Air Toxicity Issues in Southeast and Greater Portland, Oregon


DEQ map of Air Toxicity in Portland, OR

February 3, 2016, The Mercury recently reported findings of high levels of arsenic and cadmium in the air in SE Portland. Days later, the DEQ released a map that showed many areas throughout Portland to be affected.

If you are wondering, “Should I get tested for arsenic or cadmium poisoning?” this Portland Mercury article cites Dr. Gillian Beauchamp, a Toxicology Fellow at the Oregon Poison Center at OHSU, who offers advice.

A timely resource for updates on current action by Portland residents (meetings, information sharing, etc.) is the Facebook Public Group Inner SE Air Quality. Although the focus is SE Portland, there’s much information about air quality in other areas in the city being shared here too. Inner SE Air Quality is also sharing community-generated/created Google maps of cancers and serious illnessesa map for people that have tested for heavy metal exposure, and a map showing results of soil testing for heavy metals.  Check here for updates on community meetings you can attend. Neighbors for Clean Air Facebook page is another good resource.

If you are interested more broadly about air quality in Portland, check the ToxNet map. Use the Beta version and click on "zoom to a location" then enter an address to see emissions near you. If you click on "more" you can see the levels of toxins a facility reports. This doesn’t report these recent SE Portland findings.

The Oregon Health Authority’s Cancer Registry researches possible clusters in communities. 

Questions? Call, text or email a librarian to get personalized help – or ask the librarian on duty the next time you're at the library.  We will do our best to find the right resource or service for you!


Community Open House on air quality tonight (Tuesday, 2/9) at Cleveland High School: February 5, 2016 Community members are invited to an open house on Tuesday, Feb. 9 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cleveland High School to learn more about air quality monitoring showing high levels of cadmium and arsenic near S.E. 22nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard in Portland. The public is invited to meet with staff from the Department of Environmental Quality (link is external), the Oregon Health Authority (link is external), and state and local elected officials. The Multnomah County Health Department and Portland Public Schools are convening the Open House. Community members can visit agency stations and view maps from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Multnomah County Health Department will facilitate a public Question and Answer period from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. People will have time to again talk to staff until 9 p.m. Due to basketball season, people will gather in the Cleveland High cafeteria, 3400 S.E. 26th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202 (link is external). To see the latest updates, and view maps of the affected area, as they become available, visit the DEQ website (link is external). To see the latest public health updates (link is external) from the Oregon Health Authority.
Why didn't the City take action when they first knew about this? Because this is considered life endangerment, there needs to be a class action lawsuit against Bullseye. I live and work in the area and have been breathing the air unaware of the toxicity levels. How is that fair to anyone in the same situation, especially to the students and faculty of Cleveland High School? We all should be compensated in some way, shape or form. If anyone were to develop cancer because of the arsenic and cadmium release into the air, shouldn't the City be sued as well for negligence?
Thanks for the info blog about Air toxicity in SE and NE now.

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