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Commissioner Fish (Bureau of Environmental Services), Mayor Hales, the Multnomah County Health Department, Governor Brown and the EPA need to manage this. They need to immediately and clearly get out information on the risks to neighbors, then follow up with clear and continuous communication.
Calling the business may relieve some anger, but calling all of the above officials might be more effective. The business is not knowledgeable about the science.
From the above report, the Oregon DEQ and OHA are exceeding expectations, which is what we expect in this situation.
For anybody with in Multnomah and Washington Counties, you can read the permits and reviews for every permitted entity monitored by DEQ by clicking on individual point source emitters on the map on the front page of this site: http://portlandcleanair.org/
The state report in a few days needs to include health risk advice. Presumably this all would have come out together in that report, but the Merc got the scoop.
Likely the Oregon DEQ report in a few days should include health advice. The Merc got a scoop so we are in this situation.
I think the state is very serious about this:
"We share your concern.
"We just learned of a recent report from DEQ. In 2015, the DEQ performed air monitoring tests in a parking lot near Bullseye Glass. On February 1, 2016, staff from the DEQ shared some test results with Bullseye. It was newly discovered that there were higher levels of Arsenic and Cadmium in Bullseye's neighborhood than in some other areas of the city. Additional samples were taken from different sites, but all the analysis for these other locations is not complete yet.
"We have engaged an environmental consulting firm to help us evaluate the data and conduct further testing and monitoring. Based on what we learn, although we are in full compliance with our air permit, Bullseye will take additional action based on any new findings that show corrective action is warranted.
"The owners and employees of Bullseye Glass care about the environment and our neighborhood and take this matter seriously."
I do think it is integral to keep them as a part of the conversation.
They need to shut down operations, fast or slow, until they can convince DEQ that they can work without poisoning the neighborhood. I'm sure they're upset, I'm sure they're intentions were good - now follow those intentions with doing the right thing.
Please let's work to find a solution to our growing and changing city without immediately resorting to organizing *against* everything. We need jobs. We need art.
So, driving by Bullseye a few times won't cause you problems if you don't live nearby. But for the people who live in the area, and for the kids who've been going to school within a few blocks of Bullseye for several years, they'll qualify as having had a "very long exposure time," right?
I mean, sure – industrial toxins are all over our city and our world. We realistically can't steer clear of all of them. But an operation spewing out carcinogens and neurotoxins in *such* a high dosage, in a residential/school neighborhood, is pretty seriously bad.
Thanks to the Mercury for this reporting, and I hope you do more.
The EPA's Fact Sheet on cadmium compounds states the following under "Health Hazard Information: Acute inhalation exposure to high levels of cadmium in humans may result in effects on the lung, such as bronchial and pulmonary irritation. A single acute exposure to high levels of cadmium can result in long-lasting impairment of lung function.
Cadmium is considered to have high acute toxicity, based on short-term animal tests in rats."
It seems worth discussion whether the individual daily levels in DEQ's data set such as 195 ng/m3 and 133ng/m3 qualify as "high levels." As my article states, they are 325 and 222 times DEQ's safe air goal.
As to the reference to blood tests, they are essentially useless for assessing cadmium exposure. Due to its extremely poor excretion, cadmium has an extremely long-half life in the human body; estimates are all over the map from 10 years to decades. Blood tests don't capture that. A simple urine test, on the other hand, gives a very good reading of the overall long-term body burden of cadmium. Skip the blood test.
This urine test is what enabled researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and elsewhere to conclude in a study entitled, "Cadmium Exposure and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in U.S. Children": "These findings suggest that children who have higher urinary cadmium concentrations may have increased risk of both Learning Disability and special education. Importantly, we observed these associations at exposure levels that were previously considered to be without adverse effects, and these levels are common among U.S. children." It was published in the May 2012 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives
My son went to the CCLC daycare on campus- he was sick ALL the time, even to the point where an illness infected his lungs and we had to medicate him with an inhaler.
I haven't worked there for two years, and we have since moved out of the city, but we are experiencing possible neurological problems with my oldest son, who is 4.5 years old. It is devastating to even think that while I thought I was making healthy choices while pregnant by going on multiple walks around the campus, that I was possibly poisoning my child with every breath.
Baffling smell on Hayden Island continues to make people sick
Women wonder: cancer cluster in SE Portland? | KOIN.com
USA TODAY Special Report – The Smokestack Effect – Toxic Air and America’s Schools
Portland's Precision Castparts ranked nation's top industrial air polluter in University of Massachusetts study | OregonLive.com
Contact DEQ and Bullseye Glass regarding their cracinogenic and neurotoxic plant emissions. We need to let Bullseye and the DEQ know this is unacceptable!
Bullseye Factory 3722 SE 21st Avenue, Portland, OR 97202, 503-232-8887, Map and directions
DEQ Hotline: 1-888-997-7888
It's okay to be concerned but let's keep from spreading ugly rumors.
I'm highly curious what their message is behind taking down a report they previously posted. Without knowing their reasons... I of course am making up my own.
"Even more alarming is the fact that Bullseye's emissions permit with the DEQ is currently expired and does not even list cadmium or arsenic among its major pollutants. Cadmium isn't even mentioned. Additionally, DEQ has no authority to halt emissions in the event a polluter's emissions demonstrably exceed the state's own safe limits."
