Pollutionwatch: Danger in the air

Early April’s mixture of air pollution and Saharan dust attracted considerable media attention but air pollution in mid-March was far worse. This prompted emergency measures in Paris and south Belgium including free public transport and car bans. No such actions were taken in the UK despite almost identical pollution concentrations.

Emergency measures were triggered by pollution accumulating in air that was slowly circulating over north-west Europe. Paris had air pollution above EU limits for over a week. Winds nudged the polluted air westwards to include most of England and south Wales around 9/10 March and then again between the 12th and 14th, when air pollution reached the top value of 10 in the UK’s air quality index.

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