During the eighteenth century, chemists in the Kingdom of Naples (the South of Italy) were very busy analyzing the chemical composition of ash from Mount Vesuvius. Undoubtedly, after a huge eruption this dusty phenomenon was the most important scientific object of debate. In fact, it was crucial to determine if there were dangerous elements in the ash so that the population could be warned about the potential hazards, such as polluted drinking water. This was not at all a simple issue, as on the other hand there were scholars who realized that ash could be beneficial as a fertilizer, even as clouds of ash had obscured the sun. As chemical inquiries became more precise and the toxic concentration of many elements became known, this double life of Vesuvian ash as a scientific object gradually died.

A Terrifying Poison or a Cheap Fertilizer? The Life and Death of Mount Vesuvius Ash

C. Guerra
2021

Abstract

During the eighteenth century, chemists in the Kingdom of Naples (the South of Italy) were very busy analyzing the chemical composition of ash from Mount Vesuvius. Undoubtedly, after a huge eruption this dusty phenomenon was the most important scientific object of debate. In fact, it was crucial to determine if there were dangerous elements in the ash so that the population could be warned about the potential hazards, such as polluted drinking water. This was not at all a simple issue, as on the other hand there were scholars who realized that ash could be beneficial as a fertilizer, even as clouds of ash had obscured the sun. As chemical inquiries became more precise and the toxic concentration of many elements became known, this double life of Vesuvian ash as a scientific object gradually died.
34
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
PRE-PRINT_Guerra_A Scary Poison or a Cheap Fertilizer.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Documento in Pre-print
Licenza: Accesso chiuso-personale
Dimensione 225.28 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
225.28 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5003356
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact