vog“Vog” is a very familiar term used in Hawai‘i to describe the hazy conditions caused by volcanic emissions. Vog is the result of the gases being emitted into the air mixing with water vapor and very small particles, primarily sulfur compounds and sulfur dioxide.
The SO2 in vog is greatest near the sources (Halema‘uma‘u and Pu’u ‘O’o). SO2 levels generally are reduced at greater distances from the source. For example, although vog haze may be heavy in West Hawai‘i, the SO2 levels are typically very low due to the distance away from the source at Kīlauea. Consequently, impacts of small particulates are of greater concern than SO2 in West Hawai‘i. In communities near Kilauea, SO2 emissions may be a greater concern than particulates (vog).

Health effects:

Health effects from vog exposure vary greatly among individuals.
People with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis are more prone to the adverse effects of the vog.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Watery eyes