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A retrospective study on acute health effects due to volcanic ash exposure during the eruption of Mount Etna (Sicily) in 2002.

Lombardo D, Ciancio N, Campisi R, Di Maria A, Bivona L, Poletti V, Mistretta A, Biggeri A, Di Maria G - Multidiscip Respir Med (2013)

Bottom Line: Mount Etna, located in the eastern part of Sicily (Italy), is the highest and most active volcano in Europe.The volcanic ash fall caused extensive damage to infrastructure utilities and distress in the exposed population.This retrospective study evaluates whether or not there was an association between ash fall and acute health effects in exposed local communities.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Pulmonology Unit, A,O,U, Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele, Catania, Italy. ciancio@policlinico.unict.it.

ABSTRACT

Background: Mount Etna, located in the eastern part of Sicily (Italy), is the highest and most active volcano in Europe. During the sustained eruption that occurred in October-November 2002 huge amounts of volcanic ash fell on a densely populated area south-east of Mount Etna in Catania province. The volcanic ash fall caused extensive damage to infrastructure utilities and distress in the exposed population. This retrospective study evaluates whether or not there was an association between ash fall and acute health effects in exposed local communities.

Methods: We collected the number and type of visits to the emergency department (ED) for diseases that could be related to volcanic ash exposure in public hospitals of the Province of Catania between October 20 and November 7, 2002. We compared the magnitude of differences in ED visits between the ash exposure period in 2002 and the same period of the previous year 2001.

Results: We observed a significant increase of ED visits for acute respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and ocular disturbances during the ash exposure time period.

Conclusions: There was a positive association between exposure to volcanic ash from the 2002 eruption of Mount Etna and acute health effects in the Catania residents. This study documents the need for public health preparedness and response initiatives to protect nearby populations from exposure to ash fall from future eruptions of Mount Etna.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Area interested by the eruption and ashfall from satellite, with indication of the Hospital (H) reported in the study. Local winds carried the emissions for kilometers and affected a largely populated district extending south of Mount Etna.
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Figure 1: Area interested by the eruption and ashfall from satellite, with indication of the Hospital (H) reported in the study. Local winds carried the emissions for kilometers and affected a largely populated district extending south of Mount Etna.

Mentions: Mount Etna, located in the eastern part of Sicily (Italy), is the most active volcano in Europe. In 2002 an intense eruption activity began in October and ended up November 2002[12]. This long lasting eruption produced explosions and jets of lava from two newly formed fissures in the proximity of the volcano’s summit, and it was also characterized by the emission of pyroclastic flows that were more intense during the first two weeks of activity[12]. Local winds carried the emissions for kilometers and subsequent ash fall affected a largely populated area extending south of Mount Etna, which includes Catania, a major city with nearly 315,000 inhabitants (Figure 1). During the eruption the exposed population complained of health disturbances such as eye and airway irritation, cough, or acute exacerbation of chronic respiratory disorders. However, a subsequent study investigating the rate of hospital admissions and causes of death only found an increase in cardiovascular diseases along with a decrease in mortality for respiratory diseases during the eruption period in the same area[13,14].


A retrospective study on acute health effects due to volcanic ash exposure during the eruption of Mount Etna (Sicily) in 2002.

Lombardo D, Ciancio N, Campisi R, Di Maria A, Bivona L, Poletti V, Mistretta A, Biggeri A, Di Maria G - Multidiscip Respir Med (2013)

Area interested by the eruption and ashfall from satellite, with indication of the Hospital (H) reported in the study. Local winds carried the emissions for kilometers and affected a largely populated district extending south of Mount Etna.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3750325&req=5

Figure 1: Area interested by the eruption and ashfall from satellite, with indication of the Hospital (H) reported in the study. Local winds carried the emissions for kilometers and affected a largely populated district extending south of Mount Etna.
Mentions: Mount Etna, located in the eastern part of Sicily (Italy), is the most active volcano in Europe. In 2002 an intense eruption activity began in October and ended up November 2002[12]. This long lasting eruption produced explosions and jets of lava from two newly formed fissures in the proximity of the volcano’s summit, and it was also characterized by the emission of pyroclastic flows that were more intense during the first two weeks of activity[12]. Local winds carried the emissions for kilometers and subsequent ash fall affected a largely populated area extending south of Mount Etna, which includes Catania, a major city with nearly 315,000 inhabitants (Figure 1). During the eruption the exposed population complained of health disturbances such as eye and airway irritation, cough, or acute exacerbation of chronic respiratory disorders. However, a subsequent study investigating the rate of hospital admissions and causes of death only found an increase in cardiovascular diseases along with a decrease in mortality for respiratory diseases during the eruption period in the same area[13,14].

Bottom Line: Mount Etna, located in the eastern part of Sicily (Italy), is the highest and most active volcano in Europe.The volcanic ash fall caused extensive damage to infrastructure utilities and distress in the exposed population.This retrospective study evaluates whether or not there was an association between ash fall and acute health effects in exposed local communities.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Pulmonology Unit, A,O,U, Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele, Catania, Italy. ciancio@policlinico.unict.it.

ABSTRACT

Background: Mount Etna, located in the eastern part of Sicily (Italy), is the highest and most active volcano in Europe. During the sustained eruption that occurred in October-November 2002 huge amounts of volcanic ash fell on a densely populated area south-east of Mount Etna in Catania province. The volcanic ash fall caused extensive damage to infrastructure utilities and distress in the exposed population. This retrospective study evaluates whether or not there was an association between ash fall and acute health effects in exposed local communities.

Methods: We collected the number and type of visits to the emergency department (ED) for diseases that could be related to volcanic ash exposure in public hospitals of the Province of Catania between October 20 and November 7, 2002. We compared the magnitude of differences in ED visits between the ash exposure period in 2002 and the same period of the previous year 2001.

Results: We observed a significant increase of ED visits for acute respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and ocular disturbances during the ash exposure time period.

Conclusions: There was a positive association between exposure to volcanic ash from the 2002 eruption of Mount Etna and acute health effects in the Catania residents. This study documents the need for public health preparedness and response initiatives to protect nearby populations from exposure to ash fall from future eruptions of Mount Etna.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus