A newly published study says air downwind from a cluster of petrochemical plants northeast of Edmonton contains pollutants at levels equal to some of the world’s largest cities.
Other pollutants, including some known to cause cancer, also measured well above normal. And cancer rates linked to those chemicals were found to be higher in communities closest to the so-called Industrial Heartland…The area, 30 kilometres northeast of Edmonton and adjacent to the town of Fort Saskatchewan, now holds Canada’s largest concentration of petrochemical processors. More than 40 companies, including majors such as Shell and Imperial Oil, are spread out over nearly 600 square kilometres…The [research team] found smog-causing chemicals in the air at levels comparable to — and occasionally many times higher than — some of the world’s largest cities and industrial complexes. Those include Mexico City, Beijing and Tokyo as well as Houston, home to the largest petrochemical manufacturing centre in the U.S.