Pollution woke locals up last night

Nurse Eygló Anna Tómasdóttir wants her four children to enjoy ...

Nurse Eygló Anna Tómasdóttir wants her four children to enjoy the right again to breathe clean, fresh air. mbl.is/RAX

Pollution from United Silicon in Helguvík woke up locals in Reykjanesbær last night who had to shut their windows. This morning the stench entered their homes as they opened their front doors. One local describes the feeling of waking up this morning,"My throat is dead. As if I had been eating sandpaper."

The stench of something burning is mostly felt in the district called Heiðarhverfi but yesterday is was widely spread around town.

Nurse Eygló Anna Tómasdóttir who is a mother to four children, says she makes sure her windows are all shut during the night. Icelandic people traditionally bundle up babies to let them sleep outside in their prams to breathe the fresh air but in Reykjanes this is not the case. As Tómasdóttir says, "If I can't breathe this air myself I'm obviouslky not going to put a baby outside in it." 

The Environmental agency has made remarks to the outside area ...

The Environmental agency has made remarks to the outside area of United Silicon as wood chips used to power the furnace are piled up. mbl.is/RAX

 Her fourteen-year-old son came back from football practive last night smelling of this burning odour and her seven-year-old came back from golf practise complaining of a severe headache. "I just can't let my children outside. They're not living in the freedom we had previously, just to breathe fresh clean air."

When the furnace at United Silicon runs at a lower heat than the temperature required to burn coal and wood shavings, harmful trace elements are produced that can cause irritation. These trace elements are not measured in the air on a regular basis as it was thought that they would not be formed. Measurements on these substances were made this summer and results are still awaited. 

Tómasdóttir who suffers from physical effects from the pollution herself says that people are at a loss at who to turn to. "The environmental agency are not doing what they should be, where is the directorate of health in all this, and what about the government?" She would like to urge the government to take a look at the matter. "They're welcome to my home. I can offer them to stay over for the night and some coffee."




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