Toxic vog in Kona Hawaii

I have a jeweler friend who lives in the Captain Cook area of the Big
Island in Hawaii. This area around Kona gets a lot of “vog” which is
volcanoe smog in the form of sulphur dioxide plus probably other
great toxic gasses. My friend heard a rumour that the sulphur dioxide
can mix with the gold dust in his nose and turn into mercury. Does
anyone know anything about this possibility and whether there might
be any scientific truth to this. I of course hope not.

Of course not! Gold is an element and can’t be turned into
mercury(another element) by a chemical reaction any more than the old
alchemists could change lead(another element) into gold. BUT what if
you had a powder that was actually an almalgum of gold and mercury?
What would be the reaction of the sulphur dioxide vapor from the
volcano that could change into sulphuric acid with the moisture in
his nose? Would that combine with mercury? Margaret Malm, chemist,
can you clarify this?

Rose Alene McArthur


If true then the centuries of work by alchemists attempts to
transmute lead to gold might not have been in vain.

If “vog” will do the trick I’ll move to Hawaii and figure out some
way to get 30 pounds of lead through air security :slight_smile:

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing