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Short term exposure to high enough levels of SO2 can be life threatening.  Generally, exposures to SO2 cause a burning sensation in the nose and throat.  Also, SO2 exposure can cause difficulty breathing, including changes in the body’s ability to take a breath or breathe deeply, or take in as much air per breath.  Long term exposure to sulphur dioxide can cause changes in lung function and aggravate existing heart disease.  Asthmatics may be sensitive to changes in respiratory effects due to SO2 exposure at even low concentrations. Sulphur Dioxide is not classified as a human carcinogen (it has not been shown to cause cancer in humans).