People living in communities near oil sands can breathe easy: study

Apr 13, 2010

Warren Kindzierski, University of Alberta researcher in the School of Public Health, says people living in the communities of Fort McMurray, Fort Mckay and Fort Chipewyan should feel confident that the air they are breathing is safe.

Kindzierski's research has found that, despite ongoing development, it's apparent that there is little or no pattern to the changes in concentrations of various pollutants across the region over the past 10 years.

This study came about when Kindzierski was asked by the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association to test how and if air quality is being affected in the three communities that are the closest to oil sands activity: Fort McMurray, Fort Mckay and Fort Chipewyan.

Kindzierski investigated outdoor air quality between 1998 and 2007. He and his team analyzed four air monitoring stations in the three communities and eight other monitoring stations closer to oil sands developments.

Air pollutants of interest included oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide, airborne particulate matter, ground level ozone and reduced sulphur compounds, all of which could have in high concentration.

Kindzierski says over the past 10 years changes in concentrations were small or did not occur at all during this period of time for most of the air pollutants. He adds the rate of increase that was observed for other specific in almost all cases was very small.

Kindzierski says these findings are positive from a public health point-of-view and adds that these three communities ultimately have better than larger cities such as Edmonton.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

More information:
To view where the air monitoring stations are located link to: wbea.org/content/view/56/111/
A copy of Kindzierski's report can be found at: www.phs.ualberta.ca/reports.cfm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study says Chinese air quality standards not yet met

May 13, 2008

With the Olympic Games in sight, the Chinese Government is committed to improving the air quality in Beijing, and has had measures in place since 1998 which have already made a difference. However, there is still some way ...

Think tank studies military encroachment

Jul 02, 2007

A Rand Corp. study found the U.S. Defense Department's effort to provide land buffers near its bases is effective in relieving "encroachment" pressures.

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...