A portion of the Bullseye Glass facility in SE Portland GOOGLE


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I love one block away. I have a ten month old. I am now fairly terrified.
This is terrifying. I have a ten month old and live one block north of Bullseye. Do I... need to go stay at a hotel? I have no idea how alarmed I should be.
Three years? They were searching for three years? Within minutes after receiving the notice from our daycare last night I was able to search the internet and discern that the metals being discussed are used in glass manufacturing. I am extremely distressed that my child can't play outside at school now, that she has been playing outside with these known pollutants for years, that my vegetable garden is likely toxic. I need more info. I need it quickly. I do not want to hear that DEQ can do nothing. That is not acceptable to my family and the other people here in our neighborhood.
I just called Bullseye Glass and left a message with Eric Durrin. I urge you to do the same. (503) 232-8887
Curious if there is information about this from Bullseye's satellite facilities in other states. That could be an interesting line of inquiry, as far as figuring out how much is actually known about the pollutants.
Hmmm, makes me wonder about another art glass factory, Uroboros, located in the Albina industrial district at 2139 N. Kerby.
Good for the Merc for breaking this news!

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.
Yes, though the business may be able to suspend operations, given the circumstances. But agree, those other calls are also very important.
Why weren't the Forest Service folks who are cited as originally finding the findings not interviewed here?
http://www.portlandcleanair.org/scans/26-3… This page of their (now expired) permit shows the conditions of their permit. If neighbors could please read the permit and file formal complaints when they observe items such as smells or smoke plumes, please, it will help create some accountability. Their new permit may require they solve concerns people are having if they are violations of their prior permit. Public participation is critical for getting better terms (for the public) in their permits.

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/
A glass factory cannot suspend operations. The glass would cool in the furnaces to a large brick and the entire furnace would have to be taken apart by hammers and scrapped.

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.

A glass factory cannot suspend operations. If it did, the glass in the kilns would cool into a solid brick and the entire kiln would have to be taken apart with hammers and scrapped.

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:
I don't think anyone should call the business as a way of 'relieving their anger' I think people should politely call and very nicely say they are concerned and ask if the business will work with DEQ & the community to help resolve the problem(s). They may not but if they conscientious they will.
Yes, of course, it wouldn't have made sense to unload my anger on them. I did, however, let them know about my concerns. Eric was very pleasant on the phone. All of this was news to him too, and so he shares the same concerns. I later sent a message on Facebook and received the following reply:

"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.
Eric also gave me the name and number of the person at OHA who is the point-person for communication.

Jonathan Modie
This is insanely disturbing, especially after living in this neighborhood for 8+ years & having an array of health issues. I will join any efforts to shut this shit down.
I called. It may be legal, but it's dead wrong on ethics and common sense. They can't fool me with marketing of their ignorance. They purchase the material and burn it. Please like Seth's post about the need for neighbors to call so the next permit is not renewed, or given a complete overhaul. Seth has dedicated his life to people and the environment in Portland. The burn equipment in Europe can be installed here easily. It's all about money v people. If this glass company can't pay to do it safe. Shut it down.
Would anyone want to help me buy a few air test suitcases for free rental by anyone in Portland who smells bad air and wishes to have it tested? I started this Indie Go Go fund, but it was not popular back then... https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/test-it…
A glass manufacturer certainly can suspend operations - it would just be very expensive to do so. It's only money. Compromising my daughter's cognitive development by exposing her to arsenic, on the other hand, that's what they call in the legal world "irreparable harm"...

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.
My neighborhood too is likely affected (to a lesser degree) by this finding. I am also concerned about my family's health and well being. That being said, Bullseye Glass is operating in a properly zoned area with the appropriate permits. I know a few Bullseye employees and I can assure you that this will concern *them*. They have families and children and friends in these schools and communities.

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.
I stayed in the bullseye company house across the street from the factory. Company officials told me not to eat the figs from the fig tree on the property.
Do some research on cadmium and arsenic people, it poses no immediate threat; especially with the amount they found. Both have bad effects from very long exposure time. I can almost garentee if you go get your blood tested you will have almost none in your system, enough to do any damage anyways. I understand that is frightening but look this stuff up before freaking out and putting many hard working people out of a job.
"it poses no immediate threat; especially with the amount they found. Both have bad effects from very long exposure time."

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.
Look up how much is toxic. Seriously, do some research before you blow this up into something it doesn't have to be.
Calm down, everyone.
Look up how much is toxic. For some refernce, the amount of cadmium they found is 1000's of times less than what is considered hazardous in a work place. Seriously, do some research before you blow this up into something it doesn't have to be.
For some refernce, the amount of cadmium they found is 1000's of times less than what is considered hazardous in a work place.
OK - senor blanco - this is not about people driving by but families and students living and spending day in and day out being exposed to extremely high levels of carcinogenic airborne materials over extended time periods. I have two students at Cleveland High and I'm livid about this and will be contacting DEQ, The Bullseye management, state and local politicians etc. Telling people to settle down is not helpful. As a journalist with 25 years in daily newspaper editor of a medical and environmental beat for several years each. I can tell you that this sort of thing deserves a lot of transparency, noise and investigation... and those responsible for damaging health should be held responsible.
Hi. I'm sorry, but senorblanco is wrong. DEQ found a monthly average of 29.4 ng/m3 of cadmium. That level is within a whisker of the feds' acute-duration inhalation level of 30 ng/m3, which the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry defines as exposure to that amount of aerosol cadmium for 14 days or less. Perhaps even one day.

