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Hay May Have Been Poisoned By Smelter

Hay May Have Been Poisoned By Smelter

Published October 9, 2012

It is possible that a large portion of the hay grown near the Fjarðarál aluminium smelter in Reyðarfjörður will be destroyed as poisonous, due to high levels of fluoride released from the smelter.
Fluoride is an established emission that arises from aluminium smelters, although individual smelters have varying levels of limiting and evaluating how much fluoride is released. The Alcoa plant in Reyðarfjörður, for example, conducts yearly measurements of emissions in the surrounding area. RÚV reports that their latest findings could spell trouble for farmers in the area.
According to the new readings, despite Alcoa’s efforts to keep fluoride emissions under the acceptable limit, a great deal of fluoride was released into the surrounding area last summer. The area at this time of year is plentiful with hay being grown for local farm animals. Fluoride, beyond certain concentrations, can prove toxic to humans and animals alike.
In fact, levels of fluoride that exceed the safe limit have been found in hay grown northwest of the plant, potentially affecting at least three farms in the area; Kollaleira, Áreyjar and Slétta.
Many Icelanders are already familiar with the damage high levels of fluoride can do – it is also a by-product of some volcanic eruptions, found particularly in the ash. Animals who eat ash-tainted grass can become poisoned, and experience deformities of the teeth and bones.
Geir S. Hlöðversson, the managing director of environmental matters at Alcoa, told reporters that the company takes the matter very seriously. It is believed that malfunctioning machinery is the cause for the high levels of emissions last summer, but the error was not noticed until the damage had already been done. However, he said, the company will spare no expense to respond appropriately, and tests will be conducted on the hay at once to determine whether or not it needs to be destroyed.



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Hanna Birna May Avoid Parliamentary Hearing

Hanna Birna May Avoid Parliamentary Hearing

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It’s likely that, because of her recent resignation, former Minister of the Interior, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, will not have to face a parliamentary hearing on the leaked memo scandal, reports RÚV. Hanna Birna was due to appear in a live and publicly televised hearing to discuss her role in the leaked memo case, as well as answer to allegations that she may have tried to influence the course of an ongoing police investigation of her ministry by threatening former Commissioner of the Capital Area Police, Stefán Eiríksson. According to Helgi Bernódusson, the parliment’s Office Manager, a minister is both politically responsible

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Migrant Butchers Working Seasonally In Iceland

Migrant Butchers Working Seasonally In Iceland

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Every year, several dozen butchers commute from provincial New Zealand to rural Iceland – for just two months’ work, reports the BBC. As work commutes go, the journey takes some beating, roughly 22,300km (about 13,850 miles) each way. The roughly 30 butchers travel to Iceland for the lamb processing season, which begins each September. “My friends say ‘Iceland? What do you kill there – seals?’ Nah, they’ve got their own breed of sheep,” said Shawn Parkinson who has made the trip for the past seven years. “We’d be out of work if we stayed in New Zealand at this time

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Ice Cave Construction Underway

Ice Cave Construction Underway

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A 500 metre long ice cave is currently being tunnelled into Iceland’s Langjökull glacier. So far the crew have dug the cave’s entrance, roughly 200 metres into the glacier and are experimenting with how to light the tunnel. Plans are to turn the cave into a tourist destination where visitors can learn about glacial formations and potentially, even get married. “In the tunnel there’ll be a room,” said Sigurður Skarphéðinsson, CEO of the Ice Cave Iceland project. “We like to call it the multipurpose room and there, in cooperation with others, we’ll be able to offer people the chance to

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Head To Toe Arsenal Gear, Except At Funerals

Head To Toe Arsenal Gear, Except At Funerals

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Hardcore Icelandic Arsenal fan, Sigfríð Ingólfsdóttir, only ever wears Arsenal gear or Arsenal themed clothing, reports Vikudagur, except when she has to attend funerals. Sigfríð, 62, began following English football 30 years ago and first started supporting Arsenal after thinking the name of the team was pretty neat. She has since become one of Arsenal’s most dedicated fans in Iceland, has an “Arsenal Room” in her home, and is regularly stopped to discuss games. “I get stopped out on the street, people like to talk to me about Arsenal and football in general,” said Sigfríð. “Some of them are on

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A Farewell To Arms

A Farewell To Arms

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The MP5 submachine guns Iceland received from Norway will be sent back, the Icelandic Coast Guard has announced. According to the announcement, posted today on the Coast Guard’s website, the conclusion of talks with the Norwegian army yesterday and today led to the decision to return the guns, which have been held by toll authorities over the past few weeks. Customs officials held onto the guns on account of a dispute over whether the guns were a gift or a purchase. The Icelandic Coast Guard contends that “almost all the weapons in possession of the Icelandic Coast Guard (90%) have

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Minister Of The Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir To Resign

Minister Of The Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir To Resign

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Minister of the Interior, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, is expected to announce that she is stepping down today and will not return to parliament until the New Year, according to RÚV. Hanna Birna has been under a lot of scrutiny following the leak of incriminating and falsified information about Nigerion asylum seeker Tony Omos. She has maintained her innocence throughout the affair, even after her aide Gísli Freyr Valdórsson admitted to the leak. Despite the Independence party and PM Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson declaring their support of her, a lot of pressure has been on her to resign, including from the 1,000 people that

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