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Emergency calls increase as toxic haze lingers over Burton

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 03, 2014

03/04/14 Pollution/fog over Burton Pollution/fog over Burton from water tower on Tower Road....

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EMERGENCY callouts to people suffering from lung and heart problems in Staffordshire rose after a toxic smog of pollution descended on the county.

The West Midlands Ambulance Service revealed it attended about 28 per cent more cases as the mix of emissions and Saharan sand hung over the region.

The service responded to 185 calls of people suffering from chest pains between Monday and Wednesday – up from 140 during the three days before.

It was also called out to 173 cases of people with breathing difficulties – up from 143 in the same period.

A spokesman from the service said: “There has been a recorded increase and we believe it is down to the environmental atmosphere.

“We can’t prove it, but the young and old who have respiratory problems will have them exacerbated by the conditions.”

Across the border, the East Midlands Ambulance Service said reports of people with breathing problems had risen by about 10 percent when compared to last week.

The revelations came after Public Health England warned people with heart and lung conditions, such as asthma to stay indoors, as the cloud of pollution could potentially kill.

Yesterday, the dull haze hung over Burton and South Derbyshire, although experts said the fog was expected to clear.

A spokesperson from Newhall Weather Station said the smog had lasted because a weather system meant particles were trapped in the atmosphere like ‘a lid on a jam jar’.

He said: “We have got cool air on the ground and warm air above so it’s like a jam jar top keeping it all in.

“If it rains it could warm up and that should lift the mist away then hopefully.”

Pollution levels reached their peak on Wednesday, according to the Government department Defra, which ranked the pollution at eight on its 10-point scale.

This fell to about seven yesterday and was due to fall again to four today and three tomorrow.

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