OIL SANDS MAY PRODUCE HIGHER CARCINOGEN LEVELS

01/14/2013

Alberta's oil sands development has produced carcinogens in surrounding lakes well beyond natural levels, according to a study released last week, and the contamination may cover a much larger area than initially believed. The study analyzed sediment dating back 50 years from six small lakes in the center of the oil sands industry, finding that levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons had risen steadily since the beginning of large-scale oil production in 1978. Findings contrast with industry claims that the carcinogen is naturally occurring, as levels are 2.5 to 23 times higher in current sediment than in layers dating back to 1960. "We’re not saying these are poisonous ponds," said John P. Smol, the study's lead author, "but it’s going to get worse. It’s not too late but the trend is not looking good." For the full story, see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/world/americas/oil-sand-industry-in-canada-tied-to-higher-carcinogen-level.html and http://www.npr.org/2013/01/08/168887788/deep-in-canadian-lakes-signs-of-tar-sands-pollution. Earlier: http://elr.info/international/international-update/canada-boost-oil-sands-monitoring, http://elr.info/international/international-update/canada-fights-european-union-directive-labeling-oil-sands.