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Durham University

Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience

Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience


Internationally-recognised leaders in developing resilient, research-informed approaches to hazard and risk

We are a world-leading research institute in hazard, risk and resilience based at Durham University. We support innovative research and training for use in policy and practice, collaborating directly with communities, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments.

Our commitment is to work with and learn from the widest possible range of stakeholders living with hazard and risk – empowering people, fostering resilience, and improving lives, both now and in the future. Our success stems from our capacity to approach complex problems holistically, drawing together a transdisciplinary team of experts from across the physical sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.


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New informational products launched on community protection from breathing volcanic ash

(19 October 2018)

Research led by the IHRR’s Dr Claire Horwell (who is also part of the University’s Department of Earth Sciences), has led to a series of informational products to help communities understand how they can best protect themselves from ash during volcanic eruptions.

Launched by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN), which is run by Dr Horwell, a new video and pamphlet explain how people can protect themselves from breathing ash, including the effectiveness of different kinds of respiratory protection. The information is also summarised as a poster, designed for bulletin boards within communities, schools and health clinics. 

In addition to this, a leaflet, has also been developed to explain how to fit a facemask. This is intended to be handed out by humanitarian agencies, along with facemasks, at times of volcanic ashfall and is supported by an accompanying video. All of the products are available online via the IVHHN pages here, to download and print. 

The advice provided in the new videos and printed materials is informed by research conducted by Dr Horwell’s Health Interventions in Volcanic Eruptions (HIVE) consortium. The HIVE group’s research findings were recently published in a two-part paper in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, which is available to read online here - part I, part II.

You can also read more about the recent research publications by the HIVE project group on the Durham University web pages here.

Video on how to protect yourself from breathing volcanic ash