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England is shrouded in polluted air and dust from the Sahara

England is shrouded in polluted air and dust from the Sahara

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Smog is hitting the UK hard: cities across the country are currently covered in a blanket of dirty air thanks to what meteorologists are calling a "perfect storm" for air pollution. The UK's environmental department recently reported that the air couldn't be much dirtier in London and southeast England, essentially because dirt from the country as well as dirt from the Sahara Desert isn't being blown away. Local emissions mixed with dust particles from the Sahara are staying in England's air because light winds are not powerful enough to disperse them.

David Cameron even put his morning jog on hold

That means that not only did many UK citizens wake up to thin coatings of reddish dust on their windows and cars, but those who suffer from respiratory issues have to be on high alert. According to a poll conducted by Asthma UK, 84 percent of people with asthma have had flareups due to air pollution. BBC News reports that health warnings have been issued for people who suffer from respiratory issues, encouraging those individuals to stay indoors.

Some forecasters say that the smog will last through the weekend, but there's no word on when pollution rates will return to normal in the most affected areas in the southern part of the country. England isn't the only European country facing pollution problems either: smog in Paris has gotten so bad recently that the city made public transportation free for citizens, in hopes they would use trains and buses instead of using their own automobiles. While England's air pollution cannot be completely attributed to the Sahara, dust traveling from the Desert to England isn't as strange as it might sound — according to the UN's Environmental Program, strong winds can carry particles from the Sahara for thousands of miles across the North Atlantic and even into North and Central America.