Effects of ash on health — Information related to Mt. Shinmoedake's recent volcanic activity
Effects of ash on health may be divided into several categories: respiratory symptoms, eye symptoms and skin irritation. Refer to the following information to prevent health issues.
In rare circumstances when there is a lot of ash, people may experience the following symptoms:
1) Respiratory symptoms:
* Nasal irritation
* Throat irritation and sore throat
People suffering from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or severe heart problems are most at risk.
2) Eye symptoms:
* Eye irritation
* Eyes becoming painful, itchy or bloodshot
3) Skin irritation:
While not common, volcanic ash can cause skin irritation for some people.
* Irritation and reddening of the skin
* Skin becoming painful and swollen
When ash is falling, you should:
- Brush the ash off your hair and clothes before you go inside
- Wash your hands and rinse your mouth when you come home
- When outside, wear a mask and use an umbrella
- Avoid rubbing your eyes if ash gets inside, instead rinse your eyes with clear water
- Contact lens wearers should leave out their lenses to prevent corneal abrasion from occurring
In case of health issues due to eye troubles or inhaled ash etc, please consult a doctor.
In the event of heavy ash fall:
- If possible, stay inside
- If you must go outside, wear long sleeves and put on a mask and hat and use an umbrella
- When cleaning, wear a mask and goggles. Lightly watering down the ash will keep exposure levels at a minimum
Precautions for children:
- If possible, keep children inside
- If children must be outdoors when ash is present in the air, they should wear masks
- Do not let children play in places where ash is deep on the ground or piled up
- Children should be advised against strenuous play or running when ash is in the air, since exertion leads to heavier breathing, drawing small particles more deeply into the lungs.