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Volcanic air pollution hazards in Hawaii

April 20, 2017

Noxious sulfur dioxide gas and other air pollutants emitted from Kīlauea Volcano on the Island of Hawai‘i react with oxygen, atmospheric moisture, and sunlight to produce volcanic smog (vog) and acid rain. Vog can negatively affect human health and agriculture, and acid rain can contaminate household water supplies by leaching metals from building and plumbing materials in rooftop rainwater-catchment systems. U.S. Geological Survey scientists, along with health professionals and local government officials are working together to better understand volcanic air pollution and to enhance public awareness of this hazard.

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