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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VOG: OUR HEALTH… WHAT IS THIS HAWAII?


WHAT IS VOG???

WARNING: STAY INSIDE YOUR HOMES IF POSSIBLE.

by Chad Rhodes May 8, 2018 10:34 AM


The big question the last few days has been “Whats the VOG going to do to us humans and our pets?”

Noxious sulfur dioxide gas and other pollutants emitted from Kilauea Volcano on the Island of Hawai`i react with oxygen and atmospheric moisture to produce volcanic smog (vog) and acid rain. Vog poses a health hazard by aggravating preexisting respiratory ailments, and acid rain damages crops and can leach lead into household water supplies. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is closely monitoring gas emissions from Kilauea and working with health professionals and local officials to better understand volcanic air pollution and to enhance public awareness of this hazard.

Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens are both consumed by noxious gases and are not safe for humans or pets to live in.

Thick, acrid haze has started to cover all of the East side of the island. A resident from Hawaiian Paradise Park, approximately 15 miles from the eruption in Leilani Estates said “for the last 2 days we have had vog and ash. As you can see my fan is covered in what I am assuming is ash from Leilani Estates or Kilauea”.

We were warned early and told that outdoor activities in parks/ beaches might be canceled in affected areas and that schools might need to keep children indoors. People were also warned to be aware of respiratory problems, as these conditions could deteriorate more rapidly in areas of heavier haze. Keep your pets indoors if possible. This choking haze was not caused by a forest fire or industrial pollution but by light winds blowing gas emissions from Leilani Estates and/or Kilauea Volcano into the area.

SO2 is a poisonous gas that irritates skin and the tissues and mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and throat. During even moderate physical activity, SO2 penetrates deeply into the airway and can produce respiratory distress in some individuals.

Many residents and visitors on the Island of Hawai`i report physical complaints associated with vog exposure. These complaints include headaches, breathing difficulties, increased susceptibility to respiratory ailments, watery eyes, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, and a general lack of energy. In contrast to SO2 gas concentration near Kilauea, the amount of aerosol particles in Hawaii’s air does not routinely exceed Federal standards, but the unique combination of acidic particles, trace amounts of toxic metals, and SO2 gas in vog may account for the wide variety of physical symptoms reported.

For More Information on Vog please see USGS