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


Daniel Forbes
This is terrible. I worked at the Fred Meyer Main Office campus for 5+ years. I carried my first child to term while employed there. I walked around the campus (passing by Bullseye Glass) in nice weather, before, during, and after pregnancy.

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.
A dear friend of mine lived next to Bullseye until just recently, when he was diagnosed with cancer. Obviously I know that no direct link has been proven, but rest assured, we will all be following this story closely to hear the findings. I hope the residents in this neighborhood don't let up on the DEQ or the individuals responsible.
Bullseye was poisoning children and didn't even know how much they were polluting for decades. This is disgraceful. They have no right doing business in this city.
Really grateful for this article! This is such a huge story. I lived across the street from Bullseye for several years. My kids now go to Abernethy Elementary down the street. The state of Oregon is examining a possible cancer cluster in inner SE because so many moms at Abernethy have cancer. The neighborhood around Abernethy ranks in the worst 2% nation-wide for big factories that *are* regulated (Bullseye is too small, as the article describes). For example, Precision Cast Parts near Reed was ranked #1 toxic air polluter for the USA a couple years ago. And then there is our diesel problem. Since CA and WA have strict diesel standards and OR's are weak, we are a dumping ground for their old diesel equipment (which means highly toxic air whenever there is heavy construction). Neighborhoods all over Portland are struggling in isolation from serious air pollution like Hayden Island right now where residents are trying to figure out what to do about the odor that is making them sick. Unfortunately, Bullseye is just the tip of the iceberg.

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
These facts of a great concern to Portland Clean Air, our supporting members, and the community. We advise the community to take action by contacting Bullseye and the Oregon DEQ directly to report any nuisance odors or emission plumes exceeding 20% opacity you observe coming from their SE Portland factory. Contact information for each is below.

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

I used to work at bullseye, I wonder how unsafe the air was for myself and my fellow coworkers.
So if I understand from at least one of the comments above, they are currently operating without a permit? WTF?
What's most disturbing is that it sounds like Bullseye doesn't understand what they're doing. They have a responsibility to have someone working there who understands the science and how to effectively control their emissions. If everything in the article is accurate, they should be shut down.
@randyzpdx: Not true. From the article above: "“They're in compliance with their permit,” said Monro. “DEQ can't stop them.”"

It's okay to be concerned but let's keep from spreading ugly rumors.
I also worked at bullseye. Fuck.
Daniel - Looks like even the shortened version has been taken down.
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.
Call your representatives. If we all voice our concerns maybe they'll listen. Type your address in this site and find out who represents you. http://gov.oregonlive.com/legislators/

"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."
Bullseye just responded to my Facebook message: "While the DEQ has not required any action on our part, we decided to take action on our own. As of yesterday we suspended the use of cadmium and arsenic."
I also emailed my representatives, Commissioner Fish, Mayor Hales, and Governor Brown, asking for help to remedy the situation.
I live in this neighborhood and have since 2000. I'm a property owner within very close proximity to the Winterhaven. I could toss a rock onto the school grounds. Not only am I concerned about the long term effects to the exposure to these toxins, but I'm also concerned what this means for properties located in the vincinity. Even though Bullseye glass was opertating within their permit guidelines they had to know that using these toxins for their "pretty glass" are a potential health hazard, not only for their employees, but the neighboorhood and the general population that frequents the area.
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.
We have a way to go on this and any parent would want authoritative information as soon as possible if not sooner.

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.
Question : is the DEQ report complete and final?
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.
I lived in this neighborhood for eight years and was diagnosed six months after moving away with breast cancer at age 38. A year later a friend who lived four houses down from mine was also diagnosed in her early 40s. Both of us have healthy lifestyles and no family history of cancer. Between this article and the knowledge that 9 other women have been diagnosed in this neighborhood in the same time period as myself and my friend, it's hard not to put two and two together. I hope more research is done!
You're entitled to your opinion "SenseAndReason." BTW, here's the state saying the exact same things, a day later: http://www.deq.state.or.us/nwr/metalsemiss…
Does anyone know what circumference area is mostly affected.....?
There are two substances that are known to cause brain edema; minocycline and lead, although lead is much more certain to cause that adverse effect.

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.

