When volcanoes erupt, they release a multitude of gases that if inhaled in large quantities will be harmful to humans. These include: Carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, methane, hydrogen gas. These gases can leak out from dormant volcanoes, but at very slow rates, and not typically at levels that would cause large threats to humans
Volcanic lakes have been known to release large clouds of toxic gasses that can actually kill entire towns of people. This has happened a few times. In the 1986, Lake Nyos in Cameroon released a cubic kilometer of carbon dioxide that killed 1,700 people nearby. In 1984, a release from Lake Monoun (near Lake Nyos) killed 37.
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