Oil sands toxins increasing

by Milan on August 10, 2010

in Air pollution, Oil sands, Water pollution

New data from Environment Canada shows some of the harmful non-climate impacts from the continued exploitation of Alberta’s oil sands:

In the past four years, the volume of arsenic and lead produced and deposited in tailings ponds by the country’s bitumen mines – run by Syncrude Canada Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc., SU-T Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. CNQ-T and Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDS.B-N – has increased by 26 per cent. Quantities of some other substances have increased at even faster rates.

The companies also released huge amounts of pollutants into the air last year, including 70,658 tonnes of volatile organic compounds, which can damage the function of human organs and nervous systems, and 111,661 tonnes of sulphur dioxide, a key contributor to acid rain.

These are some of the things that are ignored when politicians highlight the jobs and wealth produced by oil sands operations.

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