From Iceland — Experts Urge Sensitive Groups To Stay Indoors Due To Eruption

Experts Urge Sensitive Groups To Stay Indoors Due To Eruption

Published July 6, 2021

Brittnee Kiner
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An expert at the Environment Agency of Iceland recommends people monitor the air quality in their area, as pollution has increased in southwestern Iceland from the volcanic eruption in Geldingadalur. Furthermore, those with respiratory diseases should avoid the outdoors when pollution is high, according to Vísir.

Sensitive groups should monitor pollution

Þorsteinn Jóhannsson, an expert in the air quality at the Environment Agency of Iceland, says that people can check air quality through the website Loftgæð He urges those in sensitive groups to watch for PM₁₀, SO₂, and fine particulate matter.

Þorsteinn explains: “Asthma patients and people with underlying lung diseases can completely experience worsening of their diseases. If this eruption persists, we need to put ourselves in air quality eruption gear and keep a close eye on it.” He does not recommend long runs in heavy pollution. However, “It is usually possible to go between houses, but sensitive people should avoid the outdoors if the eruption is significant.”

Sunless summer days

Unfortunately, along with occasional poor air quality, we can also expect to see fewer sunny days this summer due to the eruption and fog. Blame for the fog that has seemed to envelop Reykjavík in the last week can be pointed towards the eruption. The accumulation of fog can be the highest on warm and sunny days, explains Þorsteinn.

“Volcanic fog is not the usual eruption smoke that comes directly from the eruption, which is primarily sulfur gas. This can be an old or mature cloud that has been wandering around for 3-4 days just outside the country and then comes in again and then it has turned into sulfur particles. They refract the light so that it can be seen as fog,” Þorsteinn notes.

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