Elevated levels of heavy metal toxins downstream from Oilsands developments


Tonington
+1
#1
Quote:

Native Canadians living downstream from the oil sands mines in Alberta have long contended that their high cancer rates were related to the expanding excavation of bitumen for the production of synthetic crude. Their assertions have been disputed by the reports of a joint oil industry-government research panel that concluded that natural causes — and not mining — were responsible for the high levels of various metals in the sub-Arctic Athabasca River.

But now a new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is backing the position of the Native Canadians. Led by several University of Alberta researchers, the study found that unusual levels of lead, mercury, zinc, cadmium and other toxic pollutants were found near oil sands mining sites or downstream from them. The levels exceeded federal and provincial government guidelines.

New Study Links Toxic Pollutants to Canadian Oil Sands Mining - NYTimes.com

Quote:

National or provincial guidelines for the protection of aquatic life were exceeded for seven of these metals: cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, silver and zinc — in melted snow and/or water, says the research, published in the prestigious scientific journal called the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Oilsands increase mercury downstream: Study

Quote:

The study, published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), also found that the levels of heavy metals detected from snow runoff or downstream of industrial development exceeded Canadian and Alberta guidelines for protecting fish and aquatic life for seven out of 13 pollutants studied. In some cases metal contamination exceeded guidelines by 30-fold.

The heavy metals, rated as priority pollutants by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, include mercury, arsenic, beryllium, copper, cadmium, thallium, lead, nickel, zinc and silver. All are toxic. Arsenic is a known human carcinogen; cadmium can severely destroy the kidneys and other organs; and thallium is so poisonous that it pops up in Agatha Christie mysteries as a murder weapon.

The study found that the heavy metals are primarily leaching out of bulldozed or deforested mine sites that cover a 600 square kilometre area or are raining down on the landscape in the form of particulate air pollution from oil sands upgraders that transform bitumen into marketable oil. Under the Fisheries Act, it is against the law to discharge deleterious substances such as heavy metals into fish bearing waterways.

http://thetyee.ca/News/2010/08/30/TarSandsStudy/

The word "Duh" comes to mind...

I expect Kakato will be here shortly to run damage control.
 
karrie
#2
I wrote a report, it feels like eons ago, about the effects of damming. One of my sources stated that in most of Canada, anytime you bring water into contact with previously undisturbed soil and rocks, you will end up with heavy metal contamination of that water. Newly dammed reservoirs take decades to stop being heavy in mercury and other naturally occurring heavy metals. It's a no brainer, and an inevitability, that stirring up earth and heat processing it, tailing it, etc., will have the exact same thing happen, if not to a greater degree.
 
Tonington
#3
That's one aspect of it, but it doesn't explain the levels of contaminants found in snow...Also, you get spikes in heavy metals during heavy rain events, along with some dissolved gases, but that doesn't lead to persistent levels 30 times higher than the minimum safe standard.

You could have published your report Karrie
 
karrie
#4
I have no clue where the thumb drive is right now... that was 4 computers ago. LOL
 
TenPenny
#5
I'm sure the usual crowd will be along soon to explain why nobody understands the oil patch, and they don't pollute anyway, and the world is a wonderful place.
 
karrie
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

I'm sure the usual crowd will be along soon to explain why nobody understands the oil patch, and they don't pollute anyway, and the world is a wonderful place.

I'm equally sure that these reports won't stop the people who complain loudest, from driving their SUV's.
 
Tonington
+1
#7
Schindler's findings have been confirmed:
Federal scientists uncover evidence that oilsands contaminants travel further than expected
 
Cliffy
+2
#8  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

Schindler's findings have been confirmed:
Federal scientists uncover evidence that oilsands contaminants travel further than expected

Ah! Yer just trying to put a buncha hard workin' folks outa work. Whata ya got against the economy man? Are you one of those free loader, tree hugging hippies taxslave is always railing about?
 
Jenson
#9
Harper will dispose of scientists as well.

How dare they report facts.
 
Tonington
+1
#10
In the original post, a quote:
Quote:

Under the Fisheries Act, it is against the law to discharge deleterious substances such as heavy metals into fish bearing waterways.

