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An Embryonic Field of Study: The Aquatic Fate and Toxicity of Diluted Bitumen
- Alsaadi, Ftoon, Hodson, PeterV., Langlois, ValerieS.
- Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology 2018 v.100 no.1 pp. 8-13
- bitumen, chemical composition, condensates, fish, oil sands, oils, toxicity, Canada
- Canada has experienced a significant increase in the transport of diluted bitumen (dilbit), a predominant oil sands product that combines bitumen with diluents derived from oil–gas condensates and other proprietary compounds. The proportion of diluent and the chemical composition of dilbit vary to meet seasonal transport requirements. While the toxic effects of a variety of crude and refined oils are well-studied, the toxicity of dilbit to aquatic species is less well known. This focused review summarizes dilbit production, chemistry, and the few data on toxicity to aquatic species. These data suggest that un-weathered dilbit would cause effects on fish equivalent to those of conventional oils, but its toxicity may be lower, depending on interactions among test conditions, the behavior of dilbit added to water and the species tested.