Volcanic Gases and Aerosols

The following pages contain information relating to the health hazards of gases and aerosols typically emitted during volcanic activity. Each section outlines the properties of the emission; its impacts on health; international guidelines for concentrations; and examples of concentrations and effects in volcanic contexts, including casualties.

The entire Gas Guidelines database can be downloaded here as a PDF.

Before looking at the emissions data, we recommend that you read the general introduction to volcanic gases and aerosols first. A Glossary to some of the terms used in the explanations and guidelines is also provided.

For information on a particular emission follow the link below:


Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) Hydrogen Fluoride (HF) Particulate Matter (PM) and Aerosol

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Download our pamphlets on preparing for ashfall and on the health hazards of ash. They are designed for mass distribution at the onset of new eruptions. They are now avaiable in English, Japanese, French Spanish, Portuguese, Swahili, Indonesian and Icelandic with Italian versions being available shortly. Please see our Pamphlets page for further infomation.





The report on the health hazard of ash which fell on Iceland during the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull is now available to download. Our pamhlets are also available in Icelandic for download.



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