[Ads-l] laze

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 25 16:07:31 EDT 2018

My latest WSJ column covers both "vog" and "laze," among other volcanic


If paywalled, try the link in my Twitter feed:


Garson already posted the 1950 cite for "vog." The earliest I found for
"laze" is from Mar. 1990. Note that both "vog" and "laze" are given the
all-caps treatment, in line with what Chris said about the terms being
presented as if they were acronyms.

Honolulu Advertiser, Mar. 13, 1990, p. A3, col. 1
VOG and 'LAZE' health tips offered
A seven-page advisory on what to do about volcanic gas fumes and acids was
issued yesterday by Harry Kim, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator.
The how-to-cope message concerns VOG - the volcanic fog or haze from the
gases at the vents at Pu'u 'O'o and Kupaianaha - and what Kim calls "LAZE."

(Kim is now the mayor of Hawaii County.)

On Mon, May 21, 2018 at 2:13 PM, Chris Waigl <chris at lascribe.net> wrote:

> As far as the scientific literature is concerned, there is a little
> flurry of mentions of laze in 1991, which may or may not be the origin
> of the term. It's linked explicitly with the Hawai'i volcanic hotspot
> and even Kilauea. It may be going back to "Case Studies: Exposures to
> Volcanic Emissions from the Hawaiian Volcanoes: A NIOSH Health Hazard
> Evaluation" from 1991
> (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1047322X.1991.1
> 0387905?journalCode=uaoh20),
> that is, the report provided by the US National Institution for
> Occupational Safety and Health in 1991 following the request it received
> in 1990 by the National Park Service  to "evaluate park employees'
> exposures to volcanic emissions (both gases and particulates)" at the
> Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The introduction mentions "acid mists
> when lava enters the ocean", and according to the Google Scholar search
> snippet, the text later uses the word "laze".
> But sometimes the word is still spelled as if it was an acronym in the
> 1990s. For example in "Characterization of air contaminants formed by
> the interaction of lava and sea water "
> (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1567144/) we have this
> abstract:
> ===
> We made environmental measurements to characterize contaminants
> generated when basaltic lava from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano enters sea
> water. This interaction of lava with sea water produces large clouds of
> mist (LAZE). Island winds occasionally directed the LAZE toward the
> adjacent village of Kalapana and the Hawaii Volcanos National Park,
> creating health concerns. Environmental samples were taken to measure
> airborne concentrations of respirable dust, crystalline silica and other
> mineral compounds, fibers, trace metals, inorganic acids, and organic
> and inorganic gases. The LAZE contained quantifiable concentrations of
> hydrochloric acid (HCl) and hydrofluoric acid (HF); HCl was predominant.
> HCl and HF concentrations were highest in dense plumes of LAZE near the
> sea. The HCl concentration at this sampling location averaged 7.1 ppm;
> this exceeds the current occupational exposure ceiling of 5 ppm. HF was
> detected in nearly half the samples, but all concentrations were <1 ppm
> Sulfur dioxide was detected in one of four short-term indicator tube
> samples at approximately 1.5 ppm. Airborne particulates were composed
> largely of chloride salts (predominantly sodium chloride). Crystalline
> silica concentrations were below detectable limits, less than
> approximately 0.03 mg/m3 of air. Settled dust samples showed a
> predominance of glass flakes and glass fibers. Airborne fibers were
> detected at quantifiable levels in 1 of 11 samples. These fibers were
> composed largely of hydrated calcium sulfate. These findings suggest
> that individuals should avoid concentrated plumes of LAZE near its
> origin to prevent over exposure to inorganic acids, specifically HCl.
> ===
> There are about a dozen of subsequent articles and agency reports
> referring to laze with definitions such as": This condition produces a
> localized
> atmospheric hazard known as lava haze or laze which can contain as much
> as 10 to 15 parts per million of hydrochloric acid."
> On a side note, a mix of HCl and HF mist sounds pretty terrible.
> Chris
> On 5/21/18 4:41 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > CNN chyron:
> >
> > "Lava Pours Into Pacific Ocean Causing 'Laze'"
> >
> > CNN human:
> >
> > "Laze: lava plus haze."
> >
> > JL
> >

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