Toxins Released by Alberta's Oil Sands Contaminate Lakes, Other Water Sources

Government-funded study shows how the oil sands industry impacts on the environment

This past Monday, it became public news that, according to a government-funded study, the toxins released by Alberta's oil sands must be held accountable for contaminating lakes found in their proximity.

After analyzing the toxic hydrocarbons concentrations of six such water sources located in the oil sands region, specialists reached the conclusion that the building of mines in this province caused said concentrations to up.

To cut a long story short, some of these lakes now contain 2 ½ more toxic hydrocarbons than they used to, while others contain 23 times more such harmful chemical compounds, The Star reports.

“This shows very conclusively that at least in the lakes we looked at, we cannot see any way we can attribute this to natural causes,” biologist John Smol argued.

Despite the fact that the overall toxin levels are still rather low, the researchers who looked into this issue are worried about what the future will bring.

The findings of this research were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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