Review of oil sands tailings pond contaminants with fish tainting potential

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  • The literature on tainting of fish by petroleum-derived compounds has been reviewed for information specifically relevant to the potential for tainting of fish in the Athabasca River. Major classes of compounds which are known to be present studied for fish in oil sands wastes and which have been uptake include: alkylated benzenes, alkylated naphthalenes, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, polynuclear aromatic sulphur heterocycles, polynuclear aromatic nitrogen heterocycles and naphthenic hydrocarbons. Threshold odor levels in water for many of these compounds occur in the 1-100 ppb range. A need for more background data on the occurrence of these types of compounds in the oil sands region and in oil sands effluents has been identified.

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