A HIGH level of air pollution across Cirencester has led to experts warning people with heart and lung problems to consider reducing outdoor physical exercise.

The increased pollution levels, which are currently affecting large parts of England and Wales, have been caused by a mix of local and European emissions and dust from the Sahara desert.

Cirencester currently has a ranking of seven on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ 10-point scale for measuring air quality, meaning the town is experiencing “high” levels of air pollution.

Many motorists in the town will have noticed sand particles settling on the windscreens of their cars in the last 48 hours.

A message on Defra’s website said that the lingering pollution could cause problems for some people planning on exercising outside.

“Adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if they experience symptoms,” it said.

Some of the symptoms associated with increased levels of air pollution include sore eyes, sore throat and coughing.

The website also warned that older people should stay clear from exercising and that those people who suffer with asthma may need to use their inhalers more frequently.

The level of pollution across Cirencester and the Cotswolds is expected to decrease over the coming days with normal levels expected again on Friday.

Visit www.gov.uk/defra for further information.