Volcanic Laze: What Is it and How Can You Protect Yourself?

With Kilauea’s recent increase in activity, air quality on the Big Island of Hawaii has seen several major problems over the last few weeks. Two weeks ago, we published an article about the threat of vog, or volcanic smog, which at that time was the biggest air quality concern related to the volcano. Since then, though, a new threat, called laze, has presented itself. Here’s what you need to know about volcanic laze if you live on the Big Island.

 

  What Is Volcanic Laze?

 

Laze, or lava haze, is a phenomenon that occurs when lava from a volcano makes contact with water and cools rapidly. This cooling causes some of the lava to turn into a fine, particulate glass, which is then carried into the air by the steam that also results from the rapid cooling. At the same time, chemicals contained in the lava react with water to form toxic compounds, most notably hydrochloric acid. The result is a potentially dangerous airborne mixture of incredibly tiny glass shards and toxic fumes.

 

  What is the Best Way to Protect Yourself?

 

To filter out the gases and particles that make up volcanic laze, you’ll need a combination HEPA and carbon filter air purifier. Some of our top combination air purifiers that can ship quickly to Hawaii include:

 

  •   Airpura P600: With a heavy-duty carbon filter and a true HEPA filter, this unit is one of the best for filtering both particles and gases. Filters up to 2,000 square feet.
  •   EnviroKlenz: One of the best air purifiers on the market for gases and VOCs, the EnviroKlenz portable air purifier uses proprietary filtering technology to remove airborne chemicals. This unit also features true HEPA filtration and can clean up to 800 square feet, making it excellent for smaller homes and apartments.
  •   Airpura C600DLX: A counterpart to the P600, the Airpura C600DLX focuses mainly on gases and odors, but also features a HEPA post-filter, making it a good choice for protecting against both vog and laze.

 

For times when you have to be outside, we recommend using EnviroKlenz’s face masks. These masks can offer some protection against particles in the air, but unlike most face masks, they also contain a special blend of impregnated minerals that will help to filter out gases and odors.

 

If you live in Hawaii and have any questions about protecting yourself from laze or vog, please feel free to reach out to us with your questions. Also, if you haven’t already, check out our previous blog post for tips on how to run your air purifiers in order to best protect yourself while Kilauea’s activity continues.