Airborne ash can be caused by a number of events and it can happen just about anywhere. Volcanoes, fires or even building demolitions can create ash clouds, and inhaling the ash is extremely harmful to humans.
Volcanic ashes contain harmful aerosols and poisonous gases, while other types of ash can contain any number of elements that can be detrimental to your health. Inhalation can cause serious health effects including respiratory problems, eye issues and skin irritation.
Volcanic ash containing silica can cause a type of lung fibrosis called silicosis, which is a very serious disease. It can result in lifelong effects on your health.
Whether you’re traveling abroad and have encountered an erupting volcano or you’re passing by a controlled building demolition that has kicked up a significant amount of dust into the air, the following tips can help to keep you safe and healthy:
Follow these safety procedures until you are either able to clear the affected area by a significant distance or until emergency services declare that the area is safe. Even if the area appears safe to the untrained eye, there could still be harmful airborne pollutants that could cause long-term damage to your body if you find yourself exposed to them.