POLLUTION levels in Armagh are currently being described as “high to very high”, according to the Department of Environment.
When pollution is high, sensitive people may notice their symptoms worsen and may need to act to reduce the symptoms or their exposure to the pollution. Asthmatics will find that their symptoms will ease through use of their relief inhaler in the usual way, advised by their doctor.
Others affected by the pollution may wish to reduce the time they spend outdoors or avoid busy, congested streets. If symptoms persist, affected people should consult with their doctor.
The DoE – giving details today (Wednesday) – said urban and rural areas across Northern Ireland are currently experiencing high levels of air pollution, with high to very high levels being monitored in the Armagh, Belfast, Lisburn, Lough Navar and Newry areas.
Moderate levels of pollution are being monitored in the Ballymena, Derry/Londonderry and North Down areas.
Said a DoE spokesperson: “This localised air pollution is likely to be associated with the build up of emissions from vehicles and home heating during the current calm, cold weather conditions experienced across Northern Ireland.
“The forecast is for levels of air pollution to decline with the arrival of wetter, more unsettled weather over the next few days; however, if weather conditions turn out to be drier than forecast, then there is the risk of higher levels.”
During periods of high air pollution, the symptoms of people with lung or heart disease may worsen. Healthy people are unlikely to experience any ill effects.
Hourly updates on pollution levels are available on the DoE website and from the freephone helpline 0800 556 677, which also offers health advice to those who may be particularly sensitive to air pollution.