Warning of air pollution over Scotland this weekend

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Dangerous levels of air pollution are expected to hit many parts of Scotland today (Saturday) peaking tomorrow - with the West of Scotland still affected on Monday and Tuesday.

An air masses from northern continental Europe is expected to bring increased levels of particulate matter through the UK and Scotland.

Ground level ozone is also expected to form in rural parts of Scotland according to the World Health Organisation.

Emilia Hanna, Air Pollution Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland said: “There is a widespread forecast 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. The still weather conditions this weekend will mean that the air pollution may build up, leaving people people with lung or heart problems potentially susceptible.

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

“The Scottish Government continues to break clean air health standards 6 years after a legal deadline. It is welcome news that the SNP has promised the public a low emission zone by 2018 to tackle urban air pollution, but much more needs to be done. New Transport Minister Humza Yousaf must deliver a new direction for transport which moves us away from a ‘car is king’ approach to one where the government makes it easier for us to walk, cycle, and use public transport. This is the step change we need to see if the Government is to get serious about tackling air pollution, a public health crisis which is claiming over 2,500 lives in Scotland each year.”