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London — London’s mayor has issued a “very high” air pollution alert for the first time, as cold, windless weather allowed emissions across the whole of southeast England to build up over the weekend.

The London air monitoring team at King’s College London said pollution in the capital was at “black,” the highest level, meaning people should reduce physical exertion outdoors.

The rise in pollution was caused by a combination of traffic pollution and wood burning, it added. That combined with an import of pollution from the continent on Sunday.

Officials warned that many other places across Britain were also suffering from high levels of pollutants known as particulate matter, and the problem is expected to continue Tuesday.

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