Customer Service

 Customer Survey

LABConnect™ - Online Results & More

Tutorial | Create Account | Login

Environmental Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 3/18/2021
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Monitoring for Sulfur Dioxide, Particulate Matter and Other Airborne Pollutants Associated with Volcanic Smog
Introduction EMSL Analytical provides outdoor and indoor air testing services, sampling supplies and real-time monitoring instruments to identify airborne pollutants due to natural and man-made events.

Cinnaminson, NJ, March 18th, 2021

Volcanic smog, commonly referred to as vog, is a form of air pollution well-known to the residents of Hawaii and others in various parts of the globe. Vog is described by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) as a hazy mixture of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and aerosols (tiny particles or droplets) which are primarily sulfuric acid and other sulfate (SO4) compounds.

These aerosols are created when sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases combine in the atmosphere and interact chemically with oxygen, moisture, dust and sunlight over minutes to days. The exact composition of vog depends on how much time the volcanic plume has had to react in the atmosphere. In areas far (tens to hundreds of km or miles) from active vents, aerosols are the main component of vog. Closer to the volcano, vog contains both aerosols and unreacted SO2 gas.

Due to these gases and particulate pollution, the USGS reports that vog can pose a health hazard by aggravating people’s preexisting respiratory ailments. Sulfur dioxide gas can irritate skin and the tissues and mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat, and can penetrate airways, producing respiratory distress in some individuals. Aerosol particles in vog can also penetrate deep into human lungs and, at elevated levels, can induce symptoms of asthma. Physical complaints associated with vog exposure reported by USGS include headaches, breathing difficulties, increased susceptibility to respiratory ailments, watery eyes, sore throat, flu-like symptoms and a general lack of energy.

The agency also reports that tiny droplets of sulfuric acid in vog creates acid rain, which can leach lead from roofing and plumbing materials, such as nails, paint, solder and metal flashings. Leached lead poses a health hazard when it contaminates drinking water in rooftop rainwater-catchment systems. Also, when vog mixes directly with moisture on the leaves of plants it can cause severe chemical burns, which can damage or kill the plants. Sulfur dioxide gas can also diffuse through leaves and dissolve to form acidic conditions within plant tissue, damaging agricultural crops. In addition, the presence of vog reduces visibility, creating a potential hazard for drivers and it can limit visibility for air and ocean traffic.

“In the U.S., vog is primarily an issue on the Big Island of Hawaii, but when conditions are right, it can impact people 200 miles away in Oahu,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “There are occasions when a million people can be impacted on any given day. At EMSL, we provide air monitoring instruments to detect and measure particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and other airborne pollutants. Our laboratories provide analyses of outdoor and indoor air samples as well as lead testing for water stored in water catchment systems. These tools and laboratory services can be instrumental for monitoring conditions. They are especially useful for specific industries, such as agriculture, tourism and transportation, which can be particularly vulnerable to vog.”

EMSL also recently sponsored an educational video about exposure risks to vog that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/09wm6K34luQ.

To learn more about this or environmental, health and safety testing services, sampling supplies and monitoring instruments, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.
Ann Arbor, MI (LAB 08) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-4Atlanta, GA (LAB 07) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-1Baton Rouge, LA (LAB 25) - NVLAP Lab Code 200375-0Beltsville, MD (LAB 19) - NVLAP Lab Code 200293-0Boston, MA (LAB 13) - NVLAP Lab Code 101147-0Buffalo, NY (LAB 14) - NVLAP Lab Code 200056-0Carle Place, NY (LAB 06) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-10Charlotte, NC (LAB 41) - NVLAP Lab Code 200841-0Chicago, IL (LAB 26) - NVLAP Lab Code 200399-0Cinnaminson, NJ (LAB List in Description) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-0Dallas, TX (LAB 11) - NVLAP Lab Code 600111-0Denver, CO (LAB 22) - NVLAP Lab Code 200828-0EMSL Canada - Calgary, AB (LAB 65) - NVLAP Lab Code 500100-0EMSL Canada - Montreal, QC (LAB 68) - NVLAP Lab Code 201052-0EMSL Canada - Ottawa, ON (LAB 67) - NVLAP Lab Code 201040-0EMSL Canada - Toronto, ON (LAB 55) - NVLAP Lab Code 200877-0EMSL Canada - Vancouver, BC (LAB 69) - NVLAP Lab Code 201068-0Fort Lauderdale, FL (LAB 56) - NVLAP Lab Code 500085-0Houston, TX (LAB 15) - NVLAP Lab Code 102106-0Huntington Beach, CA (LAB 33) - NVLAP Lab Code 101384-0Indianapolis, IN (LAB 16) - NVLAP Lab Code 200188-0Kernersville, NC (LAB 02) - NVLAP Lab Code 102104-0Las Vegas, NV (LAB 31) - NVLAP Lab Code 600140-0Miami, FL (LAB 17) - NVLAP Lab Code 200204-0Minneapolis, MN (LAB 35) - NVLAP Lab Code 200019-0New York, NY (LAB 03) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-9Ontario, California (San Bernadino County / Inland Empire) (LAB 71) - NVLAP Lab Code 600239-0Orlando, FL (LAB 34) - NVLAP Lab Code 101151-0Phoenix, AZ (LAB 12) - NVLAP Lab Code 200811-0Piscataway, NJ (LAB 05) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-2Plymouth Meeting, PA (LAB 18) - NVLAP Lab Code 200699-0Raleigh, NC (LAB 29) - NVLAP Lab Code 200671-0Rochester, NY (LAB 53) - NVLAP Lab Code 600183-0Salem, NH (LAB 23) - NVLAP Lab Code 201051-0San Diego, CA (LAB 43) - NVLAP Lab Code 200855-0San Leandro, CA (LAB 09) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-3Seattle, WA (LAB 51) - NVLAP Lab Code 200613-0South Pasadena, CA (LAB 32) - NVLAP Lab Code 200232-0South Portland, ME (LAB 62) - NVLAP Lab Code 500094-0St. Louis, MO (LAB 39) - NVLAP Lab Code 200742-0Syracuse, NY (LAB 73) - NVLAP Lab Code 600283-0Tampa, FL (LAB 93) - NVLAP Lab Code 600215-0Wallingford, CT (LAB 24) - NVLAP Lab Code 200700-0West Palm Beach, FL (LAB 57) - NVLAP Lab Code 600206-0
Sorry, this function is disabled.