We Knew Something Was Wrong

Cadmium hot spots
I’m Mary Lou Putman and I live in North Portland. I have a question for Multnomah County, but first I need to say that my heart goes out for families ALL over Portland who have been affected by toxic air. It’s a tragedy. And it’s especially sad because the community knew something was wrong, complained and were ignored by regulators. That’s just wrong. It’s even more disheartening because my community in North Portland has been complaining to any authority who would listen – including the DEQ and OHA, about the unfiltered, unscrubbed off-gassing from ...

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Looking for Legal Recourse?

Filtrate, please
People have asked – So we did a little digging and talked to a few attorneys. The following is our extremely layperson’s explanation of what we learned. It focuses on the class action lawsuit, which is one type of litigation that has been employed in similar circumstances. Class action is only one tool. It may not be the only avenue for legal action. Want to learn more? Download the PDF.

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Who is Responsible?

artwork
A few people have asked me to write down some thoughts about the conversations we've been having with glass company employees. The main thing I want to say is that we are in the midst of a lot of legitimate anger, but we have to be careful not to let it spill out onto the wrong people, including each other. Both the DEQ and individual polluters like Bullseye and Uroboros have the power to radically reduce the air toxics we are exposed to (as we can see with the decision to suspend cadmium, arsenic, and chromium), and we need to keep pressure on both. This is not ...

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Interpreting Urine Tests in Children

at Cleveland High School
Like many of you, we had our child’s urine tested for Arsenic and Cadmium, and got high test results for both. However, the test results are very hard to interpret, and I’ve been struggling to figure out what my child's risk might be going forward. I’ve done a lot of research, and spoken with the testing center (Arup Laboratories) and with a pediatrician at the Northwest Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit. What I’ve learned is actually very reassuring, so I thought I’d share it, since I’m sure many of you have the same questions. Unders...

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Cadmium and Arsenic Soil Tests from CCLC

Soil analysis
One big unknown in the controversy about heavy metal pollution in southeast Portland (OR) has been the amount of accumulation of pollutants identified by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality as above its benchmark levels in air. Cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) were measured well above emissions benchmarks at an air monitoring station near the Bullseye Glass production facility; while those emissions were not particularly high with respect to health risks for inhalation, we did not know if the pollutants had accumulated in soils. For heavy metals this can be a real ...

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