Calls have been made for new EU limits to combat air pollution following health concerns over a toxic smog cloud that has blown across Portsmouth from the continent.
Pollution in Portsmouth is expected to reach upper-moderate (51 particles per 100) levels today.
Government officials have issued a health alert warning people with lung problems and heart conditions to avoid strenuous physical exercise, particularly outdoors.
It is feared that the spike in pollution could cause an increase in asthma attacks.
In the worst affected areas, levels of pollution are expected to be high enough to cause sore throats and itchy eyes in healthy people.
The dangerous levels of pollution are being caused by a combination of home-grown pollution and smog blown in by winds from the continent, especially Paris which recorded high levels of pollution yesterday.
Catherine Bearder, a Liberal Democrat Euro MP for south-east England, has been a long term campaigner on air pollution levels and is the EU Parliament’s Liberal group lead negotiator on air quality law.
Mrs Bearder said: ‘Deadly smog in Paris yesterday has led to dangerous levels of pollution in Portsmouth today.
‘This is a reminder that air pollution doesn’t respect national borders, and neither should our efforts to tackle it.
‘We urgently need to put in place strict limits across Europe that will force governments to take action and improve air quality.
‘The longer we wait, the longer people will continue to suffer from the health impacts of air pollution.’