Canadian oil company treating ditch near refinery for elevated benzene

By on August 26, 2013

Canada’s largest integrated energy company has found the chemical benzene in water samples taken from a roadside ditch near its refinery, Reuters reported.

Suncor Energy Inc. discovered the contamination while taking samples to examine the effects of surface water runoff on ditch water. The company said the ditch has been isolated and is in the process of treatment.

Benzene is an organic chemical found in crude oil. Drinking water contaminated even slightly by the flammable chemical may increase the risk of cancer in those who consume it.

According to a spokesperson for the company, the benzene levels found in the water samples did not exceed those defined by local water quality regulations.

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