Monday, 19 April 2010

Volcanic ash hazard to chronic respiratory patients

The World Health Authority backed by Asthma UK and others have announced that asthma and emphysema sufferers should take precautions if there is a threat of volcanic ash being present in the air that they breathe.\

In the UK there is a chance that the particle size of volcanic ash emitted in Iceland which reaches ground level could fall into the range that can be inhaled deep into the lungs
"If people are outside this evening and notice symptoms such as itchy or irritated eyes, runny nose, sore throat or dry cough, or if they notice a dusty haze in the air or can smell sulphur, rotten eggs, or a strong acidic smell, they may wish to limit their activities outdoors or return indoors."

"Those with existing respiratory conditions such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma may notice these effects more than others and should ensure they have any inhalers or other medications with them. Any such health effects are likely to be short-term."

"The Health Protection Agency, Health Protection Scotland and the Met Office will continue to monitor the situation and issue any further advice or updates as necessary as the weather changes."

It is thought that the quantity of ash falling to ground level is unlikely to be harmful but our advice here at the Aspergillus Website is to be vigilant. If you notice an increase in the symptoms mentioned above it might be best to return indoors.

An N95 facemask would be useful to have as a precaution. These masks are available from a range of suppliers including Amazon, 3M etc. -search Google for 'N95 facemask'.

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