Dioxin levels in people who live near the garbage incinerator in Ísafjörður are well below levels that would be harmful to health, government inspectors say.
As Grapevine has reported, dioxin – a toxic substance used, among other things, in the manufacturing of the infamous herbacide Agent Orange – was first discovered in milk in the Westfjörds. Further examination showed that the poison was coming from garbage incinerators in Ísafjörður, the Westman Islands, and Kirkjubæjarklaustur. This prompted the Ministry for the Environment to call for an immediate investigation.
Westfjörds news site Bæjarins bestu now reports that people in Ísafjörður who were examined for dioxin poisoning were found to have amounts far below what could be considered harmful to health. Comparing ten people from the Westfjörds and ten people from the capital area, they found that the average dioxin level in the former was 10.2 pg per gram of fat, and 9.7 pg per gram of fat in the latter. Incinerator workers and farmers near the site had dioxin levels measuring 2.7 to 16.2 pg per gram of fat.
The government investigation will continue, and conclusions are to be expected later this year.