DOH warns vs sulfur dioxide exposure amid volcanoes' unrest


Posted at Jun 08 2023 07:59 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday warned against health hazards from exposure to sulfur dioxide and ash fall amid the unrest of Taal and Mayon volcanoes. 

The DOH said that sulfur dioxide could affect both human and animal health and plant life. 

"A person may be exposed by breathing air containing sulfur dioxide or through skin contact," it said.

According to the DOH, short-term exposure to sulfur dioxide can harm the respiratory system and cause breathing problems

"People with asthma, particularly children, are sensitive to these effects," it warned.

To avoid the symptoms associated with exposure to sulfur dioxide, people are advised to do the following.

  • Avoid going out of homes
  • Close the doors and windows, most especially if you are living near the caldera of Taal Volcano
  • Always wear a face mask, a protective gear for eyes and skin.

If someone is exposed to sulfur dioxide, contact the following hospitals.

  • East Avenue Medical Center
    Toxicology Referral and Training Center:
    East Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
    Contact No. (02) 89211212, (02) 8928-0611 loc 707, 09232711183
  • UP National Poison Management and Control Center:
    (02) 8-524-1078 (Hotline) 0966-718-9904 (Globe) 0922-896-1541 (Sun)


Meanwhile, the DOH said exposure to ash fall might cause health problems. People suffering from bronchitis, emphysema, or asthma should avoid exposure to volcanic ash, it added.

The public is advised to observe the following.

  • Minimize exposure to ash
  • Stay indoors as much as possible
  • Keep doors and windows closed
  • Keep home from infiltration by using damp curtains, blankets, or clothing
  • Use dust or N95 masks
  • Wear goggles or eyeglasses to protect eyes from irritation
  • Keep pets in closed shelters
  • Dampen ash in your yard to prevent it from billowing up into the air
  • Clear your roof of ash
  • Observe traffic notifications and road safety measures