretch inland to areas including Sittingbourne, Faversham and Canterbury, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

Green Party MEP Keith Taylor said something must be done to combat soaring levels of air pollution.

He said: "This is not a new problem. Ever since I came here (to the European Parliament), I've been protesting about the absence of any activity from the UK government to tackle air pollution."

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the south east
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the south east

Defra said those areas affected by high levels of pollution - seven to nine on the scale - should heed the following advice from Defra:

  • 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

Defra said pollution levels are expected to fall to moderate tomorrow and then to low.

The high levels are being blamed on easterly winds, bringing pollution across from the near continent.


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