In this May 23, 2018, photo provided by Chris Stewart the sun sets through “vog,” or volcanic smog, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island has had it all over the past three weeks: molten rock shooting toward the sky, lava oozing from the ground and ash clouds rising miles into the air. You can also add “vog” to the mix. Retired photojournalist Chris Stewart says there’s one good thing about vog: It intensifies the colors of a sunset. But it depends on how thick the haze is. “Some days it’s thin enough you can see the sun passing through,” he said. “But other days we just go inside because we can’t see it at all.” (Chris Stewart via AP)

Besides lava and ash, Hawaii volcano is pumping out 'vog'

May 27, 2018 - 12:25 pm

HONOLULU (AP) — A volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is creating "vog," or volcanic smog.

The air pollution occurs when vapor, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide from Kilauea mix together.

In recent days, scientists have recorded higher sulfur dioxide emissions at the volcano's summit, which creates heavier than usual vog.

The gray haze in the air can cause coughing, sore throats, headaches and other symptoms in generally healthy people. And vog can be even more problematic for those with respiratory problems.

So far, trade winds have been mostly blowing the vog offshore.

With the current conditions, communities where lava fissures have opened and those downwind are the most affected. The Big Island is Hawaii's largest island, so there are still plenty of areas that aren't suffering from the effects of vog.

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