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

English Dutch French German Greek Italian Japanese Portuguese Russian Spanish Indonesian

Latest News


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.





IVHHN has an article under the Guidelines tab which used to be called 'Recommended Face Masks'. This has now been updated to 'Information on face masks' and is an interim page whilst the Health Interventions in Volcanic Eruptions project investigates which types of respiratory protection are effective in protecting the general population from volcanic ash inhalation. Please note that the translations in Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese have not yet been updated.



WebSTAT - Free Web Statistics