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Volcanic Smog in Hawaii - Essay Example

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Instructor Date Effects of Volcanic Smog in Hawaii The state of Hawaii comprises eight islands, which have several volcanoes. However, of all the islands, only the Big Island has an active volcano. Kilauea Volcano is known for its volcanic activities since the early 1980s…
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Volcanic Smog in Hawaii
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Download file to see previous pages The volcanic smog created by Kilauea volcano is hazardous to the surrounding population as well as the whole island, economically, socially, environmentally, and physically. A volcanic smog results when sulfur dioxide mixes with different other gases, moisture, and sunlight in the atmosphere. Sulfur dioxide is produced, whether the volcanic activity was small or big. The effects of volcanic smog are greatly felt by those people living very close to the volcano. However, those living far away from the volcano are still affected, though in a lower measure. This is mainly because of the action of winds, which transfer the smog to different areas. In Hawaii, it is estimated that there has been approximately 50 volcanic eruptions in the twentieth Century only (Rado Web). Water in the area is greatly affected by the volcanic smog. First, there is the formation of acidic rain when sulfur dioxide in the gases emitted reacts with Oxygen in the air. The acid rain is lethal to plants, animals, and human beings. This therefore leads to other major effects. People in Hawaii Island mainly depended on rooftop rainwater for drinking and domestic and farm use. Therefore, when the volcanic smog results in acidic rain, this means the people cannot benefit from this water, as it is not safe for any use. This water cannot be drunk as it is contaminated. Therefore, they have to look for alternative sources of water for domestic use. Similarly, the acidic rain is not good for plants and other organisms. Most people in Hawaii Island practise farming as their main source of income. They plant different crops including flowers in plantations. When acidic rain occurs, the crops in plantations are destroyed, and this has forced most farmers living around Kilauea Volcano to abandon farming and look for alternative means of survival (“NCBCNEWS” Web). The sulfur dioxide in the volcanic smog has had disastrous effects on one Kau district. Many farms and nurseries have been destroyed, in addition to putting at risk flower and vegetable farms and other crops such as tomatoes, lettuce, medical marijuana, as well as sunflower, and roses. The Hawaii government, because of the economic depression has not been able to compensate farmers for the losses, forcing most farmers to relocate. This has therefore disrupted the economic and social set-up of people, including farmers, as some have been compelled to move out of Hawaii in search of different jobs (“NCBCNEWS” Web). Apart from the economic effects, volcanic smog also affects the health of people. The volcanic smog comprises a variety of dangerous gases, and small particles and droplets that have high levels of acidity. All these can be inhaled by people, to rest in the lungs. This affects the mucus membrane and lungs, as well as lung function. This is in addition to the worsening of lung conditions such as asthma, and bronchitis, among others (“MedlinePlus.” Web). In 1997, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) noted that respiratory problems due to sulfur vapors mostly affect young children (Rado Web).This is because their lungs are still developing and so might have long-term effects on the children. This puts at the risk the future population of Hawaii Island, as these children are the future of the society. Collaborating with the Hawaii Department of Health, the NIEHS conducted a health research in Hawaii to establish the relationship between volcanic smog and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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