Iceland Volcano Eruption Polluted More Than EU Combined - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Iceland Volcano Eruption Polluted More Than EU Combined

Published March 24, 2015

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Axel Sigurðarson

The combined SO2 emissions for all EU member states during the six month Holuhraun eruption comprised only a quarter of the SO2 released by the volcano itself, reports RÚV.

“Around 20 to 60 thousand tonnes of SO2 was released from Holuhraun each day during the eruption,” said Þorsteinn Jóhannsson with the Environment Agency of Iceland. “Comparatively the EU released 14 thousand tonnes per day. That includes all industry, all transport, all factories, everything. So about four times all the SO2 that the EU produces was coming out of Holuhraun during the eruption period.”

A review of the air pollution caused by the eruption was held at an open meeting with Iceland’s Civil Protection Authority and the Farmers Association of Iceland at Hotel Saga yesterday.

Toxic gases continue to escape from the eruption site though the eruption itself ended earlier this month. Air pollution in the area is being monitored regularly.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article cited CO2 as the toxic emission released by the Holuhraun eruption. This was not correct, the gas is SO2. This change has been reflected in the text above.

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