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Air synthesis review: polycyclic aromatic compounds in the oil sands region
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Number of Authors: 292018 (English)In: Environmental Reviews, ISSN 1181-8700, E-ISSN 1208-6053, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 430-468Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This air synthesis review presents the current state of knowledge on the sources, fates, and effects for polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) and related chemicals released to air in the oil sands region (OSR) in Alberta, Canada. Through the implementation of the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Program in 2012 a vast amount of new information on PACs has been acquired through directed monitoring and research projects and reported to the scientific community and public. This new knowledge addresses questions related to cumulative effects and informs the sustainable management of the oil sands resource while helping to identify gaps in understanding and priorities for future work. As a result of this air synthesis review on PACs, the following topics have been identified as new science priorities: (i) improving emissions reporting to better account for fugitive mining emissions of PACs that includes a broader range of PACs beyond the conventional polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) including, inter alia, alkylated-PAHs (alk-PAHs), dibenzothiophene (DBT), alk-DBTs, nitro-PAHs, oxy-PAHs including quinones and thia-and aza-arenes; (ii) improving information on the ambient concentrations, long-range transport, and atmospheric deposition of these broader classes of PACs and their release (with co-contaminants) from different types of mining activities; (iii) further optimizing electricity-free and cost-effective approaches for assessing PAC deposition (e.g., snow sampling, lichens, passive ambient sampling) spatially across the OSR and downwind regions; (iv) designing projects that integrate monitoring efforts with source attribution models and ecosystem health studies to improve understanding of sources, receptors, and effects; (v) further optimizing natural deposition archives (e.g., sediment, peat, tree rings) and advanced forensic techniques (e.g., isotope analysis, marker compounds) to provide better understanding of sources of PACs in the OSR over space and time; (vi) conducting process research to improve model capabilities for simulating atmospheric chemistry of PACs and assessing exposure to wildlife and humans; and (vii) developing tools and integrated strategies for assessing cumulative risk to wildlife and humans by accounting for the toxicity of the mixture of chemicals in air rather than on a single compound basis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 26, no 4, p. 430-468
Keywords [en]
oil sands region, polycyclic aromatic compounds, PAHs, atmospheric fate, emissions, deposition
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163601DOI: 10.1139/er-2018-0039ISI: 000451772900009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-163601DiVA, id: diva2:1277844
Available from: 2019-01-11 Created: 2019-01-11 Last updated: 2019-01-11Bibliographically approved

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