Fluoride Action Network

Iceland’s farmers try to save herds from toxic ash

Source: The Washington Post | The Associated Press
Posted on April 18th, 2010
Location: Iceland
Industry type: Volcanoes


.. Near Skogar, south of the volcano, the ash blew down from the mountain, blotting out the sunlight and covering everything — pastures, animals and humans — in a thick, gray paste.

Berglind Hilmarsdottir, a dairy farmer, teamed up with neighbors Saturday to round up her cattle, some 120 in all, and get them to shelter. In the panic, some of the animals got lost in the fog of ash, and the farmers had to drive around searching for them.

“The risk is of fluoride poisoning if they breathe or eat too much,” Hilmarsdottir said through a white protective mask.

The fluoride in the ash creates acid in the animals’ stomachs, corroding the intestines and causing hemorrhages. It also binds with calcium in the blood stream, and after heavy exposure over a period of days makes bones frail, even causing teeth to crumble.

“The best we can do is put them in the barn, block all the windows and bring them clean food and water as long as the earth is contaminated,” said Hilmarsdottir…

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