Ash concentrations are within expectations and not damage health
Ash concentrations are within expectations and not a risk to health, say experts

QCOSTARICA – For the concerned about the ash all around us especially during these past several days, experts says the quantity of ash must be very and high and be prolonged, to affect us.

Studies by the Laboratorio de Análisis Químico Atmosférico de la Universidad Nacional (UNA) – laboratory of atmospheric chemical analysis at the National University – have found that the ashfall from the last three weeks, caused by the Turrialba volcano is within ‘normal range’ and does not pose a chemical risk to the health of people.

The results were confirmed by pulmonary specialist at the Hospital San Juan de Dios in San Jose, Mario Sibaja, on the radio program “Nuestra Voz“, and denied that there is some kind of “alert” to possible health risks.

The expert noted that for this to happen the concentration of volcanic material would have to be abundant. He added that for risks of lung diseases, such exposure would have to be prolonged (for years) to happen.

For this reason, Sibaja urged people to remain calm and be informed not to generate unfounded fears.

According to the expert, those suffering from respiratory problems, allergies or asthma should take, for exposure to ash particles can affect them.

The wearing of masks is important. Experts say that regular masks available at Costa Rica pharmacies for only a few hundred colones are not adequate in this case, they recommend masks with filters.

On Thursday, May 12, the Turrialba voclano began a cycle of activity that has been maintained for nearly three weeks. The latest “important” eruption was last Friday, May 20, expelling gases and ash that has spread throughout the western part of the Central Valley, even in distant places (from the volcano) like Naranjo, Atenas and Grecia.

Most affected are areas like Coronado, Moravia, Tibas, San Jose and Pavas.

Since Friday, although airport operations have been normal, a number of airlines have cancelled or diverted flights due to “weather conditions” in Costa Rica. If you are travelling to or from Costa Rica, a check on Flightradar24.com or Fly2SanJose.com can be useful, best is to check with your airline for the status of your flight.


Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.