Volcanoes: An important source for pollutants (contribution July 2017)

Volcanic activity represents an important source for gas and particle emissions, which are potentially harmful for human health and environment. As millions of people live nearby to volcanoes and as volcanoes are important touristic attractions, and therefore, considerable economic factors, the interaction of humans with their emissions cannot be completely avoided. Consequently, it is of paramount importance to understand the hazardous impact of volcanic gases and particles on air quality. Therefore, a joint project by FUB – Research Group for Environmental Monitoring, INGV - Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia , University of Fribourg and Particle Vision was started past Tuesday to test passive sampler systems for monitoring volcanic gases and particles. The sampling takes place at Solfatara within the densely populated “Campi Flegrei” north of Naples (Italy) and will last for the next three months.

Sigma-2 in action at Solfatara (Campi Flegrei, Italy)

 

Dust detectives

Fribourg Network Magazine

 

Already widely used in forensics, the analytical methods used by the Fribourg firm Particle Vision is a world first in the field. " In some ways, you could say we are dust detectives", explains Juanita Rausch, Co-Director of the company based in the Fri Up business incubator. The experts at Particle Vision, however, go much further. Using an extremly powerful microscope, they are even able to distinguish the particle type and determine their provenance. "There are over 200 fundamental types of particle" As a result, it is also now possible to assess, with great precision, the impact that this particles have  on our quality of life. "Tlake pollen, for example. Even when there is much of it in the air, the only real health risk that comes with it is an allergic reaction. However, the same can definitely not  be said of heavy metal particles, wich are often emitted by road traffic!"

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