I find it difficult to believe that they wouldn't have some knowledge that the plums from their kilns weren't polluting the air with potentially dangererous toxins, and if they didn't know, they shouldn't be using them. Think about the person that's been shoveling the arsenic into the furance. Was he wearing a hazmat suit? If so, Bullseye knows how potentially dangerous it is to burn it and send smoke into the air. Thank you Dainel Forbes for breaking this story.
That area has railroad diesel particulates, railroad tie preservatives, car-truck emissions on Powell, auto repair pollutants, whatever historical pollutants from industry and more. The neighborhood has been an industrial zone and forgotten. A neighborhood history would be a good Merc article, especially with the building that is going to happen around the MAX.
Once the first report is issued, suggest lobbying for the state to do the testing if you are concerned.
Supplemental question: has Bullseye been conclusively and officially declared responsible for toxic emissions of any kind?
Seems to me from this article alone that there is a fair amount of conjecture and speculation, especially given that some test results from further afield than an ajoining car park are still due in.
And who is responsible for permitting the construction of a day care facility in the environs of a factory (of ANY kind) without first assessing ALL POSSIBLE health risks at that time?
Am gonna go out on a limb and suggest this is irresponsible 'journalism' causing panic and upset without being in possession of a full set of facts. Of course the locals are right to be concerned, but a response based on speculation and hearsay does more damage than one based on solid fact.
Small amounts of lead ingested over a period of time has a toxic cumulative effect.
Even white chalk as used for writing on blackboards in elementary schools, contains high levels of lead.
Our daycare met with DEQ, OHA and Multnomah County tonight. I can't say I learned all that much from them, except, and I quote "DEQ does not have rules to prevent them" (sic) from using the metals again.
My local market is the People's Market where I often meet different community groups. One group that I have consistently met is Neighbors For Clean Air.
You can find them, and the amazing work they've done for years,here: http://whatsinourair.org/
This group is run and directed by a woman named Mary, who became involved when her family was affected by a local polluter. Many of the people we are seeing directly affected by Bullseye are mothers and children.
I put a lot of faith in NCA to find creative and community-orientated responses that keep these toxins out of our air. I know that her group has been directly involved in placing many air monitoring sites throughout PDX. I know that her group lobbies. I know that her group organizes. I know that her group explores every single avenue they can.
I've met "Portland Clean Air" people before, ALSO canvassing at people's....and was incredibly offput by their in person lack of knowledge, their inability to really talk about what they do other than that website, and a pretty masculine and demeaning vibe while asking for donations going to god knows where (maybe the website?)
If folks are looking for resources, I would direct them to NCA and Mary. She has seen the deadly effects of neighborhood polluters firsthand, and as a mother and community member, she will be committed to keeping the spaces where we live (or live nearby) free of toxins.
Thank you very much for contacting me about the detection of elevated levels of cadmium and arsenic near the intersection of Powell Boulevard and SE 22nd Avenue. I was incredibly alarmed to learn about the problem this week, and I want you to know that I take the situation extremely seriously. I am especially concerned due to the close proximity of the site to schools and other areas where children are present.
We are monitoring the situation closely and have been meeting with relevant regulators in an attempt to fix this pressing public health and environmental problem. I am working hard to make sure that the public will have the information that it needs and deserves.
As a first step, there will be an open house from 5-9pm on Tuesday, February 9th, in the Cleveland High School cafeteria in order to provide more information about the air quality monitoring and high levels of cadmium and arsenic. The event is hosted by the Multnomah County Health Department and Portland Public Schools and will also include staff from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
Community meeting on air quality
Date: February 9, 2016
Summary: Visit agency stations and view maps from 5-7pm, engage in Q&A with County Health Department from 7-8pm, and talk with staff from 8-9pm.
Location: Cleveland High School cafeteria, 3400 SE 26th Ave, Portland, OR 97202
Below, I have listed several other resources that I hope you will find useful. This includes DEQ and OHA websites that provide up-to-date information on the situation, as well as a phone number for the OHA’s Environmental Public Health Section, which you can call with questions about potential adverse health impacts. The DEQ website provides the option to sign up for email updates. In addition, I have included a link to a news release from Bullseye Glass that indicates the company has suspended the use of cadmium and arsenic.
DEQ updates and maps (as they become available): www.deq.state.or.us/nwr/metalsemissions.htm
Oregon Health Authority public health updates: http://public.health.oregon.gov/newsadvisories/Pages/metals-emissions.aspx
OHA phone line: 971-673-0185
Bullseye news release: www.bullseyeglass.com/news-releases.html
Again, I would like to express my deep concern and assure you that I am paying close attention to these developments. Please stay in contact with our office with any and all questions and concerns. You can reach our office by phone at 503-986-1721 or email at email@example.com.
All my best,
Senator Diane Rosenbaum
Senate President Pro Tempore
Senate District 21
The arsenate glasses should not be lumped in with the cadmium glasses. They really are very different melts entirely. Fluorine would indeed be a third issue yet it is not mentioned. Through Scrubbers, 99% of the material can be salvaged before hitting the air outside. This is true at Uroboros as well which is also a cadmium hotspot in Portland. Just look at the data.