Tar Sands

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by MrReGlog
Last updated 7 years ago


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Tar Sands

Health and theTar Sands

- Oil shales and tar sands contain large amounts of petroleum

- Oil shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock rich in solid organic material called Kerogen

- Tar sands are composed of sand and shale particles coated with bitumen

- Bitumen is a viscous mixture of long-chain hydrocarbons

- Rare forms of cancer downstream from tar sands production

Health Issues

Information About Tar Sands

Environmental Issues

- Typical plants produce 125, 000 bbl of oil per day which creates about 15 million m3 of toxic sludge

- 5000 tons of greenhouse gases are emitted

- Tar sands consume and contaminate billions of litres of water per year

- Shallow tar sands are excavated and mixed with hot water and steam to extract bitumen

- Deeper deposits; superheated steam is injected to melt bitumen

- When melted bitumen can be pumped to the surface like liquid crude

- Surface mining in Canada could destroy millions of hectares of boreal forest

- Kerogen when heated to 480 degrees celcius (900 degrees fahrenheit) it liquifies and can be extracted from stone

- Oil shale beds up to 600m (1800 ft) thick

- If shale deposits could be extracted for a reasonable price with acceptable environmental impacts it could yield the quivalent of several trillion barrels of oil

- Mining shale causes many problems; it's expensive, requires vast quantities of water, has a high potential for air and water pollution and produces enormous quantities of waste

- Downstream from tar sands: pollution of fresh water leading to poisoned diets (fish, moose and plant toxicity)

- Tar sands operations also emit nitrogen oxide, sulfer oxide, particulate matter and volatile substances

- Particulate matter has been linked to diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and various forms of heart disease.

- Breathing in nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide often leads to respiratory problems

- Volatile organic compounds can cause even more serious problems, from cancer to brain damage

- When human beings eat the animals or fish that have ingested polluted plants or water they are also eating the chemicals consumed by the animal

- Reports have been made of mutations in animals and fish in ecosystems downstream from tar sands projects

- Communities that are adjacent to tar sands (oil refineries) are faced with increased carbon dioxide emissions, and increased exposure to heavy metals, and sulfurs.



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