Potential effects of volcanic gases. Gas exhalations from volcanic fields are widespread and historical accounts suggest that already since antiquity the effects were noted by people. The effects of volcanoes on the environment depend on climate patterns, the overall scale of the eruption and how much the gases spread. Sometimes volcanic gases cause lingering detrimental side effects, such as acid rain. Volcanic gases are probably the least showy part of a volcanic eruption, but they can be one of an eruption's most deadly effects. Sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen are released in smaller amounts. Gases derived from volcanoes have severe detrimental impacts on vegetation; direct exposure to volcanic gases over a long term period is lethal to most plant life (McGee, 1997). effects depend on the distance of a volcano, the viscosity of the magma and the concentrations of gas. It is formed during volcanic explosions, from avalanches of hot rock that flow down the side of volcanoes, or from red-hot liquid lava spray. Volcanic ash is often hot very close to the volcano but is cool when it falls at greater distances. If the acid droplets are large enough, they prevent heat from escaping Earth's atmosphere. Water vapor, the most common gas released by volcanoes, causes few problems. Other common volcanic gases include carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, along with various hydrogen compounds. At low levels, gases can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. About: Causes and Effects of volcanic eruption Introduction It is already known that volcanic eruption can cause cooling effects on earth by throwing sulfuric acid droplets and ash particles into the atmosphere that eventually block sunlight. Volcanic gases have claimed directly the lives of >2000 people over the past 600 years (Auker et al. No studies on health effects of volcanic releases of halogen gases or metal vapors were located. That results in higher temperatures, an element of the greenhouse effect. The most common gas released by volcanoes is simple water vapor, or steam. The volcanic gases that pose the greatest potential hazard to people, animals, agriculture, and property are sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen fluoride.Locally, sulfur dioxide gas can lead to acid rain and air pollution downwind from a volcano. Another problem the environment is the ash that is released when a volcano erupts. Amounts of these gases vary widely from one volcanic eruption to the next. Some impacts were on a large scale, affecting several countries (e.g., Laki fissure eruption in Iceland in 1783-4). Although gases usually blow away rapidly, it is possible that people who are close to the volcano or who are in the low-lying areas downwind may be exposed to levels that may affect health. 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