Sulfur mountain in Hokkaido.

by Kurt(U.S.A)

The name of "Sulfur Mountain" can be seen all over the world, needles to say. Even in Hokkaido, two of them are in the eastern part of Hokkaido.
One is in Shiretoko peninsula which was on the list of the world heritage of UNESCO.  The other is near the lake Kussharo and  many people visit this area from other part of this island and the globe.
This area was prohibited to enter because Japanese army owned and controled this area to produce gunpowder.
Now this are is one of the most popular part in Hokkaido to visit.
 The visitors do not have to wear gas mask but the smell is terrible but not to abhor. Crystallized sulfur can be seen on the surface of this mountain. Eggs are boiled in the basin of small crators.  
I am wondering why the municipality or prefctural government do not limit off this area making use of ropes or plastic cones for safety. Is it not dangerous ? Or is the gas good for health?
Everybody is on his/her own but some consideration should be shown, I think.
Am I wrong?


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  2. I wouldn't worry too much about public safety here. Sulfur (S) is considered to be very low on the toxicity scale- more toxic than, say, pure water, but less toxic than many other chemicals. In fact, it can combine with copper and reduce that chemical's toxicity. And S is a necessary component of several amino acids and proteins. It's also a catalyst in the process of photosynthesis, so it's more correct to consider S a "good" chemical than a "bad" one. The characteristic flavors of mustard, onion and garlic owe much to their S content.