Pollution explosion hits Scotland


Sunny weather comes at a cost as higher air pollution is registered 

28th May 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Scotland is in the grip of a pollution explosion as the country basks in 25 degree heat.

Levels of toxic ground level ozone are expected to break World Health Organisation and Scottish regulatory safety standards across most of the country this week (Monday 28 May - Friday 1 June) according to official air quality forecasting.

Dubbed “sunburn to the lungs”, ground level ozone is toxic to humans and is linked with respiratory illness. It occurs when chemicals produced through fossil fuel combustion react together under the action of sunlight.

Ironically it is often highest in rural areas, away from urban centres where the chemicals leading to ground level ozone have been emitted.

Air masses from Northern Europe, created by the sunny weather, bring increased levels of pollution to the UK and Scotland.

Dr Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “The air pollution forecast is predicting a wide spread of pollution across Scotland which, if it materialises, will see air masses coming in from northern continental Europe combining with toxic fumes from our own car and lorry exhausts, leading to increased levels of air pollution, in particular, ground level ozone. Sadly a sunny day in the countryside could be the last thing any sensitive person needs this week.

“People with existing lung or heart conditions are the most at risk from this air pollution episode. If the forecast becomes a reality, the official health advice is that adults and children with lung and heart problems, who experience symptoms, should consider limiting strenuous physical activity, especially outdoors.

“These toxic levels of pollution are a serious threat to health and the Scottish Government was supposed to meet ozone standards by 2005. Traffic is a key culprit of today’s pollution, so the Government needs to get serious about making it easier for us to walk, cycle, and use public transport, and delivering on its low emission zone promises.”