Aluminiumwerke verursachen Moossterben

Aluminiumfabriken in Isand verschmutzen die umliegende Natur derart, dass Pflanzen dort absterben.

Sigurður H. Magnússon, ein Pflanzenökologe beim isländischen Institut für Naturgeschichte, hat gestern eine Studie über die Verschmutzung der Aluminiumwerke veröffentlicht. Zu den giftigen Stoffen, die die Werke in die Natur entlassen, gehören unter anderem Blei, Nickel, Arsen und Antimon, berichtet RÚV.

Die Studie hatte im ganzen Land das Vorkommen von Schwermetallen und Sulfur im Moos gemessen. Die Messungen hatten im Jahr 1990 begonnen und liefen bis zum Jahr 2015, jeweils im Fünfjahresrhythmus. Rings um die Aluminiumwerke wurde die Pflanzenwelt besonders überwacht.

Das Moos war an manchen Orten ganz verschwunden, wie etwa in Straumsvík und in Grundartangi. An einigen Orten in Reyðarfjörður ist der Bewuchs signifikant zurückgegangen.” An allen drei genannten Orten befinden sich Aluminiumwerke.

Wir sind besonders besorgt über den Bleigehalt, weil Blei für den Menschen nicht besonders förderlich ist,” erklarte Sigurður. Das Interview mit ihm hatte im Industriegebiet in Hafnarfjörður stattgefunden, ganz in der Nähe des Aluminiumwerkes Straumsvík. Die Verschmutzung in dem Gebiet ist besorgniserregend, weil die Fabrik neben einem vielbesuchten Naherholungsgebiet im Lavafeld Hellnahraun liegt.

Wir müssen alle Faktoren mit einbeziehen, wenn wir Industrieorte schaffen, weil das grosse Auswirkungen haben kann,” sagt er.

Etagenmoos (Hylocomium splendens) ist eine der beiden Moosarten, die untersucht wurden. “Das ist nirgendwo mehr zu finden. Es war definitiv hier in dem Gebiet. Aber es ist verschwunden, und das Laubmoos (Racomitrium) ist schwer beschädigt.” führt Sigurður weiter aus.

Die Aluminiumindustrie verzeichnet den höchsten Energieverbrauch im Land. Island liegt weltweit auf dem neunten Platz in der Liste der aluminiumproduzierenden Länder. Drei Fabriken gibt es, wie schon erwähnt, im Land, dazu gehören Straumsvík vor den Toren von Hafnarfjörður, Grundartangi im Hvalfjörður und Reyðarfjörður in Ostisland.

Das umstrittene Wasserkraftwerk Kárahnjúkarvirkjun im ostisländischen Hochland war gebaut worden, um das Aluminiumwerk in Reyðarfjörður mit Energie zu versorgen. Für das Kraftwerk sind riesige Gebiete im Hochland in einer Talsperre versenkt worden. Wie der Ökoaktivist und Journalist Ómar Ragnarsson bei Flügen über der Talsperre zeigen konnte, wirbeln von den ausgetrockneten Ufern der Talsperre im Sommer oft gigantische Feinstaubwolken über das Land.

 

 

 

 

Hotel Workers’ Strike Has Begun

Strike efling hotel workers union

Striking hotel workers demonstrate at main street Laugavegur at 10:00. Photo: Golli.

The proposed hotel workers strike started at 10:00 this morning. “We’re here! We’re striking! Get used to it!”, read a banner held by striking hotel workers as they walked down Laugavegur street in downtown Reykjavík. Hotel cleaning staff stopped working at 9:45 for a work break, and then left their hotels at 10:00. The strike will last until 23:59 today.

Hotel managers are allowed to work instead of their striking workers, and some have expressed that they intend to do so.

The strike affects around 700 Efling Union members working in cleaning, housekeeping, and laundry services in hotels and guest houses in the Reykjavík capital area, as well as some nearby municipalities.

The legality of the strike had previously been disputed but the Labour Court had concluded that the process was fully legal.

Kristófer Oliversson, director of the Centerhotels hotel chain, has stated that the hotel workers strike is one of the main talking points in one of the largest travel conferences in the world, ITB Berlin. He suggested that the strike will have a damaging impact. “It will spread so quickly to the market. Buyers of trips are here, and this is the main interest, what is happening in this country. It has spread to the market and WOW is currently in difficult negotiations. A two-month strike has been announced, and now this one. It has to bother potential investors,” he stated.

 

 

Pollution Kills Moss Surrounding Aluminium Plants

Aluminium plants around the country pollute the surrounding areas, killing moss around the plants. Sigurður H. Magnússon, a vegetation ecologist at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, published the results of a study on the pollution of aluminium plants yesterday. Among the chemicals which the plants pollute into the surrounding areas is lead, nickel, arsenic, and antimon, RÚV reports.

The study monitors the prevalence of heavy metals and sulphur in moss around the country. The monitoring started in 1990 and lasted until 2015, with measurements taking place at five-year intervals. Special monitoring takes place around various aluminium plants. “The moss has disappeared in some places, such as Straumsvík and in Grundartangi as well, while the moss has receded significantly in a couple of places in Reyðarfjörður.” All three aforementioned areas are home to aluminium plants.

“We’re especially worried about the lead as that material is very unfavourable to humans,” Sigurður stated. He was interviewed by RÚV at an industrial area in Hafnarfjörður, close to the Straumsvík aluminium plant. The pollution in the area is worrying as the plant affects a populated area in Helnnahraun lava field. “We have to consider all factors when we’re establishing industry, as it has considerable effect,” he said.

Glittering wood moss is one of the two moss species which are inspected. “It cannot be found here anymore. It was definitely in the area. But it has disappeared and the lamb’s wool moss which is here is significantly damaged,” Sigurður stated about the area surrounding the Straumsvík plant.

Aluminium in Iceland

The aluminium industry in the country is the most power-intensive one. Iceland is in 9th place among aluminium-producing nations worldwide. The three plants in the country are situated in Straumsvík, close to Hafnarfjörður. The others are situated in Grundartangi and Reyðarfjörður. The controversial Kárahnjúkar power plant in East Iceland was built to power the plant in Reyðarfjöður, putting swathes of the highlands under water.