South Iceland Farmers Still Troubled by Volcanic Ash

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South Iceland Farmers Still Troubled by Volcanic Ash

The wind still whirls up volcanic ash from the 2011 eruption in Grímsvötn in Vatnajökull, south Iceland, blocking visibility and causing air pollution. Farmers are requesting pollution detectors.

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The ash in Kirkjubæjarklaustur during the eruption. Photo by Robertas Mickevicius.

“We have repeatedly asked for an air pollution detector here in Fljótshverfi but it has proven a considerable hassle to have it approved,” commented farmer at Kálfafell Björn Helgi Snorrason to Morgunblaðið.

He said the Environment Agency of Iceland claims to have no money but finds that a poor excuse given that young children live in the area who are exposed to air pollution.

“It is more extensive than people realize. You see it on the tables when you wipe them; the layer quickly returns. One is very insulted about not getting the detector,” Björn added.

Baldur Bjarnason, farmer at Síða, reported that a few days ago he could hardly see his sheep folds, which are 500 meters away from his house, because of ash whirled up by the wind.

Kristján Geirsson, divisional manager at the Environment Agency, said the request is being looked into, pointing out that there is an air pollution detector at Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

ESA