Iceland begins investigation into health effects of volcanic ash

iceland-sattelite2A comprehensive investigation into the medical effects of volcanic ash is now underway in South Iceland.

The research is being co-ordinated by Iceland’s Chief Epidemiologist, Haraldur Briem along with local health workers and the lung department of the Landspitali hospital in Reykjavik.

“We think it is important to find out if ash and other material from the volcano has any effect on human health. There are professionals here researching lung function, and we are also taking blood samples to assess [the effects] in the body. Finally there is a general medical exam and questions about physical and mental well being,” Briem told RUV.

He added that the research is being focused on the parts of South Iceland which were most affected by ash fall from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption and on people considered most at risk from the ash. It is hoped the research can be completed in two weeks.

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