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article imageAgencies warn of health risks from volcanic eruption in Iceland Special

By Carol Forsloff     Apr 16, 2010 in World
Experts warn the volcanic eruption in Iceland may put people with breathing problems at risk, even as the volcanic ash and fall out continues to interrupt airspace in areas around the world from an eruption that began Wednesday.
The World Health Organization has recently stated by way of news releases early this morning that people with allergies and asthma may be affected by the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland.
Spokesperson for WHO, Daniel Epstein is quoted as saying the agency has not yet determined the specific risks from Iceland's volcano, but agency officials observe that once the clouds settle they could be dangerous.
Epstein said in a briefing, "Any particulate matter that is deposited, breathed into the lungs is dangerous to people so we are concerned about that but we don't have details yet," he told a briefing.
The potential health risks were stated briefly by Epstein as he stated, "This is very dangerous to health because these particles when inhaled can reach the peripheral regions of the bronchioles and lungs and can cause problems especially for people with asthma or respiratory problems," he said.
Experts, however, have conflicting opinions, as news releases continue, with Ken Donaldson, professor of respiratory toxicology at the University of Edinburgh presenting a different view. He said,
"There is a massive diluting effect in the atmosphere as it gets dispersed by wind which means the amount reaching land is very small," Ken Donaldson, professor of respiratory toxicology at the University of Edinburgh, told Reuters. He did say, however, that people with other respiratory problems should stay indoors or wear protective masks if they go out.
Problems from volcanic eruptions have been experienced widely for more than 20 years in Hawaii. A recent article by Janice Henker, who is an Indoor Air Quality Expert with Alleriges Industries, a company that develops and manufactures air purifiers for homes, businesses and industrial facilities throughout North America. Her particular specialty is the rehabilitation of gas, chemicals, odors, dust and volcanic smog (VOG), the provision of safe, clean air. She calls the problems associated with volcanic activity in Hawaii , "Hawaii's Quiet Natural Disaster."
These were the consequences Henker outlined as significant in 2008. The effects were paralyzed. Residents have reported physical symptoms such as headaches, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, watery eyes, sore throat and other flu-like symptoms. Children, the elderly and people were with existing respiratory illnesses most affected.
Residents of breathlessness, which live on the island for generations, was told by the doctors to leave. The financial loss for farmers in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hospitals are scrambling to patients with safe air, hospital, at an estimated cost Pahala Hospital 4 U.S. dollars. 7 million for the filtration of air is sufficient.
The Centers for Disease Control have not yet received directives according to Bernadette Berber in the press offices of the organization. She said, "We are aware of the situation, but the World Health Organization has not yet sought us out for assistance. Information directly can be obtained from them. We usually receive our information directly, and so far they have not given us anything more than what was put out this morning."
This was the eruption between the Iceland glaciers  a small one in all respect. On the right is Eyja...
This was the eruption between the Iceland glaciers, a small one in all respect. On the right is Eyjafjallajökull and on left Katla is dormant for the moment
Anna Olichney is a nurse who answers questions online and serves as an information expert for the National Jewish Institute in Denver. She agrees with the World Health Organization.
"In general stay inside, if you have known respiratory conditions. If you have to go outside, wear a mask. This is the kind of warning ordinarily given to people with underlying breathing conditions. "Olichney said. So far information from her facility beyond that has not been given, and she continued, "The doctors haven't given us anything beyond what we know as people who generally give advice to those with breathing problems, and we hope people follow the directive from the World Health Organization, which I agree is important. We are trying to keep up with news like this and hope others will as well."
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