Those who have spent time out east in the area of the volcano have commented on the conditions there being very bad. Fine particles of ash dust are everywhere, getting into houses and people’s respiratory systems causing discomfort. It has been discussed whether staying in the area of Eyjafjallajökull volcanic action is a health hazard and even dangerous to people.
An evaluation such as this, is in the hands of the office of infectiology. Haraldur Briem doctor in infectiology says that the area is being very carefully monitored. “Of course it is not especially healthy to dwell for a long time in an area such as this one, but our sentiment is that those who have to stay in the area and have work to do there, can do so if they use masks and goggles. Those who do not necessarily need to be outside should stay inside if there is great visible ash falling. We have not ordered evacuation in the area, as we do not have anything in our hands giving us reason to do so. We announce that if people have an opportunity to leave and do not necessarily have to stay, then the sensible thing is to leave the area. On the other hand we are not encouraging people to do so.”
According to Haraldur, a British specialist in matters relating to volcanic ash came to the county to give counsel to the office. His evaluation was that it was not necessary to evacuate the area and he gave us the ideology which has been followed. It is important that the community in the area is as active as possible. If the health of people is considered in great danger, we will order evacuation. “On the other hand we have no data pointing towards this. If people go by the instructions, use masks and goggles they should not be in any danger. None the less we are working on this by investigating all the different conditions as well people themselves. So far we have examined quite many who have been working in the volcanic ash, and research shows that they are not in danger.”
The main danger for peoples is coming from small particles in the air. Although, it has not been proven that pollution because of airborne particles from volcanic ash will cause diseases. The environmental agency has set up registers in the area in order to measure small particles in the air, as well as registers in order to monitor different gas types such as sulphur dioxide. Haraldur says that certainly airborne particles in the area has been constant and over the public health safety limits. “On the other hand, it is a question of reaction. When this happens for example here in the capital, we encourage people with sensitive lungs to stay inside. This applies also out there in the east and again we want to stress for people to use protective equipment.”
/ www.bbl.is /fr