UK and Ireland Air Quality Alert: Saharan Dust

What is the location of the dust cloud?

A dust cloud from the Saharan dust is affecting air quality in the British Isles on September 7, 2023 (1)(2)(3)(4). Dust was blown approximately 4,700 kilometers from the Sahara Desert to reach the UK and Ireland, where it has coated cars, buildings, and outdoor surfaces.

Which cities or areas are affected by the dust storm?

Dust has fallen primarily in the western counties of England and across much of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

How has the air quality in Ireland and the UK been affected by dust?

The air quality in much of the region is in the “Moderate” range. Some areas are experiencing air quality in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” to “Unhealthy” range.

Poor air quality is being driven in part from the dust, but also from elevated temperatures and ozone associated with an ongoing heat wave. As of 4 PM (16:00), London’stemperature was 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 Celsius).

How long will the dust storm last?

The Saharan dust, which has been impacting the region for several days, is expected to remain over the UK and Ireland for most of the week.

Why is dust a health concern?

Saharan dust can pose a risk to people with asthma and other lung conditions, as particulate matter pollutants carried in the dust can affect the heart and lungs It is important to monitor air quality levels and stay indoors when levels are high.

How can I protect myself from poor air quality?

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