Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

U of A's David Schindler confirms untold levels of oil sands pollution on the Athabasca

09.12.2009
After an exhaustive study of air and water pollution along the Athabasca River and its tributaries from Fort McMurray to Lake Athabasca, researchers say pollution levels have increased as a direct result of nearby oil sands operations.

University of Alberta biological sciences professor David Schindler was part of the team that conducted a long term air and water study and found high levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds. PACs are a group of organic contaminants containing several known carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens. The highest levels of PAC's were found within 50 kilometres of two major oil sands up graders.

Schindler says that government and industry have claimed the pollution is a naturally occurring seepage from the oil sands deposits and are not related to the oil sands industry.

The research team monitored water and snow packs concentrations of pollutants along the Athabasca in winter and summer of 2008. Schindler and the others report that levels of PACs increased the closer they got to the oil sands developments and reached a point where the airborne particulates left oil slicks on top of melted snow.

"We found PACs in parts per trillion but they are toxic at parts per trillion," said Schindler.

The new study took measurements at 60 locations along the Athabasca and its tributaries. Schindler says that currently the Federal Government operates one water quality collection point in the area.

The research will be published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Erin N. Kelly of the U of A Department of Biological Sciences was the lead researcher on the paper. Other U of A contributors are Mingsheng Ma, Alvin Kwan and Barbara Fortin.

Brian Murphy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ualberta.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>