Smoking Volcano

Ash not a threat to human health

Dust from the volcanic ash cloud is not a threat to agriculture, health, or the environment according to a statement from Alex Salmond the First Minister.

The Scottish Government stated that the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has been conducting an ongoing analysis of dust samples from the ash and has determined that at the moment it does not pose any danger to health.

However, health experts have noted that people who suffer from respiratory conditions like asthma should be prepared with their medication while they are outdoors since the ash may trigger an attack.

Environmental monitoring from 25 radioactivity monitoring sites and 75 air sites across Scotland will continue.

The comments by Salmond were the result of a meeting of the SGoRR (Scottish Government Resilience Cabinet sub-committee) in which the consultant epidemiologist Dr. Jim McMenamin of the Health Protection Scotland stated that so far the dust samples from around Scotland have been reassuring.

Professor James Curran, the SEPA director of science and strategy, stated that information from the Norway and Scotland dust samples show that there are minimal levels of fluoride in the Icelandic ash plume which will pose the largest concern to the environment.  Curran continued to say that this will result in a minimal danger to the environment.

Although there are flying restrictions in place, Salmond said that seven air ambulance missions had taken place over the past day and bus, train, and ferry operators were offering more frequent services to cities spread out across Europe and the UK.