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High Pollution Levels from Eruption in East Iceland

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High Pollution Levels from Eruption in East Iceland

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

Pollution from the eruption in East Iceland in September. Photo: Zoë Robert.

High levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution were measured in the rural Jökuldalur valley at 2 pm yesterday. SO2 levels reached 7,800 mµ/m3, the highest recorded in Jökuldalur since the eruption began, ruv.is reports.

Sigvaldi Ragnarsson at farm Hákonastaðir wrote on his Facebook page that there was so much pollution that it was not possible to see from one end of the sheepfold to the other.

Meanwhile, SO2 levels reached 600 mµ/m3 in the Reykjavík suburb of Norðingaholt at around midnight last night and close to 500 mµ/m3 at the pollution monitoring station in Grensásvegur in Reykjavík around midday yesterday.

At levels above 600 mµ/m3 individuals with underlying conditions are likely to experience respiratory symptoms and outdoor activity is advised against. While health effects are unlikely among healthy individuals, heavy outdoor activity is also advised against, according to the Directorate of Health.

At levels above 2,600 mµ/m3 healthy individuals too are advised to stay indoors with the windows closed.

Further information can be found in English on the website of the Directorate of Health.

Go to airquality.is to check the pollution levels in different locations in Iceland at any given time and to vedur.is for two-day pollution forecasts. Although still being developed further, an automatic gas dispersion forecast, including pollution levels, is also available.

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