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Eruption Affected Health Of Icelanders

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Published September 5, 2012

The April 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull had a negative health effect on those living in south Iceland, new research shows.
The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull sent an enormous ash cloud across Iceland and much of Europe. In addition to shutting down air traffic across the continent, little reported is the fact that south Icelanders had their own problems to contend with. Many living in the region are farmers, and were compelled to bring in their livestock as ash poured down over the region. Most also stayed in the area, albeit indoors, during the course of the eruption and subsequent ash cloud.
Researchers from the University of Iceland, Science Daily now reports, have compiled data linking volcanic ash to respiratory problems.

The results showed that people living close to the volcano had worse symptoms than those in the control population. Also, within the group living close to the volano, those who lived very close experienced more symptoms than those who were a bit further away.
When giving information on their symptoms during the previous month, the exposed group reported more phlegm (odds ratio 2.1), eye irritation (odds ratio 2.9) and a runny or irritated nose (odds ratio 2.0). They also reported a higher level of cough than the control group (odds ratio 2.6).

Hanne Krage Carlsen, the lead researcher of the group, told reporters, “The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland provided the opportunity for us to study the health effects of people living close to the volcano. Our results suggest that living close to a volcano after a substantial eruption can seriously increase the risk of respiratory symptoms. Although the long-term consequences are still unknown, this has important clinical relevance as healthcare professionals treating people in this situation need to be aware of the potential rise in respiratory symptoms.”



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Sheep Break Free, Police Called

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The Police in Mosfellsbær, a small town east of Reykjavík, received a call after two sheep at Árbæjarsafn made a run for it, reports Vísir. Árbæjarsafn, also known as Reykjavík City Museum aims to give its visitors an insight into the living conditions, work and recreational activities of the people of Reykjavík in earlier times. The sheep belong to the museum but saw an opportunity yesterday and took it by breaking free. Unfortunately for them, they did not make it far and were quickly rounded up by local, Ívar Óli Kristjánsson. Museum staff picked the sheep up, returning them to Árbæjarsafn.

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Icelandic Symphony Orchestra Debuts At BBC Proms

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The Iceland Symphony Orchestra made its Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday, reports RÚV. The Symphony performed works by two homegrown composers, both inspired by Iceland’s geology. The slow-growing, primal Geysir by Jón Leifs balanced the shifting tectonics of Hauk Tómasson’s Magma. “We felt so great,” said Concertmaster Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir. “We could have played on that stage for 50 years. There was no stress, it was just absolutely wonderful, I can’t explain it any other way.” The BBC Proms is a summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and events founded in 1985.

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Immigrant Children To Get Mother Tongue Classes

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The City of Reykjavík is making preparations to set up mother tongue classes for primary school children of foreign origin. According to an announcement posted on City Hall’s webpage, the School and Recreation Council has passed a measure to set up a workgroup whose purpose it will be to outline how immigrant primary school children will be taught their native languages. The group will be comprised of representatives from all the parties in City Council, directed by Social Democrat vice councilperson Sa­bine Leskopf. The focus of the group will be to assess the need for children of foreign origin to

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88 Fin Whales Culled So Far

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Over half the quota of fin whales has been culled so far this summer, showing a slight decline from the year previous. Since whaling season began last June 15, Vísir reports, 88 fin whales have been culled. The maximum quota is for 154 fin whales, which may only be hunted during a 3-month period. “It’s being going decently well,” Gunnlaugur Fjólar Gunnlaugsson, the plant manager of whaling company Hvalur hf. “There are a bit fewer animals than there were at this same time last year. It’s been a difficult time, but it’ll work out.” Greenpeace, amongst others, have pointed out

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Nói Síríusly Looking For Candy Tasters

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Icelandic candy manufacturer Nói Síríus is searching for volunteers for a “tasting panel” for the company’s product development department. The tasters chosen would be sent new candy prototypes and asked to mark them, to help Nói Síríus decide which products should make it into production. In the past few years 40-50 families have been sent these prototypes to try out but the company has now decided to expand the testing group and advertised the position on Facebook. Vísir reports that within 20 minutes 514 people had volunteered and at time of writing over 1.300 people had commented on the post,

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Scientists Can’t Agree On Bárðarbunga Eruption

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Scientist have been busy interpreting the newest data from Bárðarbunga but cannot seem to agree on what precisely the data indicates, reports Vísir. Kristín Vogfjörð, Director of Research at the Icelandic Met Office believes that based on her interpretations of the GPS data, the pressure is receding and the likelihood of eruption is minimising. Meanwhile, Ingi Þorleifur Bjarnason, a research scholar with the Insitute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland interprets the data differently, believing that the pressure is increasing and that the volcano is rising in preparation for eruption. Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, geophysicist and professor at the University of Iceland

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