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Unstrange Phenomena

19 April 2010

Icelands Volcanic Ash: Hurting Us And Our Planet?

From Denny: It's just plain stupid to try and go out in this ash mess. After all, there are fine glass particles you will be inhaling along with poisonous gases, poisonous because they are in huge amounts. Here are a few gases to consider as harmful in this situation:

Florine - in small amounts it's a helpful chemical in our toothpaste when it's diluted by parts per million. In large amounts it's very harmful to humans and animals because it's corrosive.

Silica - harmful to our lungs where it can stick, lodge and be difficult for our lungs to expel it, causing us to have trouble breathing.

Sulpher Dioxide - can lead to acid rain. Apparently, the reflective properties of it can also lead to cooling the climate.

At the moment, scientists believe this volcano's impact on climate change and the environment is minimal. The Big However is that situation could easily change if the volcano continues to spew ash for months or even years. Now there's a happy thought...

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