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Although at least 455 million people worldwide live within potential exposure range of a volcano active within recorded history,1 surprisingly little primary epidemiological research on the health effects of volcanic emissions has been published. The research by Forbes and colleagues2 on the respiratory effects of the eruptions in Montserrat is therefore very welcome. However, more studies are needed to determine the transferability of results to volcanic emissions elsewhere. There may be important differences between volcanoes and between events from the same volcano in terms of eruption pattern, gaseous emissions, base composition of ash (for …