The Vog Measurement and Prediction Project – VMAP.. Healthy Weather???


The Vog Measurement and Prediction Project (VMAP) provides real-time vog forecasts. With the help of our project collaborators vog forecasts are available to the public through this web site. Comments and inquiries can be directed to the appropriate contact. We welcome constructive comments from all VMAP users, and strive to provide the best possible service consistent with our mission and resources. Inquiries into actual measured values and concerns regarding hazardous conditions should be directed to the appropriate agency such as the Hawaii State Department of Health. The VMAP website is intended to be complementary to the data provided by other state and federal agencies.

Vog is primarily a mixture of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and sulfate (SO4) aerosol. SO2 (invisible) reacts with oxygen and moisture in the air to produce SO4 aerosol (visible). SO2 is expected to be the main problem in areas near the vent (Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Pahala, Na`alehu, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates) and SO4 aerosol is expected to be the main problem at locations far from the vent (Kona and farther north and west). For more information on vog visit the FAQ page here.

Vog and Your Health

The links and material on this page are provided to summarize findings about the effects of vog on health.

Health Effects

How vog affects human health is the topic of active research. Children and those with pre-existing lung conditions are the most vulnerable to its effects. Some studies show that children and those with pre-existing respiratory problems are more likely to visit a medical clinic or emergency room during vog episodes. Although vog exposure has not been shown to cause childhood asthma, it has been shown to aggravate asthma in those already diagnosed with the condition.

When exposed to vog, some people report eye, nose, throat, and/or skin irritation, coughing and/or phlegm, chest tightness and/or shortness of breath, headache, and increased susceptibility to respiratory ailments. Some people also report fatigue and/or dizziness. One researcher also found vog is associated with high blood pressure. Another researcher found a link to anxiety. More detail on the health effects on vog can be found in the References section, or by visiting the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network.

Disclaimer: The information contained in the VMAP website is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep the information accurate and up-to-date, we make no representations, warranties, or guarantees about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the VMAP website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the VMAP website for any purpose. Although every effort is made to avoid interruptions to VMAP access, any reliance upon any information presented is strictly at your own risk. In no event will the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the UH-M Department of Atmospheric Sciences, the VMAP team, or any personnel or collaborator associated with VMAP be liable for any losses or damages (direct or indirect) without limitation whatsoever in connection with the use of the VMAP website. The general public is welcome to use the VMAP at this time and by its use implicitly agrees to the terms of this disclaimer.

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