That's what I was wondering, Selina. What is the radius of acute effect from a facility like this? How steeply does it drop off?
Go on Google satellite and then look at the picture that was pictured in the article and ask yourself 'why does the photo not show anything west of Bullseye Glass'? Could it be that it appears there is a major rail line about one block west? It also appears that there is a switching yard and maybe a loading facility. Before the witch hunt continues I'd like to know what other industries are in the area (I noticed there is a PGE yard close to).
Rich H, this is a good point. And yes cadmium can come from rail yards. The good news is, now that Bullseye has stopped using the metals in question, as new data is taken we'll see if levels drop or do not. It will certainly help to determine if Bullseye is the main source.

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.
For Schwoerer, the owner, to state that he was "unaware of any potential emissions' is absolute BS. Glass chemists tell me that it is well know that cadmium volatises at least 80% of its input weight after the batch is fired in the furnaces. The vast bulk of it goes up the chimney. Bullseye have no flue emission filters at all. They knew full well that they were polluting their neighborhood and the law didn't require them to spend the money to stop it. 30 years of spreading arsenic, lead, cadmium, selenium and other heavy metals around the factory perimeter probably to at least 1 mile. Shameful!
I live right at the edge of this pollution. I work on gardens (where we grow kale) in an area that's directly affected, and a house of dear friends live directly next to Bullseye.

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.
Thanks so much for this feedback (L. J. PDX) about the air quality groups we have in Portland. I know Mary and "Neighbors for Clean Air" and I agree NCA is fantastic and very knowledgeable. I have been freaked out about air quality in Portland for a long time and it was only when Mary and NCA started working on the issues that anything substantive started to change. Folks in NW fought for decades to get the steel plant Esco to stop poisoning them but when Mary started working on it NCA got ESCO to install bag houses that actually diminished the emissions by about a quarter within a couple years. It was such a big victory and made me feel like there was hope after feeling hopeless for a long time. Thanks for the feedback about "Portland Clean Air." I have been away from Portland for 2 years and I'd never heard of them before. The other day (with the coverage of Bullseye) I joined their group on facebook because I was happy to see a second group fighting the good fight. I really hope they can step it up and start doing work that makes people want to support them. We need all hands on deck for this problem.
As the article notes, Bullseye is not a Title 5 permitted polluter (it is not big enough for the Title 5 permit category). For Title 5 factories, inner SE Portland ranks in the bottom second percentile for the entire US (see the database produced for the study by scientists at U Mass Amherst by googling "The Smokestack Effect"). In other words, without even including Bullseye, this neighborhood ranks as one of the most polluted airsheds in the nation. The main source Title 5 polluter is East Side Plating 8400 SE 26th Pl, 97202 (503-654-3774). Yes, without Bullseye emitting arsenic and cadmium it will be very interesting to see how the levels compare.
Wow. There is nothing they can do about things they literally know are toxic, but they presume to regulate back into Prohibition the most non-toxic medically active substance known to man. This really points out the hypocrisy at OHA on marijuana issues. These people need to get their priorities straight.
I find it hard to believe that glass chemists are that ignorant of their product. Or if they are that ignorant, they have no business dealing with those materials. They clearly took advantage of a flawed permit system until they were caught. Their "apology" translates to "oh shit, we got busted."
Arsenic is an additive to a very specific kind of glass known as an enamel and is not normally used in most formulations. Given that, I'm surprised at the persistence of the readings for it. cadmium is used in a lot of yellow and red glasses. I do not know if Bullseye actually uses what are conventionally called scrubbers in the exhaust. I suspect they will offer to immediately. I do take note that Uroboros has posted that it has not used arsenic in decades. Cadmium can be introduced into glasses in an encapsulated form which is indeed less volatile. This really is solvable which I view as good news.
A message I received in response to an email of concern about this issue:

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
Time: 5-9pm
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 sen.dianerosenbaum@state.or.us.

All my best,

Senator Diane Rosenbaum
Senate President Pro Tempore
Senate District 21
(503) 986-1721
I continue to read the comments. What Dan needs to do right now is to put "scrubbers' on the stacks. While not expensive, neither are they cheap but are a cost of doing business in a city. It's rather do-able. Uroboros should do the same, now.

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.
I do not live in PDX, but I have visited often. Will there be minutes taken of the community meeting? Will the press be there? Has anyone notified the National Press? How are people being notified of the community meeting? Is any legal action being taken regarding the fact that action should have been taken to protect people's health at least five months ago? Is the EPA involved? OSHA?
The most dangerous chemicals make the prettiest colors.
Cadmium does have a distinct odor, as does flourine, and many other heavy metals. If you can smell it, it is going into your system, kinda like weird aroma therapy. If we are to belive in homeopathy, any amount is equal to any greater amount.
Another solid resource for information is OSHA.
Another solid reference is OSHA
Arsenic is commomonly used as a fining agent. Many other colors than red and yellow employ cadmimum. We should not de-consider cobalt, chromimum, nickle, selenium, and many other colorants used in the glass process. Some agents are used simply for their physical properties or economy.
Yeah, I had the spell checker off.

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