Pollution In West Fjörds Becoming Serious Problem

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Published January 4, 2011

A member of parliament has asked that the Environmental Committee convene to address evidence of highly toxic dioxin gas being released by a garbage incinerator near Ísafjörður, which has caused both environmental damage to the region and possibly contributed to health problems among the residents. The incinerator was shut down permanently on January 1, following the discovery.
Eyjan reports that Social Democrat MP Ólína Þorvarðardóttir has called for the meeting, pointing out that the incinerator Funi, in the West Fjörds town of Ísafjörður, has been damaging the environment for years with the release of dioxin gas. People living in the area have also reported health problems associated with dioxin.
Strangest of all, the matter was not brought to light by health officials but actually by a regional dairy manufacturer, which found highly poisonous levels of dioxin in cow’s milk. Following up on this, it was discovered that emissions from Funi have never been accurately gauged, and that dioxin levels in the area were up to 20 times over the safe limit.
Ólína has asked the committee to get to the bottom of how this could have been allowed to continue for as long as it has, and what steps must now be taken.
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.



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Iceland’s Symphony Conductor Joins Protest In Tel Aviv

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Conductor and Music Director of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Ilan Volkov, will lead an ensemble of musicians at an anti-war protest today at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, reports Slipped Disc. The protest will call for peace talks and an end to the occupation. A number of other cultural personalities have pledged their support and will be participating.  “We will do some improvised vocal and instrumental response to the situation. It is a small part of an evening with many other performances.” said Ilan.  The group will gather in the square at 8pm. Their slogan reads: ‘We stand together against the silence of

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Sturla Turns 800

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A celebration is planned in Dalasýsla this weekend to mark 800 years since the birth of saga writer Sturla Þórðarson, reports Vísir. The guest of honour will be former president Vigdís Finnbogadóttir and guest speakers include; Speaker of the House Einar K. Guðfinnsson, Norwegian politician Olemic Thommessen, writer Einar Kárason and director of the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Guðrún Nordal. Sturla Þórðarson, Snorri Sturluson’s nephew and pupil, was a chieftain as well as a saga and contemporary history writer active in the 13th century. His most famous work is Íslendinga saga, the longest saga within Sturlunga saga. In the wake of the dissolution of

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Foreign Committee To Meet Over Gaza

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Iceland’s Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to discuss the situation in Gaza, although the Foreign Minister has called it “pointless” to cut ties with Israel. RÚV reports that Birgir Ármannsson, the chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, will call together the committee to discuss the situation in Gaza. “The events that we have been closely following are of course tragic, and they cause us a lot of worry,” he told reporters. “The news that is being reported, daily now, underlines the seriousness of the issue.” The committee’s meeting is in response to a request from Left-Green MP Svandís Svavarsdóttir to

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Progressive Leadership On The Defensive

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As more Progressives leave the party, tensions continue to rise. Last week, former Reykjavík city council candidate Hreiðar Eiríksson announced he was leaving the Progressive Party over remarks Progressive city council candidate Sveinbjörg Birna Sveinbjörnsdóttir made during campaign season, as well as the party leadership’s silence on the matter. Sveinbjörg said she would revoke the granting of a plot of land for Iceland’s Muslims to build a mosque. Other remarks were made by her, and other Progressives, which also used Islam as a campaign point. This is the same reason former Progressive alternate MP Þorsteinn Magnússon gave the Grapevine for

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Seal Census Volunteers Needed

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Volunteers are requested to take part in an official counting of seals in northwest Iceland. MBL reports that people with a proclivity for nature in general and seals in particular are being asked to take part in the census this Sunday. The census is being conducted by The Icelandic Seal Centre in Hvammstangi, northwest Iceland. Not all of the seals of Iceland’s coast will be counted. Instead, researchers and volunteers will take a 100-kilometre stretch of beach in West Húnaþing and divide it up into smaller areas, which will then be portioned out to seal counters. While seals are an

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Best Of Reykjavík 2014: Drinking And Nightlife

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Once a year, we like to take a step back and celebrate our little city. It’s not that Reykjavík is a city without problems, or that it’s a place that doesn’t have plenty of ways in which it could improve. This probably goes without saying. We at Grapevine spend a lot of time being critical, after all, and by and large we’re a bunch of cynics. But once a year we like to set all that aside and appreciate the things that make Reykjavík a pretty great place to live. As ever, our BEST OF REYKJAVÍK! issue is about big-upping

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