Changes of gas pressure in the moulding sand in the zone adjacent to mould cavity were analysed during pouring of cast iron. No significant effect of pressure on the surface quality of castings was observed. In the second series of tests, the concentration of hydrogen in the gas atmosphere was measured. It has been found that the value of this concentration depends on metal composition and is particularly high in cast iron containing magnesium. This is due to the reduction of water vapour with the element that has high affinity to oxygen. The presence of hydrogen causes the formation of gas-induced defects on the casting surface.