• GC-MS testing reveals bird death cause
    1,600 ducks died because of bitumen, it has been claimed


GC-MS testing reveals bird death cause

Apr 08 2010

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) has been used to ascertain the levels of an oily substance in a Canadian pond after a number of ducks died on the same day.

The waterfowl were living near a mine owned by oil producer Syncrude, when 1,600 birds all perished on April 28th 2008, the Vancouver Sun reports.

It was revealed that just two weeks prior to the incident the amount of bitumen recovered from the mine's operations dipped to just 65 per cent on April 12th, whereas usually 88 to 95 per cent of the byproduct is captured.

All bitumen not recovered would have ended up in the tailings pond, with ALS Labs employee Detlef Birkholz saying it contributed to the ducks' demise.

In legal proceedings stemming from the deaths, he told a court he used GC-MS to analyse oil from the corpses.

Water testing in Charlottesville, Virginia recently showed high levels of a harmful pesticide in two local creeks, according to the Daily Progress newspaper.

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