The International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) 2024

Posted: May 7, 2024 Uncategorized

Intrinsik’s Christine McFarland will be presenting at IOSC 2024 on the ‘Detailed Spill and Multimedia Modeling in Support of a Human Health Risk Assessment in English Bay, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada’ on May 15th, 2024.

In anticipation of an increase in tanker traffic, a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) was conducted to understand the potential impacts to human health that might result from a hypothetical scenario involving a ship-source marine oil spill within English Bay near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The HHRA relied on the use of predictive modeling to forecast the potential exposures to contaminants of potential concern (COPCs) that people might experience for the hypothetical spill scenario. The study was performed stepwise, beginning with detailed spill modeling to understand the fate and behavior of the spilled oil in the marine environment, followed by multi-media modeling to estimate the COPC concentrations in environmental media, and progressing to human exposure modeling to estimate the levels of exposure to the COPCs for people in the spill area. The exposure estimates were compared against health-based guidelines to determine whether health effects might occur, and if so, to assess the nature and extent of these effects.

The findings of the HHRA for the hypothetical spill scenario indicate that people living in the spill area, particularly Indigenous Peoples practicing a subsistence lifestyle, could experience adverse health effects from exposure to the COPCs if the consumption of local seafoods was to continue unabated. The findings point to the need for local, provincial and/or federal authorities to implement controls or issue advisories to protect public health. Mitigation measures or strategies aimed at the protection of public health and safety were presented.