Ash falls in Thames Valley

18 April 2010, 11:23

Weather experts say ash from the Icelandic volcano - causing problems with flights - has fallen in the Thames Valley.

It was reported as having come down as a light covering of dust in some parts of the region on Saturday 17 April 2010.  Scientists say you're most likely to be able to spot the dust on cars.

The Health Protection Agency say the dust doesn't pose a serious risk to health, but they warn that people who feel unwell while outside should limit their activities outdoors and go inside.

Symptoms that can be caused by the ash include itchy or irritated eyes, a runny nose, sore throat and a dry cough.  It may also be possible to smell sulphur - a rotten egg type smell - or a strong acidic odour.

The HPA say people with existing respiratory conditions like chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma may notice these effects more than others, and they should make sure they have their medication with them.

A ban on flights taking off and landing at UK airports has been in place since Thursday 15 April 2010, because of the risk the ash poses to planes' engines.  The abrasive material in the ash can stop engines working.

Read the latest on the disruption to air travel

Troop flights in and out of Oxfordshire's RAF Brize Norton were stopped on Thursday.  Brize is the main airport used by troops travelling to and from Afghanistan.

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