High Dioxin Levels Reported In Westman Islands

5.1.2011
Words by Paul Nikolov
High levels of toxic dioxin gas have also been reported coming from garbage incinerators in the Westman Islands and in Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

As reported, a dairy distributor in the West Fjörds of Iceland reported high levels of dioxin appearing in cow's milk. This led to an investigation of the emissions of Ísafjörður's garbage incinerators, which showed that dioxin levels being emitted there were at times 20 times greater than the healthy limit. This in turn prompted Social Democrat MP Ólína Þorvarðardóttir to call for action to be taken.

Eyjan reports that further studies done elsewhere in the country have shown that dioxin levels from incinerators in both the Westman Islands and in Kirkjubæjarklaustur were, in 2007, even higher than the levels now be reported in the northwest. There, levels were 85 times and 95 times greater than acceptable limits established by the European Economic Area (EEA). All Icelandic incinerators have to abide EEA guidelines.

Dioxins are a group of chemicals with varying levels of toxicity, damaging to liver and kidneys, and can have serious long-term health effects. TCDD, the poison that was used against former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko, is for example a dioxin, and was also an active ingredient of the infamous Vietnam War-era pesticide Agent Orange.

Related article:

Pollution In West Fjörds Becoming Serious Problem

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