The sulphur blocks collected on Ijen can be processed to produce many products. Historically, sulfur was used in gunpowder and is now mainly used in cosmetics and bleaching sugars.
Lake Ijen is the largest acidic crater lake in the world and is known for it’s blue-green. Scientists worry that if a volcano or an earthquake erupts, the flooding of Lake Ijen will cause devastating disasters to nearby communities.
The crater is filled with toxic volcanic gases, and the miners do not usually wear protective equipment.
The miners need to carry 70-90 kilograms of sulfur across rugged mountain roads.
41-year-old Sunarto took two baskets of sulfur to get out of the crater.