The Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) proclaimed in 1988 requires the Canadian Ministers of the Environment and of National Health and Welfare to assess the toxicity of different substances, including Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAH emissions from different sources were inventoried to determine their entry in the environment. Concentrations in the different media (air, water, sediment, biota) were obtained, which indicated the extent of exposure. Laboratory testings showed effects caused by PAHs, some of which were observed in the nature. The inventory of the sources revealed that more than 6300 t of PAHs were released in the Canadian environment in 1990, mostly to the atmosphere (4300 t). Forest fires represent the single most important natural source of PAHs (2000 t/year) while anthropogenic sources are numerous and result in emission into all media. They include combustion sources (Heating, Incineration), industrial sources (Aluminum smelters, Iron and steel industries) and transportation.
Simon Fraser University. 1995. Workshop Proceedings Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in British Columbia. Environment Canada