Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Search Results

Health implications of the Mount St. Helens' eruption: epidemiological considerations.

Authors
Merchant-JA; Baxter-P; Bernstein-R; McCawley-M; Falk-H; Stein-G; Ing-R; Attfield-M
Source
Ann Occup Hyg, Inhaled Particles V, 1982 Sep; 26(1-4):911-919
NIOSHTIC No.
00141673
Abstract
Health effects arising from the Mount Saint Helen eruption were evaluated in humans. Surveillance efforts initially concentrated on casualties. Thirty one bodies were recovered; 25 were in the tree blown down area. The most frequent cause of death was asphyxiation. The dense cloud of volcanic ash extended eastward over the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. A five community enviromental survey evaluated respirable dust exposure in a number of jobs directly involved with the cleanup operations. A number of samples were studied extensively for their free silica (14808607) content, fibers, and trace metals. Area sampling in schools, homes, commercial establishments, and enclosed automobiles found dust concentrations to be quite low. X-ray diffraction, infrared spectrophotometry, light microscopy, electron microscopy, and wet chemical methods revealed low concentrations of quartz, cristobalite (14464461), and tridymite (15468323). Free silica content varied from 3 to 7 percent, as determined from respirable dust samples. No fibers were identified nor was trace metal content found to be unusual. A clear increase in pulmonary admissions was noted within 1 week following the major eruption. Variation in dust contents occurred from one community to another. Early exposures of respirable dust reached as high as 5 milligrams per cubic meter among forestry workers. Eye irritation was a frequent complaint of loggers working in the ash exposed area. The authors conclude that loggers working the immediate area of the volcano run the greatest potential risk of long term effects of ash exposure.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; Biological-effects; Aerosol-particles; Airborne-particles; Respiratory-irritants; Research; Employee-exposure; Quantitative-analysis; Medical-surveys; Rescue-workers; Dust-analysis; Volcanic-ash
Contact
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV, U.S.A.
CODEN
AOHYA3
CAS No.
14808-60-7; 14464-46-1; 15468-32-3
Publication Date
19820901
Document Type
Journal Article
Editors
Walton-WH
Fiscal Year
1982
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
ISBN No.
9780080268385
Issue of Publication
1-4
ISSN
0003-4878
NIOSH Division
DRDS
Source Name
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Inhaled Particles V
State
WV; ID; MT; ND; WA
TOP