People living in Hvalfjörður have concerns about a proposed plant for manufacturing sodium chlorite, a toxin used in making paper. The Icelandic National Planning Agency says there is no need to conduct an environmental assessment.
Sodium chlorite is used in the making of paper. While a fairly common substance, it is toxic, being closely related to the now-banned herbicide sodium chlorate. In addition, toxic materials are used to produce it. Exposure to a few milligrams can cause illness, and higher levels are lethally toxic.
RÚV reports that Finnish company Kemira wants to build a sodium chlorite plant at Grundartangi in Hvalfjörður. Municipal authorities have asked that an environmental assessment be done, but the Icelandic National Planning Agency says there is no need.
Ragnheiður Þorgrímsdóttir, who lives in an area that will be right next to the proposed plant, is not satisfied with this conclusion.
“The environmental conditions of the area have never really been measured,” she said. “They’re always adding more and more factories on the grounds that they only pollute a little bit. This is unacceptable logic.”