That Pretty Red Sky Over The UK Could Cause Some Big Health Issues For Asthma Sufferers
Some people in the UK might have looked towards the heavens and thought the world was ending as a massive orange-red hue was spread across the sky. Instead of being blindingly white, the sun was bathed in a deep red colour as dust was blown from the Sahara due to Hurricane Ophelia as well as wildfires in Portugal.
But while there would have been plenty of people taking more photos than a simple smartphone can handle, being outside during an event like this really isn't in the best interests of your health.
I know, I know, people will cry nanny state when you can't stand outside during a cool weather occurrence, but hear me out. As mentioned, the orange hue was created by dust being blown all the way from Africa and it can be very damaging to those with asthma or breathing difficulties.
BBC weather presenter Simon King says: "Ophelia originated in the Azores where it was a hurricane and as it tracked its way northwards it dragged in tropical air from the Sahara.
"The dust gets picked up into the air and goes high up into the atmosphere, and that dust has been dragged high up in the atmosphere above the UK."
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Sonia Munde, Head of the Helpline at Asthma UK said in a statement: "We are deeply concerned about the toxic air from Saharan dust that Hurricane Ophelia has churned up, as this could pose a severe risk for the 5.4 million people in the UK who have asthma.
An example of the orange sky seen over the UK. Credit: PA
"Winds picking up dust and particles in the air could trigger potentially fatal asthma attacks. When a similar dust storm happened in April 2014, Asthma UK found a third of people told us they'd had an asthma attack as a result of the pollution and 84% said they had used their blue inhaler more than usual."
Hundreds of people had asthma attacks in 2014 during similar conditions where dust from the Sahara was blown over to the UK. The plume of dust was a contributing factor to creating record levels of air pollution in parts of Britain.
Hurricane Ophelia has so far led to the deaths of three people, two were killed in separate circumstances after trees fell on their vehicles, while a man died in a chainsaw incident. There are roughly more than 360,000 homes and businesses in the Republic of Ireland without power, and more outages are expected.
Topics: uk news