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Volcanos  
 
 

Volcanic ash can travel hundreds to thousands of miles downwind from a volcano. Fresh volcanic ash is gritty, abrasive, sometimes corrosive, and always unpleasant. Although ash is not highly toxic, it can trouble infants, the elderly, and those with respiratory ailments. Ash can also get in your eyes and scratch them, especially when it's windy. Ash can be hazardous to grazing livestock and can damage or force the shutdown of drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. The volcanic gases that pose the greatest potential hazards are sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen fluoride. Locally, sulfur dioxide gas can lead to acid rain and air pollution downwind from a volcano.

This site provides information about preparing for and recovering from volcanic eruptions and ashfall, and about EPA's response to the Mount St. Helens activity (to the right).

General preparation and recovery
Health issues
Environmental impacts
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General preparation and recovery

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