Air pollution in Reykjavík – much of it caused by the use of winter-use
spiked tires on roads that are no longer icy – has been above safe
levels for the past three days. The “healthy” level of dust in the air is placed at 50 micrograms per cubic metre. Dust levels in many parts of Reykjavík – including Grensásvegur and Steinahlíð – have gone as high as 61 micrograms per cubic metre. Wind and precipitation over the next few days is expected to reduce the pollution.
Air pollution has gone over the health mark five times this year, and can exceed it 12 times in a given year. In March 2006, it exceeded the limit ten times.
Late winter typically shows some of the highest levels of air pollution, as some drivers still using winter tires equipped with small spikes continue to use them even after most roads are no longer icy. Banning the sale and use of such tires has been a subject of contention in Iceland for years now.