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: Unexplained gap in global emissions of potent greenhouse gases resolved

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

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

Climate change: How Brits feel about 'smart' energy

4 hours ago

Reluctance to share data about personal energy use is likely to be a major obstacle when implementing 'smart' technologies designed to monitor use and support energy efficient behaviours, according to new ...

A novel pathway producing dimethylsulphide in bacteria

9 hours ago

A scientific team that includes researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) has identified a novel pathway producing dimethylsulphide, a volatile organosulfur compound which plays a major role in climate regulation.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.