Netherlands under smog alert for Friday

People biking in foggy Amsterdam
People biking through the fog in Amsterdam Centrum. January 11, Zack Newmark / NL Times

A high level of air pollutants triggered a Friday smog warning for the Netherlands, with possibility of "insufficient" air quality over the weekend. Air quality in the Randstad municipalities and in the south of the Netherlands was expected to be "poor", the Dutch health authority RIVM said in a statement.

"An increased concentration of particulate matter in the air, together with other air pollution, can lead to reduced lung function, worsening of asthma and [Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease] and an increase in respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath," the RIVM stated. People with cardiovascular disease and the elderly are also likely to have trouble caused by the dirty air.

People suffering from enhanced symptoms were advised to consult with a physician, which could lead to an adjustment in prescription medication dosage. Symptoms may be reduced by people slowing down and relaxing a bit instead of exerting too much effort over the coming days.

Several dry days with little or no wind meant that the particulate matter which causes smog was not dispersed over a wider area.