Institute of Hazard, Risk & Resilience
Department of Earth Sciences
Science Labs., South Road
DH1 3LE, UK
Claire Horwell is currently involved in several areas of volcanic health hazard research:
Rapid physicochemical characterisation of volcanic ash particles to determine their respiratory toxicity during volcanic crises.
Fundamental research to determine the factors that control the potential toxicity of volcanic ash. This includes investigating the nature of the particles themselves (particularly crystalline silica), and external factors such as anthropogenic pollution which may interact with ash to alter its reactivity (VERTIGO).
How and whether communities protect themselves from inhalation of volcanic emissions (ash and gas) around the world. This involves laboratory studies, on the effectiveness of different forms of respiratory protection, social surveys on how communities perceive the hazard and protect themselves, and a clinical trial on the health benefits of wearing respiratory protection (for asthmatics). This research is being conducted as part of the HIVE and Hawaii Vog projects.
Stewart, C., Horwell C.J., Plumlee, G., Cronin, S., Delmelle, P., Baxter, P., Calkins, J., Damby, D.E., Morman, S. & Oppenheimer, C. (2013) ‘Protocol for analysis of volcanic ash samples for assessment of hazards from leachable elements’. Available at: www.ivhhn.org/
Martin, R.S., Mather, T.A., Pyle, D.M, Power, M.,Allen, A.G., Aiuppa, A., Horwell, C.J. and Ward E.P.W. (2008) ‘Chemical and morphological characterisation of volcanic aerosols and nanoparticles from Mt Etna’, Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 113, D17211.
Download our pamphlets on preparing for ashfall and on the health hazards of ash. They are designed for mass distribution at the onset of new eruptions. They are now avaiable in English, Japanese, French Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili, Indonesian and Icelandic with Italian versions being available shortly. Please see our Pamphlets page for further infomation.
FACE MASK USE
IVHHN has an article under the Guidelines tab which used to be called 'Recommended Face Masks'. This has now been updated to 'Information on face masks' and is an interim page whilst the Health Interventions in Volcanic Eruptions project investigates which types of respiratory protection are effective in protecting the general population from volcanic ash inhalation. Please note that the translations in Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese have not yet been updated.