Dust from Sahara keeping ambulance crews busy across St Albans district

Pollution levels have been affecting people's breathing

Pollution levels have been affecting people's breathing - Credit: Archant

Ambulance crews have been kept busy helping people in St Albans suffering from high levels of air pollution as a result of sand and dust from the Sahara.

There have been higher pollution levels in the East and South East recently due to a combination of dust and emissions from Europe.

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) media officer Charlotte Parker said that crews saw a further increase in calls last night (Thursday).

She said: “The increase came as the East of England continued to experience high levels of air pollution.

“Although we didn’t see any particular increase in calls during the day, we did see a rise of about seven per cent across the evening, with calls about breathing problems up 17 per cent.

“Norfolk and Hertfordshire both seemed to be particularly affected and staff across the ambulance service worked hard to manage the increase.”

This was on top of a six per cent increase in 999 calls on Wednesday.

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Government department Defra, in today’s (Friday) air pollution forecast summary, said that levels were expected to be moderate today, tomorrow and Sunday as cleaner air continues to spread in from the Atlantic.