Toronto Metropolitan University
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Human Health Risk Assessment of Ambient Air in a Dispute Over Petrochemical Emissions

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posted on 2023-03-06, 14:54 authored by Douglas Theodore Cousins
Combined air emissions from multiple petrochemical facilities operating in the area known as Chemical Valley in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, have led to escalating concerns over health effects to nearby residents. By conducting a quantitative health risk assessment of ambient air data collected from 2008-2014, this thesis investigated whether current emissions are resulting in increased health risk for the population living near Chemical Valley. The results of this analysis are that health risks are slightly higher than levels considered acceptable for large populations, but are within levels often accepted for smaller groups based on the traditional risk assessment - risk management paradigm. Interpreting these results in the context of the literature about the science-policy interface, and environmental dispute resolution, this thesis highlights several problems with using the traditional risk assessment - risk management paradigm as the basis for decision-making in environmental disputes— particularly when the affected population is Indigenous.





  • Master of Applied Science


  • Environmental Applied Science and Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis