Dioxin levels have been measured in meat, milk and in the air and soil near garbage incinerators do not pose any immediate health risks to people. A member of parliament has called for the Minister for the Environment to shut down at least one of Iceland’s garbage incinerators.
As has been reported, incinerators in the West Fjörds, the Westman Islands and in Kirkjubæjarklaustur have been shown to be emitting dioxin, a highly toxic chemical that was at one time used to make the notorious herbicide Agent Orange. The matter was first brought to light when dairy producers in the northwest detected unusually high amounts of dioxin in milk.
More recently, RÚV reported that The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority estimates that some six and half tonnes of meat, distributed both here and for export, has been poisoned with dioxin. This meat has already been eaten by consumers.
That being said, The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority does not believe people are in any special danger of dioxin poisoning. Although the levels of dioxin found in meat in milk have been above the “acceptable” amount, it still takes high concentrations of the chemical to do real damage to the system.
The task now would be preventing any further dioxin poisoning, and to that end, Social Democrat MP Ólína Þorvarðardóttir has called upon Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir to shut down an incinerator in Kirkjubæjarklaustur. In a column she wrote for Eyjan, she cites Article 29 of the law 7/1998, which pertains to food quality control and says in part, “If the Environmental Office believes there is a serious risk in work practices, it has the authority to shut down operations at once and end all production already underway.”
The minister has not as yet responded.
Dioxin Poisoning In Meat
Minister For Environment Calls For Total Dioxin Review
Dioxin Levels In Milk Have Not Been Measured Everywhere
High Dioxin Levels Reported In Westman Islands
Pollution In West Fjörds Becoming Serious Problem