Physicochemical and toxicological profiling of ash from the 2010 and 2011 eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull and Grimsvotn volcanoes, Iceland using a rapid respiratory hazard assessment protocol

C. J. Horwell*, P. J. Baxter, S. E. Hillman, J. A. Calkins, D. E. Damby, P. Delmelle, K. Donaldson, C. Dunster, B. Fubini, F. J. Kelly, J. S. Le Blond, K. J. T. Livi, F. Murphy, C. Nattrass, S. Sweeney, T. D. Tetley, T. Thordarson, M. Tomatis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The six week eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 produced heavy ash fall in a sparsely populated area of southern and south eastern Iceland and disrupted European commercial flights for at least 6 days. We adopted a protocol for the rapid analysis of volcanic ash particles, for the purpose of informing respiratory health risk assessments. Ash collected from deposits underwent a multi-laboratory physicochemical and toxicological investigation of their mineralogical parameters associated with bio-reactivity, and selected in vitro toxicology assays related to pulmonary inflammatory responses. Ash from the eruption of Grimsvotn, Iceland, in 2011 was also studied. The results were benchmarked against ash from Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat, which has been extensively studied since the onset of eruptive activity in 1995.

For Eyjafjallajokull, the grain size distributions were variable: 2-13 vol% of the bulk samples were

The value of the pro-inflammatory profiles in differentiating the potential respiratory health hazard of volcanic ashes remains uncertain in a protocol designed to inform public health risk assessment, and further research on their role in volcanic crises is warranted. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume127
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Iceland
  • Eyjafjallajokull
  • Grimsvotn
  • Volcano
  • Respiratory health
  • SOUFRIERE HILLS VOLCANO
  • BRITISH-WEST-INDIES
  • ST-HELENS ERUPTIONS
  • IN-VITRO TOXICOLOGY
  • LONG-TERM EXPOSURE
  • HEALTH-HAZARD
  • RADICAL GENERATION
  • DQ12 QUARTZ
  • NEW-ZEALAND
  • MONTSERRAT

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