London's Polluted Air is "Potentially Fatal" for Asthma Sufferers

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has warned that air pollution is wafting into the UK from Europe (sound the Ukip alarm) and combining with London's existing smog to create a miserable world out there for anyone who fancies doing some breathing in the city today.

DEFRA warned: "Winds bringing in pollution from the continent, combined with locally generated pollution and still weather conditions has led to some high pollution measurements across the UK," with its pollution alerts showing that the air will be the most polluted across Cornwall and around the border of north Wales and England today.

And it gets worse. The chief executive of Asthma UK has said that the situation could make life extremely miserable for those with existing breathing problems, warning: "Two thirds of people with asthma find air pollution makes their asthma worse, putting them at an increased risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack."

The waft of stinky air has led some to ask authorities to slow cars by lowering speed limits in cities in response, copying the approach taken in Paris -- where traffic was limited to just 14mph along some urban stretches to try to lower fume levels. [Standard]

Image credit: Gas mask from Shutterstock