Expert: Iceland ash not a health threat

April 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, April 16 (UPI) -- A Russian expert said the eruption of a volcano in Iceland does not pose a health threat to Europeans from gases and ash released into the air.

Arkady Tishkov, deputy research chief at the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the ash and gases from the volcano eruption on the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier will not adversely affect the health of the European populace, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

He said the gases would also likely have only a minimal impact on weather.

"There is no chance of any health impact ... gases are, naturally, toxic, but they quickly dissipate in the atmosphere. In some instances they may cause acid rain, but I think that may have already happened over the ocean," he said.

Tishkov urged Europeans not to overreact to the eruption, which began Wednesday.

"The Europeans are suffering a kind of psychosis because of all these events. I think no apocalyptic forecasts should be made ... This (eruption) is an absolutely routine event," he said.

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