Long-Term Health Effect of Eruption Studied in Iceland Skip to content

Long-Term Health Effect of Eruption Studied in Iceland

The government of Iceland has agreed to contribute ISK 9 million (USD 75,000, EUR 58,000) to research the impact the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull has had on the health of humans and animals.

The ash fall from Eyjafjallajökull turned day into night. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The contribution was requested for work related to the collection of evidence which is to take place in the coming autumn before it might be lost, visir.is reports.

This summer a task force was appointed by the Ministry of Health to determine what long-term effect the volcanic eruption might have had on the health of people living close to the eruption zone.

According to the first results of a study on the short-term effect on the health of people living in the area, 60 percent of inhabitants were in good health and without symptoms during the eruption and ash fall, ruv.is reports.

Forty percent of inhabitants felt some physical or mental effect while the ash fall took place and proved to have limited ability to breathe. However, no one showed signs of serious health problems that could be traced back to the volcano.

Of those who had a history of asthma or lung diseases, 38 percent had normal peak flow measurements, which indicates that the treatment provided while the eruption was ongoing was successful. Most people agreed dust masks had been helpful.

During the research, medical workers tested the lung function of 207 inhabitants in the eruption zone, took blood samples and provided questionnaires on physical and mental wellbeing.

Click here to read other news related to the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull.

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