Well, at least it was in 2010. Now the fish has to be important commercially or culturally before it's illegal.
 
petros
+1
#11
Any chance there are naturally occuring polymetallic black shales at or near surface, as sand and in soils with natural bioleaching of nasty stuff like nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, uranium, molybenum, uranium, silver, gold, lithium, mercury, zinc, and a plethora of REEs into the environment?

I be wary of jumping up and down yelling eureka if I were a Green Bean.
Heavy metals have always been higher than "normal" in the the same region as the oilsands.
 
Jenson
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Any chance there are naturally occuring polymetallic black shales at or near surface, as sand and in soils with natural bioleaching of nasty stuff like nickel, copper, cobalt, lead, uranium, molybenum, uranium, silver, gold, lithium, mercury, zinc, and a plethora of REEs into the environment?

I be wary of jumping up and down yelling eureka if I were a Green Bean.
Heavy metals have always been higher than "normal" in the the same region as the oilsands.

Do you sample a research the lakes?
 
petros
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Jenson View Post

Do you sample a research the lakes?

Huh?
 
Jenson
#14
Simple question. Have you ever done research on the lakes around the oil sands? If so I'd like to see your research.
 
petros
+1
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Jenson View Post

Simple question. Have you ever done research on the lakes around the oil sands? If so I'd like to see your research.

I research the minerals in the Athabasca Basin and Clearwater. What do you do for a living?
 
Jenson
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

I research the minerals in the Athabasca Basin. What do you do for a living?

Awesome! Send me your findings at jenson7210@gmail.com.


Thanks
 
petros
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Jenson View Post

Awesome! Send me your findings at jenson7210@gmail.com.


Thanks

You'd have to buy shares in several multinationals and put in requests.

It might be cheaper and easier for you to simply research polymetallic black shales and include some keywords like Athabasca or Northern SK, Clearwater Formation, Northern AB

You're welcome.
 
Jenson
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

You'd have to buy shares in several multinationals and put in requests.

You're welcome.

It might be cheaper and easier for you to simply research polymetallic black shales and include some keywords like Athabasca or Northern SK, Clearwater Formation, Northern AB

So no personal research papers.
How about science credentials then.
 
petros
+1
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Jenson View Post

So no personal research papers.
How about science credentials then.

I went to rock star school for 4 years in BC and went back for another 2 more in SK and have spent 21 years working as a rock star in Northern SK AB MB and NWT as well as Peru, Chile, USA, and Kazakhstan


How about you?

****, almost forgot the UK

Here is something I've never heard a Green Bean complain about....

Key Lake to Blind River, ON - Google Maps
 
Tonington
+1
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

I be wary of jumping up and down yelling eureka if I were a Green Bean.
Heavy metals have always been higher than "normal" in the the same region as the oilsands.

The concentration of pollutants drops as the samples are taken further away from the oil sands development. That is a classic pattern of industrial sourced emission of pollutants. Also, the elevated concentrations have temporal correlations with the development in the oil sands. This is another classical pattern of industrial sourced emission of pollutants. They found high concentrations in the snow...some of those streams at certain times of the year will have close to 3/4 of the water coming from surface snow melt. It's very clearly not coming natural sources.
 
petros
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

The concentration of pollutants drops as the samples are taken further away from the oil sands development. That is a classic pattern of industrial sourced emission of pollutants. Also, the elevated concentrations have temporal correlations with the development in the oil sands. This is another classical pattern of industrial sourced emission of pollutants. They found high concentrations in the snow...some of those streams at certain times of the year will have close to 3/4 of the water coming from surface snow melt. It's very clearly not coming natural sources.

As expected but to peg industry as the sole source is ludicris in that region. Especially when the Clearwater River watershed which feeds into the Athabasca is where those surface polymetallics call home. If the soil is natural high in heavy metals, so is the vegetation, the wildlife and the water. If your food source is that environment then of course cancers will be higher than average.

AB and clear across SK the boreal will never be the same again. Saskatchewan is the richest piece of real estate on the planet with mind boggling mineral wealth that is downwind of the oilsands and so kick back, relax and enjoy the benefits because there isn't a damn thing you can do to keep that wealth from being extracted.
 

Similar Threads