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Authors: D'Alessandro, W.* 
Aiuppa, A.* 
Bellomo, S.* 
Brusca, L.* 
Calabrese, S.* 
Kyriakopoulos, K.* 
Liotta, M.* 
Longo, M.* 
Title: Sulphur-gas concentrations in volcanic and geothermal areas in Italy and Greece: Characterising potential human exposures and risks
Issue Date: Aug-2013
Series/Report no.: /131 (2013)
DOI: 10.1016/j.gexplo.2012.08.015
Keywords: Sulphur dioxide
Hydrogen sulphide
Volcanic risks
Gas hazard
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.01. Atmosphere::01.01.07. Volcanic effects 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: Passive samplers were used to measure the atmospheric concentrations of SO2 naturally emitted at three volcanoes in Italy (Etna, Vulcano and Stromboli) and of H2S naturally emitted at three volcanic/geothermal areas in Greece (Milos, Santorini and Nisyros). The measured concentrations and dispersion patterns varied with the strength of the source (open conduits or fumaroles), the meteorological conditions and the area topography. At Etna, Vulcano and Stromboli, SO2 concentrations reach values that are dangerous to people affected by bronchial asthma or lung diseases (>1000 μg m−3). H2S values measured at Nisyros also exceed the limit considered safe for the same group of people (>3000 μg m−3). The data obtained using passive samplers represent time-averaged values over periods from a few days up to 1 month, and hence concentrations probably reached much higher peak values that were potentially also dangerous to healthy people. The present study provides evidence of a peculiar volcanic risk associated with tourist exploitation of active volcanic areas. This risk is particularly high at Mt. Etna, where the elderly and people in less-than-perfect health can easily reach areas with dangerous SO2 concentrations via a cableway and off-road vehicles
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