In the past years, the Turrialba volcano has kept a degassing activity. Gradually, this dynamic has shown its effects on the vegetation and infrastructure of the communities surrounding the volcano. Some of the substances of this degassing activity include increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide that are capable of affecting the respiratory health of those exposed to them. The objective of this research is to analyze the proclivity of the surrounding populations to develop respiratory symptoms due to aerial exposure of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide from the Turrialba volcano. The research consisted of a cross-sectional, descriptive, analytical and quantitative study. The study was conducted in eight communities, obtaining a sample of 502 people. The interviewed communities were: Hacienda La Fuente, La Central, La Silvia, Miravalles, Finca El Retiro, Guayabo Arriba, Las Virtudes and La Alegría, the latter being the control community. The strata with higher risk of throat discomfort when exposed to volcanic gases were children and the elderly (OR = 1.93), females (OR = 1.86), people who cook with several types of cook stoves (OR = 2.07), individuals with outdoor occupations (OR=1.51) and those with incomes equal to or greater than $ 475 (OR = 2.09). The strata with higher risk of throat discomfort were children and the elderly (OR = 1.37), females (OR = 1.83), people who cook with electric stove (OR = 2.23), individuals with occupations within buildings (2.12) and those with incomes lower than $ 475 (OR = 2.30).

Keywords: respiratory system, respiratory diseases, atmospheric pollution, public health, epidemiology, environment, risk