Eyjafjallajokull is located on the southern part of Iceland.  It has erupted twice throughout this year and has caused many air traffic problems.   The smoke that erupts out of the volcano can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, Respiratory problems, and even worse for people who already suffered from asthma or emphysema.
Eyafjallajoekull Glacier Volcano
EYAJAFJALLAJOKULL        ICELAND VOLCANO WEB CAM
The volcano is located under the Eyafjallajoekull glacier. When it erupted it sent volcanic ash and gases into the air, in a plume that moved from Iceland across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.   The plume made air travel dangerous and flights were cancelled as airports in England and Europe closed.

700 local residents were evacuated in April, 2010. The volcanic ash is  a possible health problem for people and livestock.  The volcanic ash contains fluorine which is toxic to animals that eat the grass where the ash landed. If the ash is breathed in it could cause respiratory problems.
Info on volcanoes and respiratory problems

The eruption melted the glacier causing flooding. The floods daaged roads, fields and property.
Info on volcanoes and damage to buildings, roads, communications

Two months later tourists visiting the area near Fimmvörduhįls  picked up a piece of lava. Inside the rock was scorching hot.  Visiting volcanos around the world is a popular but travelers should use caution and follow the guidelines of local areas. Info on volcanoes, health and geotourism


Could the plume/ash from Eyafjallajoekull affect European food supplies?
Report - April 2010 after it erupted
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Statement on the possible risks for public and animal health from the contamination of the feed and food chain due to possible ash-fall following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland - urgent advice










Eyafjallajoekull erupted in 1612 and then again 1821. The eruptions continued on and off for more than a year. Thick layers of ash covered southern Iceland after the eruption in 1821.  The ash contained fluorine which is known to have caused death to the livestock that ate the ash covered grass. Due to the eruption, the local Markarfijot and Holtsa rivers flooded.

When Eyjafjalljoekull was first erupting there were glacier outburst floods.  As the eruption continued not too much of the ice melted creating little danger of flooding. The rivers were being measured by gauges to see if flooding was occurring.

Icelandic Meteorological Office measures earth movements, water conditions and weather and issues warnings. They measured the height of the plume and used it to calculate where and how the ash moved using their weather radar.  They work with the National Emergency Agency, the University of Iceland and the British Meteorological Office, where the London VAAC (Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre) to advise Europe and the airlines on conditions for flights.  The Icelandic Meteorological Office has a  24 hour watch over seismic and volcanic activity with a network of seismic and GPS stations located throughout Iceland to make sure that there are no problems for flights.

The Institute of Earth Science measured size of particles in the ash. The volcano’s ash from April 14-16 was measured and was considered very fine grained contained:
24% of the sample is under 10 µm (as aerosol)
33% of the sample is in the range of 10-50 µm
20% of the sample is in the range of 50-146 µm
23% of the sample is in the range of 146-294 µm

On the first day the plume reached a height of 33,000 feet (about 11 km).. After April 14, 2010, on average the plume was under 10,000 feet.

Ash and gas plumes differ based on where the volcano is located.
Eyafjallajoekull ash contained fluorine and fine silica particles.
In early days of the eruption the water vapour from melting ice rinsed the ash. A measurement on April 14, 2010 by Institute of Earth Sciences measured 25-35 mg/kg fluorine.  5 days later, on April 19, 2010, the fluorine content was 850 mg/kg. There was less ice and water to mix with the ash.

According to The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), upper levels for fluoride intake have been set at 0.10 mg/kg body weight (b.w.) per day for children and 0.12 mg/kg b.w. per day for adults. For terrestrial animals, the recommended maximum tolerable levels for fluoride in feed based on clinical signs of fluoride toxicosis are 40 mg/kg feed for cattle and horses and 60 mg/kg feed for sheep.

In people, excessive fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis (fluorosis appears as tiny white streaks or specks that are often unnoticeable. In its severest form, which is also called mottling of dental enamel, it is characterized by black and brown stains, as well as cracking and pitting of the teeth)
., and long term intake can reduce bone strength leading to fracture and skeletal fluorosis.  (At its worst condition can cause limitation of joint movement, calcification of ligaments of neck vertebral column, crippling deformities of the spine and major joints, muscle wasting, neurological defects, and compression of spinal cord). Animals do not metabolize the fluoride completely, so people that eat animals that ate grass with fluoride in it are poisoning themselves by eating the meat.

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Statement of EFSA on the possible risks for public and animal health from the contamination of the feed and food chain due to possible ash-fall following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland - urgent advice

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).pdf
Statement of EFSA on the possible risks for public and animal health from the contamination of the feed and food chain due to possible ash-fall following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland - urgent advice


Volcanic Hazard from Iceland
Analysis and Implications of the Eyjafjallajokull Eruption
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Map of Air Space Closed because of Eyafjallajoekull Ash Cloud
Volcano Plumes - Eyjafjalljoekull 
Air Traffic and other effects
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