British Lung Foundation
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Air Pollution

Hello Everybody

We hope you find the following guidance helpful

British Lung Foundation honorary medical adviser, Dr Keith Prowse, said:

“Heavy air pollution, of the kind we’re seeing in several places across the UK at the moment, can have a significant impact on people with pre-existing respiratory conditions such COPD and asthma, worsening symptoms such as coughing and breathlessness.

“When levels of air pollution are high, people with these conditions, or anyone else who finds themselves coughing or wheezing in times of high pollution, should avoid strenuous exercise outdoors, particularly around pollution hotspots such as busy roads. If the option is available, exercising in an air-conditioned gym or sports hall is preferable.

“If they cycle, run or walk to work, commuting at times other that rush hour or along back streets is also advisable.

“People with lung conditions who use a reliever inhaler should make sure that they carry it with them. If they feel their condition is worsening at all, they should contact their GP”.

See also


The Moderating Team

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7 Replies

Great advice.

I am in Coventry and struggling more these last few days

If anyone is interested in sharing what it is like having a condition and how air pollution affects you please call the BLF Helpline 03000 030 555.

Our Press team is always looking for people and their stories to help increase awareness of lung disease.


I have been watching the news channels this afternoon and Sky news covered the pollution story, I think this is the first time I have heard the actual term COPD mentioned on TV. It's a pity they don't give the condition more coverage and it still remains a relatively unknown condition to the majority of the population.

Thank you this is helpful to me and other asthmatics

Our local Calendar news showed a patient from Lincoln using a nebuliser and there was a quick flash of some Breathe Easy leaflets too. I just wish the warning had been issued earlier...I was really struggling at the weekend and opened the windows and sat outside...but I am in the north midlands and didn't see any warnings until the pollution reached the south later on. I will be checking the DEFRA website from now on.

Thanks for the information from the BLF, Asthma uk website was good too.

I was not expecting air pollution, just walking from my car to chemist I could hardly get there,doing inhaler all the time, should of had some oxygen to help,didn't realize if I did I still had to go out as inhaler run out completely ..due to the pharmacist forgot,getting my medicine is the most stressful thing I have ever had to do ,with all the limits and negativity between docs and pharmacies we have to suffer.

Thanks to the BLF Moderating Team for their helpful advice. This pollution takes me back to the 'smog' of 1962/63. Take care out there everybody! Lizzy.

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