Volcanic Pollution In The Air In East Iceland - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Volcanic Pollution In The Air In East Iceland

Published September 11, 2014

Photos by
Axel Sigurðarson

Sulfur dioxide levels in Reyðarfjörður reached alarming levels yesterday, and residents are advised to exercise caution.

Vísir reports that SO2 levels in Reyðarfjörður reached 2600 µg/m3 yesterday morning through midday the same day, and have fallen to 250 µg/m3 today. Despite the steep drop, SO2 levels no greater than 1 µg/m3 are considered safe.

For this reason, residents have been advised to take certain precautions. Children and those with health problems were advised to stay indoors, and everyone was asked to not perform exercises outdoors.

Guðfinnur Sigurvinsson, a spokesperson for the Environmental Agency of Iceland, told reporters that despite the significant decrease in air pollution, people should have in mind that the air is still not exactly healthy to breathe. In addition, the SO2 in question is not isolated entirely within Reyðarfjörður – the air quality meter for the region is in Reyðarfjörður, but additional meters will be added to more places to give a clearer picture.

Many area residents, as well as those temporarily staying in the area, may have questions for authorities on the levels of volcanic pollution in their area. Guðfinnur advises that people be in contact with the Agency’s Facebook page or send an e-mail to gos@ust.is.

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