How to cope with hazardous volcanic gas emissions

Posted on May 14, 2018 in 2018 Kilauea Eruption, Declared Disasters, Information and News Releases, Main, News Storys

The Hawaii State Department of Health reports that the current eruption activity is producing dangerous Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) gas and other emissions that present hazards to health, especially for the elderly, young children and babies, and people with respiratory problems. People who are downwind or close to the vents and lava flows are also at high risk. Be aware of the unpredictable nature of dangerous levels of SOgas; it can be carried far from the fissures depending on wind speed and direction.

Leaving the area of volcanic activity or sheltering in place are the best ways to protect yourself and your family. Only specialized masks available for purchase will protect from the dangerous gases and particulate matter that are being released in the current volcanic activity.

Take precautions. When levels of vog are elevated:

  • Avoid outdoor activities that cause heavy breathing,
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration,
  • Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke,
  • Stay indoors and close windows and doors prior to gas inundation,
  • If an air conditioner is used, set it to recirculate,
  • Always keep medications on hand and readily available,
  • Daily prescribed medications should be taken on schedule and may provide relief from the effects of sulfur dioxide, and
  • Contact a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any health problems.

Monitor vog levels and forecasts: People on Hawaii Island outside the area of volcanic activity are also advised to monitor levels of vog at https://vog.ivhhn.org/