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  • Ermine Herman

Cleaning Protocols for Volcanic Ash


Figure 1: Ashfall forecast for the islands in close proximity to St. Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano.

(Source: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EyvqoTdWQAEcfXA.jpg)


In the event of significant ashfall in Saint Lucia, it is encouraged to do as much as possible to prevent its intrusion indoors. If that is not possible, then the following cleaning protocols can ensure effective removal of the nuisance ash:

  1. Wear protective equipment during the cleaning process: dust mask (or a damp cloth covering the nose and mouth), goggles and clothing covering the arms and legs.

  2. Co-ordinate indoor cleaning when cleaning of the outdoor areas are being undertaken by the public authorities.

  3. Use dustless cleaning methods:

  4. Use High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuums for cleaning of surfaces. If that is not possible, use a damp cloth for removal. DO NOT rub as the abrasive ash can scratch surfaces, e.g. vehicles, polished floors, glass, etc.

  5. Rinse ash-coated fabric under running water and wash carefully.

  6. Change filters on ventilation systems and air-purifiers often.

  7. Clean as often as needed.



Call H&L Environmental Services if you require further information. Let’s play our part to keep each other safe.




Reference:

1) International Volcanic Health Hazard Network, Guidelines on Preparedness: Before, During and After an Ashfall: https://www.ivhhn.org/images/pamphlets/Preparedness_Guidelines_English_WEB.pdf

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