Today and this weekend's heavy pollution: what are we supposed to do?

Hi there. I am sitting here indoors on a beautiful sunny day, having been advised by the media that people with respiratory weaknesses should not be out and about. Tomorrow I have to go up to London, it's unavoidable - what are we people with COPD/Bronchiectasis supposed to do? Now I am anxious about leaving my home the whole of the coming weekend which is dragging me down as I live alone & have no choice if I need to get out to see folk or get shopping. I live in a polluted area and it is in the 'very high' category on the DEFRA map for the weekend. Is it really too dangerous to go out? Do COPD-ers and bronchiecta - ers (oh forget it!!!!) stay indoors until Monday?

17 Replies

  • It is such a difficult question and I suppose it will affect everyone differently. My husbands breathing is decidedly worse today and even I can feel the difference in the air quality. It might be an idea to take advise from the BLF helpline - You can call the helpline on 03000 030 555 Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

    Whatever you decide I hope you have a lovely weekend, lots of love TAD xx

  • Just seen the weather forecast. They now say Atlantic winds will blow the dust and pollution away by tomorrow so I hope you will be alright for the weekend. Good luck. Katie JJ (We are not supposed to be in the worst area but the haze here is terrible. I think with my Bronchiectasis I will get my better half to hang out the washing!

  • Agree with KatieJJ, tomorrow should see fresher air coming in so you should be alright for London. Pete went to London yesterday and always laughs about heart and lung hospitals being in London because of the high pollution but what can you do.

    Take care and be well.xxxx

  • I would judge for myself the weather forecast is very hit miss because it covers large areas. I do my shopping on line for the very reason I never know how I am going to feel maybe it is time for you to try this stillmovin1 and save the going out purely for pleasure :)

  • Ive just been in garden with silk scarf (tight weave) over my mouth and nose and i could still feel it. Its so hard especially for folk like you who live on their own. I didn't think it would last over the weekend but i don't know where you are and maybe it will last longer north of the south east.

    Just go very slowly if you have to go out in it. Stop for rests and try to get inside where you can, shops etc.

    I really don't know how dangerous it is in the long run. I think the particulates are so small that they get in the lungs and then its hard to get them out.

    Just you take care Stillmovin. xxx :)

  • Thanks for the quick responses Tadaw, O2, flibberti, jandan, sassy59, katieJJ. I'm in Dartford area. It's sunny here now and is always a bit polluted due to my closeness to the A206. Good to know it may be not so bad tomorrow. I can't avoid the central London visit tomorrow unfortunately but will be careful, as it is always bad up there anyway. I have been blocked up in the chest lately due to bronchiectasis and a build up of phlegm. Started Symbicort 200 last week and the only changes I am noticing so far are sleepiness, extreme fatigue during the daytime and just a strange feeling in the morning! Hope everyone is not badly affected by the smog.

  • maybe a hospital mask may help like you see them wearing in Japan China they wear them in Thailand cities they buy them at 7-11 stores I have worn them myself and found that they do help I know you may feel silly outdoors but if it helps who cares I don't know where you can buy them from here may be able to get from pharmacy or amazon online

  • Hi rememdium - thanks for idea about mask. I use one indoors for certain jobs here, ie.painting, etc. However, I know they are not effective for tiny particles of dust and really wouldn't be great for these Saharan desert particles that are apparently blowing over the UK! Blood rain! Sounds like the end of the world is nigh.... I have an air purifier on indoors here but again, I wonder how effective that is against certain irritants. Still, we can only do our best and hope this all blows over (no clever pun was intended there!) by tomorrow. Take much care....xxxxx stillmovin

  • I agree with the masks. I use them all the time when flying. Prevents me from picking up germs. I am beyond the point of caring about people who stare. it's only curiosity on their side.

  • Hi Stillmovin

    I don't think the media mean that you should stay in all day but rather exercise caution. Things like going to a shopping mall rather than wandering the high street, not sitting out for long periods and exercise in moderation is more what is called for. Other people will have different ideas.

    I'm certainly not going for any 'strolls' in the park on my scooter today!

    Hope you have a lovely day anyway.

    Sara x

  • Hi butterfly - yes indeed! I think the strolls are out for the day - just thinking more about Saturday and my trip to Central London....cannot be avoided as it is important. I have felt a bit funny in my breathing today and for the past few days too. I am one of those folk who have to use the local buses and trains and that involves standing around at bus stops/stations waiting! I suppose there's not much we can do about all this. I hate being indoors all day...I end up in front of the pc screen or finding some little thing to get worried about in my home! I do have hobbies but keep wanting to be in touch with people, so this forum really helps doesn't it! Good luck to you and hope you get out on your scooter some time tomorrow! xxx stillmovin

  • I used to live in So. Calif about 3M from the coast. No smog there. But then I moved inland about 10M and the smog really affected me. I then moved here to Calgary, Canada where there is very little smog. Makes a big difference. Unfortunately, I have read that smog can trigger exacerbations. Other air borne pollutants like perfume, wood burning fire places, cleaning agents can also kick start an exacerbation. I try very hard to stay away from any of these situations. If I were you I would try to get my groceries delivered and/or wait to see how tomorrow's air quality is. Good luck.

  • Thanks Mooskie. I do get large bulky things delivered by the supermarkets once a month but cannot afford to have small bits and pieces delivered here and there. Good comment though. xxx

  • It's easier just to call us Bronchies still movin1. :-)

  • Thanks poems. Shall remember that! xxxx

  • only thing we can do is write to the minister for health Jeremy hunt, and keep writing until they have to listen, I am tired of the blame always being put on smoking ( not that i am suggesting smoking is good we all know it is not !) BUT there are other factors such as the one above which are far far worse , and will continue to increase while our local councils forge ahead with building plans that are totally unsustainable and without proper infrastructure ,creating more traffic in built up areas hence more pollution . only we can stop it .

  • That's true Erindoors. There is a heck of a lot of building going around all around us now, isn't there? xxx

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