Lung advice following volcanic ash cloud

People with lung conditions should ensure they have medicines with them in case volcanic ash from Iceland causes breathing difficulties, charities have warned.

Volcanic ash can trigger asthma symptoms like coughing (Photograph: Getty)
Volcanic ash can trigger asthma symptoms like coughing (Photograph: Getty)

Ash from the erupting Grimsvotn volcano is high in the atmosphere and it is not thought to pose an immediate problem. But volcanic ash can trigger asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Asthma UK’s clinical lead Erica Evans said: ‘We advise people with asthma to monitor the news regarding the position of the ash cloud and to make sure they maintain their regular asthma medicine and keep their emergency inhaler on them at all times.'

Asthma UK said it was thought that the scale of the problem would not be as widespread as after the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano last year. Ash particles from the Grimsvotn eruption are as thought to be larger from Eyjafjallajokull and are expected to fall to the ground quicker.

Dr Keith Prowse, medical spokesman for the British Lung Foundation said: ‘In light of the latest news that ash from the volcanic eruption in Iceland could reach the UK by Tuesday, we would advise people living with a lung condition in affected areas to carry their medication as a precaution.’

Asthma UK’s advice line is available on 0800 121 62 44.

The British Lung Foundation’s Helpline is available on on 08458 50 50 20.

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