A BLANKET of potentially fatal smog was forecast to hang over Burton and South Derbyshire today - causing experts to warn vulnerable people to stay indoors.
The toxic cloud of emissions from Europe blended with Saharan sand was expected to linger over the region for the rest of today.
Public Health England urged people with heart or lung conditions, such as asthma, not to go venture outside.
It is believed the pollution is one of the most poisonous since the notorious ‘pea souper fog’ which hit London in 1952 and is thought to have caused an extra 12,000 deaths.
But a spokesman from the Met Office said the wind direction was expected to change later today, which would bring clearer air which would bring clearer air from tomorrow.
He said: “Instead of it coming from the south east and bringing across pollutants and sand from the Sahara, it will start to move from the south west which will be clearer and that should improve conditions.”
According to the Government department Defra’s 10-point scale on air quality, the level of pollution in Burton and Swadlincote was at a high of eight yesterday.
This was expected to fall to seven today and to between two and three tomorrow.
One person who was trying to stay indoors yesterday was 30-year-old mother Emma Henrick, of Blueberry Way, in Woodville, whose 18-month-old son Jake is asthmatic.
She told the Mail: “It has flared up during the last couple of days, he has had to use his inhaler more and has got wheezy.
“I think it could be connected, it seems to have got worse all of a sudden.”
Ms Henrick added that she had given her son a shower, which she said would help him breathe, and keeping him indoors when possible.
A spokesman from Defra said: “The high level of air pollution this week is due to a combination of local emissions, light winds, pollution and dust.”