Hawaii Lava Creates New Health Hazards as It Reaches Pacific Ocean

Lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano hit the Pacific Ocean after explosions this weekend, and the molten rock hitting the water is sending hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass particles into the air. The lava crossed one of the island’s highways and into the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, creating “laze”—or lava and haze. The resulting gases and substances that are released into the air can cause lung, eye, and skin irritation, and have led to deaths in the past. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has also observed that sulfur-dioxide emissions have tripled, and the lava from the volcano has destroyed “at least 40 structures” so far.