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UK weather: Toxic cloud heading to UK from Sahara desert sparking health fears over thick smog

Mirror Mirror 5/05/2016

© Provided by Mirror A toxic cloud of dirty air from the continent is heading towards the UK - and could hit our shores tomorrow.

The Department for Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a warning of “moderate” air pollution for the south of England from Thursday.

Forecasters have said the toxic cloud, formed from the Sahara desert, will then spread to northern parts of England by Friday, with a risk of “high” air pollution in some areas.

In many parts of the country the conditions will be “moderate” and a health warning has been issued by officials for people suffering with lung problems, reports the Manchester Evening News .

© Provided by Mirror A forecast on the Defra Air Quality Index website said: “Moderate air pollution is likely to become more widespread on Thursday, potentially affecting much of England and Wales.

“Scotland and Northern Ireland, meanwhile, should retain predominately low air pollution levels.”

The forecast for Friday said: “With southeasterly winds from Continent dominating, the risk of moderate air pollution is likely to be widespread through this three-day period, with localised areas of high air pollution also possible.”

Health advice states adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce physical exertion particularly if they are outdoors.

People with asthma may find they need to the use their reliever inhaler more often, while older people should also reduce physical exertion.

The dust cloud is expected to become widespread, affecting much of England and Wales by Thursday.

It is expected to continue from Friday to Sunday.

The dust phenomenon is formed when air pollution levels are high and there is not much wind, during pleasant weather conditions.

This causes a combination of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and ground level ozone to build up.

A yellowish or black fog is created, which can cause respiratory problems when breathed in.

Those suffering with lung and heart problems are particularly at risk.

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