April showers needed to rid Britain of Saharan dust, says University scientist

Dr Clive Roberts says a good bout of rain or strong wind will help clear the problem, which is forcing asthma sufferers, those with lung problems and even those prone to hay fever to limit their time outdoors.

The bizarre sand pollution is widespread and even those without health difficulties have been told by experts to reduce outdoor exercise, with air pollution set to hit 10 out of 10 in some areas. Air quality is also being compromised by continental pollution being directed towards the UK from mainland Europe by dry southeasterly winds; pollutants may come from factory or power station emissions as well as cars, lorries and buses.

Britons are being warned they may suffer breathing problems, with parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales worst affected.

Dr Roberts said: “Because some of the particles are so small, they don’t settle back to earth and remain airborne causing the problems we are currently experiencing and the red dust that people are seeing on their cars.

“Some rain will wash the particles and pollutants out of the atmosphere and get everything back to normal so a bout of traditional British weather could be what we need. Until then, it could linger.”

He added some westerly wind, which comes from the Atlantic, would also help with the situation.

Dr Roberts is Senior Lecturer and expert in applied geology, pollution land contamination, geochemistry, site investigation and land appraisal, geophysics, volcanology, waste management.

ENDS

If you would like to interview Dr Clive Roberts please contact Emma Pugh in the Media and Communications Office on 01902 322736.

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