Is Volcano Ash A Risk to the Atmosphere?


Many studies in recent years have concluded that there is a link between airborne volcanic ash and poor air quality.

erupting volcano
erutping volcano (click here for original source image)

Volcanic ash and other volcanic ash particles are constantly deposited on the ground and in the air. These ash particles act as a filter for many contaminants. Some research even suggests that airborne volcanic ash can reduce the effectiveness of air conditioners.

Are these claims true or do scientists need to conduct more research in this area?

A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency attempts to answer this question. This latest study looked at two sites near two volcanoes in the Eastern United States; one in Loudoun and the other in Lithia Mountain. The study measured the air quality in these two sites during two different times of the summer. They found that the air quality on the volcano site was significantly better than the air quality on the Lithia Mountain site. What does this mean?