Sara Thomas has been doing some interesting work on a pilot scheme in Port Talbot, monitoring the air quality. They have sensors in the Margam area which register the very fine particles in the air which are invisible. We can all see when there is dust about but these invisible particles are the ones with the potential to get deep into our lungs, causing harmful irritation to those who already have lung conditions such as COPD or asthma and could cause harm to healthy lungs too.
I read an article today which indicates that maybe the presence of these microscopic particles can affect thinking and reaction times, especially in older people.
But let's not give Port Talbot and it's industries a bad name. Some of this pollution comes from the motorway and much of it comes from the Sahara Desert. The monitors have shown peak readings when the winds have been blowing the dust over us.
Well done Sara and her team and keep up the good work of making sure that our air is clean but at the same time supporting local industry and transport which are essential for jobs in the area.
We all had the chance to go through the "Changing for the better" book outlining the plans for change in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board. We have completed and returned the questionnaire emphasising the need to extend the pulmonary rehab program to reach more people than it does now - five/six programmes a year with eight people in each course is maximum forty eight patients a year, which is a mere drop in the ocean when compared to the number of people in the area who are living with a lung condition. We all know that the lessons learned in Pulmonary Rehab are vital in helping keep us out of hospital and access to rehab is a part of NICE recommendations.