Reykjavík and other parts of Iceland recorded 40 times the upper safe limit of pollution levels on February 19/20, 2014. The pollution levels haven't been so high since the last volcanic eruptions in 2010-2011. However, this time it is not ash that polluted air, but dust particles.
Reykjavík recorded 420 micrograms per square meter with spikes of up to 2,000 micrograms. According to the safe limit for particle pollution, particle matter should not exceed 50 micrograms per square meter.People with respiratory diseases have been urged to avoid areas of the city with heavy traffic.
Graph shows PM10 levels peaked on February 20, 2014. (Credit: Loft.is)
According to Reykjavík Health Authority, this dust particles are mostly sand and salt used on the roads during winter. Strong winds in the recent days transported dust and sand from the eastern part of the country which haven't experienced rain for some time.
Continuous measurements of particles take place in Reykjavík Grensásvegi and Family Park but also in Hvaleyrarholt Hafnarfirði, in the south of Raufarfell in Kópavogi we Tryggjvabraut of Akureyri . Particulate matter has also been measured in the vicinity of the plant and the plant Grundartanga.
Featured image: Over Reykjavik by http://www.flickr.com/photos/83032231@N00/12638607743