Iceland volcano ash plume sparks health fears

Last Updated: Monday, April 19, 2010 - 13:28

Washington: The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a health warning to Europeans due to the eruption of Iceland`s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which has created an enormous ash plume.

WHO has warned people to stay indoors or use masks when the ash begins to fall.

Ash is made up of tiny pieces of glassy sand and dust produced when explosive eruptions demolish solid rock or spray lava into the sky, where it solidifies before falling.

Experts say that ionhaling these particulates can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.

Finer particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause breathing problems, particularly among those with respiratory issues like asthma or emphysema.

However, other scientists believe that ash fall will be too limited and scattered to have much impact outside of Iceland.

"Locally, close to the eruption, it can cause health problems. But I seriously doubt that it will have a significant effect beyond that area," National Geographic News quoted Thordarson, of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, as saying.

ANI

First Published: Monday, April 19, 2010 - 13:28
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