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Laze: The Newest Craze

What is Laze?

As everyone is well aware, the news of eruptions at Kilauea volcano on Hawaii Island has been sweeping across the nation, just weeks after Kauai and Oahu were hit with heavy floods. The news of eruptions has forced many to evacuate while also sparking warnings about toxic gas on Hawaii Island’s southern coastline after lava began flowing into the ocean and setting off a chemical reaction.

Over the past two weeks, close two dozen fissures have opened up and spewed lava and poisonous gas into residential areas on and surrounding the Kilauea dome.

Things haven’t gotten much better for Hawaii Island. Just this past Monday, another eruption occurred sending ash high into the atmosphere and further complicated volcanic pollution levels downwind of the volcano.

While most of us are familiar with the term vog, the volcanic air pollution that results from the sulfur dioxide gas released by the volcano. Its name is derived from a combination of the term volcanic fog.

Now the newest volcanic pollution term to hit our vocabulary is laze; a combination of the term lava haze.

According US Geological Survey Volcanoes:

“Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air. Health hazards of laze include lung damage, and eye and skin irritation. Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change directions.”;;playerWidth=630;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=14366749;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=News;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=fixedHawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

Laze is just one of the many threats associated with the eruptions and it won’t certainly be the last…Some of the other hazards residents and government officials are facing include earthquakes gushing molten rock, giant ash plumes, and sulfur dioxide. To make matters worse, a geothermal plant near one of the threats pose a major threat. A few weeks ago, close to 50,000 gallons flammable gas has been removed.

The eruptions have so far destroyed more than 40 buildings and forced more than 2,000 people to evacuate.

How Is This Impacting Maui?

While we pray for Hawaii Island, Maui is currently experiencing no side effects. Neither laze nor vog are impacting the air quality on Maui as the trade winds continue to circulate clean air. Even though we are the closet island to Hawaii Island, the air has so far been kind to the Valley Isle. The rest of the island chain also remains unaffected by vog or laze.

The Department of Health has announced has released several tips in dealing with the vog should it make its way over.

  • Refrain from outdoor activities that require heavy breathing (running, surfing, etc.)
  • Stay indoors and close windows
  • Set your air conditioner to recirculate air if you are running it
  • Make daily medication is readily available
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water
  • Prepare family emergency response plan

Contact Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Specialist


Ho’olei villas, we are also currently the in house “Sayles” team at Ho’olei Grand Wailea

Please interview me to be your trusted Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Advisor. I was born in South Maui and raised on the island, and spend a considerable amount of time to inform my clients about the best deals currently on the market. Please do not hesitate to call me for your Maui real estate needs. I am more than happy to assist you in your home search.


Anthony Sayles R(S)

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