"A high incidence of blood cancers among men" near Canada's main oil sands site


tar sands maple leaf oil

The other day this happened: Here we go again: No. Dakota kept oil pipeline spill quiet for days; oil firm doesn't know when it started. And who could forget Canada's booming oil sands industry offers "choice between whether we starve to death or are poisoned to death"?

Here is Rachel Maddow's summary of the latest oil pollution events in North Dakota, including updates since my post was written:

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So there you go. Two very recent, very disgusting examples of the destruction and utter disregard for private property, the environment, and the health and welfare of anyone anywhere near Big Oil's rape of Mother Earth.

Oh wait. Here's a third. Via the Los Angeles Times:

A new study has detected air pollutants, including carcinogens, in areas downwind of Canada's main fossil fuel hub in Alberta at levels rivaling those of major metropolises such as Beijing and Mexico City.

The study by researchers from UC Irvine and the University of Michigan also found a high incidence of blood cancers such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among men in the area, compared with the rest of Alberta and Canada.

Of course, the Alberta government "sees no evidence" of such a thing. All those carcinogens associated with "a three-county area where oil, chemicals and oil sands crude are processed" are just a silly coincidence.

Or the study was flawed.

Or somebody working for the government/oil company forgot to pay the people doing the study enough to deter them from presenting actual, you know, facts:

VOCs, organic chemical mixtures created by certain industrial processes and consumption of fossil fuels... contribute to climate change and formation of smog. They also contain cancer-causing substances such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene. Tests showed that airborne concentrations of 1,3-butadiene were 322 times greater downwind of the industrial area than upwind. Similarly, downwind concentrations of benzene were 51 times greater.

Tar sands “isn’t oil. This is a pipe-eating, planet-cooking, water-fouling goo. You can’t clean up tar.”

But the study is wrong. Got it. Tell it to those men who are dying of cancer.