Proposed design for a program of toxicological research for the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program

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  • A proposed design, and supporting information, for an integrated program of toxicological research for the Alberta Oil Sands Environmental Research Program is presented. The first major section of the report (Section 2) contains background information pertinent to the development of a research design. The nature and magnitude of present and proposed oil sands development wastes within the AOSERP study area are reviewed, as are the results of studies on air quality, water quality, and toxicology. The general toxicology of inorganic trace elements, sulphur and sulphur compounds, photochemical air pollutants, and organic compounds to mammals, vegetation, and aquatic organisms is reviewed by means of literature searches. A 'Toxicological Index' is proposed to outline the toxicological significance of specific inorganic elements to mammals and aquatic organisms. The index provides a list of elements judged to be of environmental concern. Gaps in information pertinent to the design of a toxicological research program are identified and discussed. The proposed toxicological program research design is outlined in Section 3. The proposed design is based on the integration of baseline data, inventories of wastes, identification of biological target systems, assessment of toxicity (including preliminary evaluation, biomonitoring, and toxicity testing), and generation of information for management purposes. Requirements for research within the proposed design in each AOSERP Research System are identified and specific projects are recommended.

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