12.9.2014 Air Quality – From the Conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection today
• Air quality in urban areas in the East of Iceland:
o Forecasts indicate that high concentrations of sulphuric gases may be expected in the northern part of the Eastern fjords, Fljótsdalur, Hérað, Jökuldalur, and Vopnafjörður. Forecast indicates that concentration may become highest in Hérað later today. High concentrations could occur in other areas as well. The Environment Agency will set up new monitoring stations in Akureyri and in South Iceland today. Geographical conditions must be considered when estimating air quality. People who feel discomfort are advised to stay indoors, close the windows and turn off air conditioning. Measurements of air quality can be found on the webpage loftgaedi.is. The Meteorological Office issues forecast on its web-page and warnings if conditions change to the worse.
o Instructions from the office of the Chief Epidemiologist and The Environment Agency can be found on their web-sites.
• Air quality at the eruption site:
o Gas emissions at the eruption site remain high. As local gas concentrations at the site can be life threatening, people at the eruption site should wear gas masks and gas meters. At the eruption site, local wind anomalies can occur due to thermal convection from the hot lava. This makes the conditions on site extremely dangerous as winds can change suddenly and unpredictably. Scientists in the field carry gas meters for their security.
Some links to further information about air quality:
The Environment Agency of Iceland (Umhverfisstofnun – Responsible for environmental health issues of humans in Iceland)
Umhverfisstofnun on Facebook
Monitoring of air quality in Iceland
Temporary Air Quality Information Page
Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authorities (Responsible for the health issues of animals in Iceland)
(click the links or the logos for the above authorities websites)