Asthma UK response to high pollution levels this week

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, says: "Two thirds of people with asthma find that air pollution makes their asthma worse, putting them at an increased risk of a potentially fatal asthma attack. When air pollution is high it's vital people with respiratory conditions including asthma check air pollution forecasts, carry their reliever inhaler with them at all times, and ensure that they are taking their preventer inhaler every day because this will help build resilience to asthma triggers like air pollution. People with asthma have told us that on days when air pollution levels are high they feel that they can't even leave the house for fear that it will trigger an attack. If anyone is concerned about how pollution may affect their asthma they can call the Asthma UK Helpline on 0300 222 5800 or visit www.asthma.org.uk."

Facts and Stats:

  • 42% of people with asthma have told us that traffic fumes discourage them from walking or shopping in congested areas.
  • 29% of people with asthma have told us that a reduction in air pollution is the single thing that would make the most difference to their quality of life.
  • 85% of people with asthma have told us that they are concerned about the effect that increasing traffic fumes will have on their and their family's health in the future.
  • Researchers based at the MRC Asthma UK Centre for Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma are currently conducting research into the effects of pollution on children's lungs; and also looking at the interaction of vitamin D deficiency and particulate matter air pollution during severe asthma attacks.
  • The MRC Asthma UK Centre for Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma is also a key partner in the EXHALE study, led by air pollution expert Professor Frank Kelly.
  • Advice for people with asthma regarding air pollution can be found here.