Kilauea eruption raises potential for air quality hazards as vog returns to west Hawaii Island
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The public is being advised to prepare for air quality impacts due to the recent Kilauea eruption, according to the Hawaii Department of Health.
As of Sunday, permanent air quality monitoring stations across the state report elevated air quality levels at the Ocean View and Pahala air quality monitoring stations.
HDH officials say the eruption has caused vog conditions to return to the west side of Hawaii Island.
In the event of voggy conditions, the following precautionary measures are advised by the HDH:
- Reduce outdoor activities that cause heavy breathing. This is especially important for sensitive groups, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with preexisting respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic lung and heart disease.
- People with asthma or other chronic respiratory disease should always have medications available. Daily prescribed medications should be taken on schedule.
- People experiencing health effects should contact their medical provider as soon as possible if any symptoms develop, as respiratory conditions might worsen rapidly in heavy sulfur dioxide or vog conditions.
- Stay indoors and close windows and doors. If an air conditioner is used, set it to recirculate. If you need to move out of an impacted area, turn on the car’s air conditioner and set it to recirculate.
- Face masks (surgical, cloth, KF94, KN95, N95) do not protect from sulfur dioxide or vog. However, they can be effective in outdoor environments in reducing inhaled hazardous particulates associated with falling ash and Pele’s hair.
- Do not smoke and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Vog and air quality updates are available through the:
- Hawaiʻi Interagency Vog Information Dashboard
- DOH Clean Air Branch
- U.S. Geological Survey — Kilauea Updates
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