Vog: Volcanic Release Can Be Harmful To Our Persons/Environment

vogVog: Volcanic Release Can Be Harmful To Our Persons/Environment

With the recent eruption on Hawaii’s big island, its residents are in danger of air pollution due to vog chemicals. With these chemicals in air animals, plants, and humans are all at risk. Vog is most commonly used as the name of the Kīlauea volcano smoke and it does differ from regular smog. What are the health hazards if this toxin doesn’t clear up soon? What is the difference between vog and smog? Find out today, with our article over Vog risk.

Vog VS Smog

‘Vog’ refers to the hazy air pollution caused by the volcanic emissions from Kīlauea volcano, which are primarily water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas.  Smog is different from vog in the sense that smog is the stuff that will make you a cough and burn your eyes. On the other hand, vog is a specific type of air pollution that comes only from volcanic activity. Those with respiratory conditions, cardiovascular disease, older adults, and infants are all at a higher risk of their health being affected by released the chemical. The gas can cause short-term irritation to eyes, your nose, coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

Vog Environmental Risk

Vog is unpleasant for all, but our environment suffers just as much from its release. When a volcano erupts, it produces molten lava in various forms, which hurts our environment. Vog can also produce a thick cloud of smoke that can block out the sun from shedding light onto plants. Although some species of plants have adapted to the chemical releases of vog, not all plants can survive a massive outpour. Back in 2009 an outpour of vog actually caused Hawaii farmers to shut down. We cannot determine when eruptions will stop, but taking an active approach to minimizing the damage can help save many plant/animal life in the areas most susceptible to vog.

There are many ways to help reduce exposure to pollution. One way is to wear mask filters or respirators when a release has happened. Drinking fluids will help reduce the effects of vog such as keeping your throat and eyes moist. When vog levels are high relaxed and try to keep practices indoors. Hot teas and herbs have been known to help detox yourself. Keep any respiratory filters, CPAP machines, asthma aids and heart medications you use close and if you begin to feel sick in anyway contact your medical provider asap. 

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