Articles | Volume 18, issue 5
Research article
08 Mar 2018
Research article |  | 08 Mar 2018

Emissions databases for polycyclic aromatic compounds in the Canadian Athabasca oil sands region – development using current knowledge and evaluation with passive sampling and air dispersion modelling data

Xin Qiu, Irene Cheng, Fuquan Yang, Erin Horb, Leiming Zhang, and Tom Harner

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Cited articles

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR): Case Studies in Environmental Medicine, in: Toxicity of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, ATSDR, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 68 pp., 2009. 
AEP (Alberta Environment and Parks): Air Quality Model Guideline (AQMG), available at: (last access: 2 March 2018), 2013. 
CCME (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment): Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines for Carcinogenic and Other Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (Environmental and Human Health Effects), Scientific Criteria Document, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, Québec, Canada, 218 pp., 2010. 
CEMA (Cumulative Environmental Management Association): Lower Athabasca Region Source and Emission Inventory. Fort McMurray, Alberta, available at: (last access: 2 March 2018), 2011. 
ECCC (Environment and Climate Change Canada): Source Emissions, Oil Sands Region, Emissions-package, available at: (last access: 2 March 2018), 2016. 
Short summary
We developed emissions databases for polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) in the Athabasca oil sands region and evaluated the emissions databases by comparing CALPUFF-modelled concentrations with monitored data. Model–measurement agreement improved near oil sands mines due to updated PAC emissions from tailings ponds. Modelled concentrations were underestimated at remote sites and for alkylated PACs suggesting that the emissions of PACs particularly alkylated compounds are underestimated.
Final-revised paper