The chemical composition of ice containing tephra (volcanic ash) layers in 22 sections of the Byrd Station ice core was examined to determine if the volcanic eruptions affected the chemical composition of the atmosphere and precipitation in the vicinity of Byrd Station. The liquid conductivity, acidity, sulfate, nitrate, aluminum, and sodium concentrations of ice samples deposited before, during, and after the deposition of the tephra layers were analyzed. Ice samples that contain tephra layers have, on average, about two times more sulfate and three to four times more aluminum than nonvolcanic ice samples. The acidity of ice samples associated with tephra layers is lowered by hydrolysis of silicate glass and minerals. Average nitrate, sodium, and conductivity are the same in all samples. Because much of the sulfur and chlorine originally associated with these eruptions may have been scavenged by ash particles, the atmospheric residence time of these volatiles would have been minimized. Therefore the eruptions probably had only a small effect on the composition of the Antarctic atmosphere and a negligible effect on local or global climate.