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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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Icelandic Police Receive Machine Guns, Glocks

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The Icelandic police force will soon be adding MP5 machine guns and Glock 17 semiautomatics to their arsenals. DV first reported on the matter early this morning. MBL reports that a “substantial number” of MP5 machine guns are in the hands of the police force, apart from the Glock handguns. While it was initially reported that these guns were bought from Norway, and that squad cars are now equipped with them, neither of these contentions are true. The guns are, however, in possession of the police force. The Ministry of the Interior – which oversees the police – posted an

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Journalist Wins Case Against Icelandic State (Again)

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled in favour of Icelandic journalist Erla Hlynsdóttir in her case against the Icelandic state. Vísir reports the court found that the human rights of Erla Hlynsdóttir (shown on the right) were violated when the Supreme Court sentenced her to pay damages to the wife of Guðmundur Jónsson, who used to run the notorious rehab Byrgið. Specifically, Erla was sentenced to pay damages for a quote she included in a news article she wrote about the rehab, which was shut down in 2007 after allegations of fraud and sexual abuse came to

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Bomb Squad’s 2003 Find Possibly Western Chemical Weapons

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A team of Icelandic bomb squad technicians may have found US-produced mustard gas in Iraq, during the 2003-invasion. This was reported by RÚV’s Kastljós, following last week’s coverage in the New York Times, of chemical weapons actually found during the invasion, but treated as classified due to their origins on the one hand, and relative harmlessness, compared with the hypothetical weapons declared to be in the hands of dictator Saddam Hussein in the advent of the invasion. “Old chemical munitions” In 2003, the Icelandic bomb squad’s discovery of potential chemical weapon warheads was covered on the front page of newspaper

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Interior Minister: Call To Resign “Unbelievably Inappropriate”

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