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Acid Rain from Eruption Found around Iceland

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Acid Rain from Eruption Found around Iceland

Pollution cloud from the Holuhraun eruption, October 13, 2014

The pollution could be seen in a cloud over Faxaflói Bay yesterday.Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Acid rain has been found in 40 percent of samples of rainwater collected by the Icelandic Met Office in various locations around Iceland since September. The acidity level has dropped as low as pH 3, while regular precipitation has a pH level of 5-6.

Sara Barsotti, manager of the Icelandic Met Office’s Volcano Division, told ruv.is that acid rain had been found in samples around the country but not in enough locations to support a statement that the entire country has been subject to acid precipitation.

Locations include the capital area, by Írafoss waterfall in South Iceland, Hítardalur valley in West Iceland, Reykjahlíð by Lake Mývatn in Northeast Iceland and Höfn in Southeast Iceland.

Acid rain is not believed to have a direct impact on human health but has been found to pollute vegetation, jeopardize the wellbeing of animals and cause the death of fish. It can also erode metals and damage electric lines.

The gases emitted by the eruption in Holuhraun have also caused acid snow.

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