England’s pollution levels soared during August heatwave

Cocktail of toxins formed over most of England, reaching level seven on 10-point warning system

King George II is said to have described the British summer as, “three fine days and a thunderstorm”. Today, in our climate changed times, a few hot days, a smog alert and flash flooding would be more accurate.

In August’s weeklong heatwave, strong sunlight caused a cocktail of air pollution to form over most of England, reaching level seven on the government’s 10-point warning system. This was mostly caused by ozone forming close to the ground but a plume of particle pollution from industry, traffic and agriculture also settled over the capital on the night of 11 August.

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