From Iceland — Pollution Plagues Reykjavík

Pollution Plagues Reykjavík

Published February 20, 2014

High rates of air pollution have been recorded in the capital, reports RÚV.

Levels of airborne dust in Reykjavík have recently been as high as forty times the recommended limit. This level of pollution has not been seen in Reykjavík since the last volcanic eruption, though ash is not to blame this time around.

The city’s air quality monitoring stations have measured the stark increase in airborne dust and the City of Reykjavik Environmental Health and Protection Office (EHPO) have come forward to say they have not seen a situation so serious in many years.

Airborne dust should not go over 50 micrograms per square metre. Anything above that is considered a health hazard by the EHPO.

However, the average level of airborne dust measured in Reykjavík yesterday was 420 micrograms per square metre.

Kristín Lóa Ólafsdóttir, an environmental and health officer with the EHPO, believes the cause might be the salt and sand used on the icy roads to prevent accidents and the fact that the weather has been unseasonably dry and windy of late.

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