Breathing volcanic ash can have a big impact on respiratory health. There are people all across Europe who are suffering from the devastating impact of the eruption of the volcano underneath the glacier, Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland. Health effects are worse for those who already have a respiratory condition such as asthma, children and the elderly but can be harmful for many.

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from ash in air as well as other harmful particulates.

• Wear a mask when outdoors. If you are going to be around these pollutants for a long time make sure to order extra filters so you have them on hand when you need them.

• Use an air purifier in your bedroom, main living spaces and car. Make sure you know the square footage of your space when choosing the right model.

• Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner with a sealed system and sealed bag to assure that your indoor environment places as clean as possible.

• Wear glasses instead of contact lenses and to reduce risk of eye irritation.

• Cover sensitive equipment such as computers and other equipment with plastic bags.

• Keep children and pets indoors as much as possible.

If you are not currently in an area that has volcanic ash, keep these tips in mind because right now there are at least 1,500 active volcanoes around the world and at least 100 in the US that could be active!

For more information on volcanoes in the US:
Scholastic.com Article .