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Long-Term Effects of Eruption Pollution to Be Studied

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Long-Term Effects of Eruption Pollution to Be Studied

sulfur dioxide pollution from Holuhraun eruption in Fáskrúðsfjörður, East Iceland, September 10, 2014

The haze from SO2 pollution in the East Fjords in early September. Photo: Zoë Robert.

The Icelandic government approved an additional ISK 690 million (USD 5.6 million, EUR 4.5 million) in funding to various organizations for costs both already incurred and expected in relation to the eruption in Holuhraun earlier this week, ruv.is reports.

Part of the funding will go to research on the long-term effects of the sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution emitted from the eruption on humans by the Directorate of Health.

Chief Epidemilogist Haraldur Briem has previously claimed that the pollution poses no long-term effects because high levels do not exist in populated areas for long periods of time. He referenced a study of SO2 pollution carried out among inhabitants in Japan where an eruption has lasted seven years.

The Department of Civil Protection will continue to monitor the Holuhraun eruption site in the northeastern highlands over the winter.

A minimum of two police officers at a time will remain at the cabin in Drekagil, close to the site. The purpose is to both monitor the eruption itself, which is not always possible via webcam, as well as any people in the area.

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