Waterways downstream from oil sands are full o’ toxins, says study
Fish, water, and sediment downstream from the gigantic oil sands projects in Alberta are chock-full of carcinogens and other toxins, says a new study. While the research does not make a direct link between the oil sands, the toxins, and presumed health consequences, the largely Native residents of downstream community Fort Chipewyan have long suspected that they experience higher-than-normal rates of rare cancers. (Alberta’s health department does not agree.) Head researcher Kevin Timoney says that Fort Chipewyan’s drinking water is safe, but he found high levels of arsenic, mercury, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in fish, which many of the village’s 1,400 residents eat regularly. Fort Chipewyan is calling for a moratorium on oil sands development, which, seeing as aboriginal health is invariably a higher priority than fossil-fuel profit, will no doubt be granted any day now.