The provinces and cities of Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Metro Manila, and nearby are experiencing ash fall due to the eruption of Taal Volcano. Ash fall and volcanic debris are harmful to the health so the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) has released these recommendations for basic precautions that must be observed by people in affected areas.
- Close windows, doors, and fireplace / woodstove, dampers, and minimize use of forced air heaters and air conditioners to prevent ash and gases from getting inside the home.
- Replace or clean furnace / airconditioner filters frequently.
- Use an N-95 disposable respirator (available at some hardware stores) while outdoors or while cleaning up ash that has gotten indoors; if an N-95 mask is not available, use a nuisance dust mask as an alternative.
- Wear goggles while outdoors, or while cleaning up ash that has gotten indoors.
- Keep your skin covered to avoid irritation from contact with ash.
- Avoid driving.
- Avoid drinking water that has ash in it.
- Wet ash prior to clean-up to avoid re-suspension of particulates
- Clear roofs of ash in excess of four inches.
- Pay attention to warnings, and comply with instructions from local authorities (i.e . local health officials will inform the public when it is safe to go outside, drive, drink water, etc.).
- Seek medical attention if substantial respiratory symptoms develop.
Respiratory problems and health issue may occur because of the ash flow present in the atmosphere.
Take better care if you have these symptoms and it’s best to consult a physician as soon as you can, and only if it is safe to go outside.
• nasal irritation and discharge;
• throat irritation and dry cough;
• discomfort while breathing;
• airway irritation among people with asthma or bronchitis (e.g., shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing); and
• severe bronchitic symptoms (e.g., hacking cough, production of sputum, wheezing, or shortness of breath) among people with pre-existing chest complaints.
Phivolcs is closely monitoring the activity of Taal Volcano. We are hoping, along with the whole country, for the situation to get better so people can return to their normal lives as soon as possible.