Southeast Portland weekly air monitoring and data collection continues, with data for this reporting period collected from late November and early to mid-December 2016. Since the last reporting period in early December, there has been no elevation of levels and reporting continues to show nothing of immediate health concern. No substantial fluctuations in Arsenic and hexavalent chromium are seen, and they are still averaging slightly above their benchmarks in some locations. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will continue metals monitoring efforts along with the health assessments with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) provided on a monthly basis.
Weekly air monitoring data collected as part of ongoing monitoring at locations around southeast Portland continues. Since the last update in early Nov., levels have looked consistent and below levels of immediate health concern. Arsenic and hexavalent chromium are still averaging slightly above their benchmarks in some locations, although it should be noted that slight increases and decreases may be related to seasonal variation in wind direction. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will continue metals monitoring efforts through the winter at two locations in SE Portland, and is working closely with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on their health assessments. OHA is developing public health assessments for each location to determine the long-term health risks associated with measured levels. Results from ongoing air monitoring will continue to be reported now on a monthly basis.
Data collected as part of weekly air monitoring at SE Portland locations near Bullseye Glass shows a continued trend of airborne metals below health benchmark levels. Measures taken to address the airborne heavy metals in SE Portland over the past seven months have reduced airborne concentrations of cadmium, arsenic and chromium by 98 percent or more, since levels of metals were first measured in Oct. 2015. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will continue monitoring efforts at two locations in SE Portland near Bullseye, and work closely with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to evaluate any potential health effects from the data. OHA is developing public health assessments of air toxics exposures near glass-making facilities in Portland to better understand any long-term health risks detected. Results from ongoing air monitoring will continue to be reported on a semi-monthly basis.
In addition, air monitoring near Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC) show stable levels of airborne metals. Recorded levels of arsenic appear to be consistent with urban background readings, while levels of nickel and hexavalent chromium have been detected above health benchmarks at the Milwaukie/Johnson Creek monitoring location. These data will be used in an OHA public health assessment.
Weekly air quality monitoring data collected in the SE Portland area in the vicinity of Bullseye Glass showed a continued trend in certain metals being below the benchmark. Reduced levels of lead and hexavalent chromium have been seen since a baghouse went into operation at the facility in Sept., 2016 and stacks were ordered to be cleaned in July 2016. Analysis of data in the vicinity of Precision Castparts has shown the level of arsenic as over the benchmark, but consistent with urban background levels.
Analysis of air quality monitoring data is a process that takes place in DEQ’s state-of-the-art laboratory using a process called inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. ICP-MS is great at helping to detect metals at very low concentrations. It all begins when the filters used in the monitors to capture microscopic airborne particles are brought to the lab. The filters are put in a liquid solution to dissolve and liquefy the filter and its contents. The sample is then ionized, and a device called a mass spectrometer helps identify the metals found. Using data that the air monitor stored about the volume of air pulled through the filter, the staff at the lab can then report on the quantity of each metal found.
SE Portland, Daycare Center
SE Portland, Winterhaven Elementary
SE Portland, Powell and SE 22nd
SE Portland, Haig and SE 20th
SE Portland, Reed College
N Portland, Tubman School
N Portland, Portland North Coast Electric
N Portland, Portland Water Bureau East
N Portland, Portland Water Bureau West
Bullseye and Uroboros Glass area air readings – February 2016
March 2016 Data and publications
- Plan for public health assessment (March 17, 2016 release)
- Plan for monitoring human health data (March 9, 2016 release) – updated 3/14/2016
- Cadmium testing results for SE and N Portland residents (March 9, 2016 release) – updated 4/1/2016
- Cancer rates in SE and N Portland residents (March 9, 2016 release) – updated 3/31/2016
- Cancer rate evaluation for SE Portland, 2009-2013
- Cancer rate evaluation for N Portland, 2009-2013
- Cancer rate evaluation for SE and N Portland, 1999-2013
- Understanding Cancer Rate Analyses
- Assessment of Health Risk from Exposure to Soils around Uroboros Glass, OHA (March 17, 2016 release)
- Assessment of Health Risk from Exposure to Soils around Bullseye Glass, OHA (March 9, 2016 release)
- Uroboros Glass Area-Wide Soil Sampling Report, DEQ (March 17, 2016 release)
- Uroboros Glass Area-Wide Soil Sampling and Analysis Plan, DEQ (March 17, 2016 release)
- Uroboros Glass Sample Locations, DEQ
- Bullseye Glass Area-Wide Soil Sampling Report, DEQ (March 9, 2016 release)
- Bullseye Glass Area-Wide Soil Sampling and Analysis Plan, DEQ (March 9, 2016 release)
- Bullseye Glass Soil Sample Locations, DEQ
Bullseye Glass area soil readings
Urban gardening and soil testing resources
Healthy urban gardening
- Healthy gardening fact sheet
- Healthy soils: Urban gardening and air toxics in Southeast Portland
- Healthy soils: Urban gardening and air toxics in North Portland
- Technical briefing on exposure risks from garden soils with metal contamination
- Air Toxics (Metals) and Garden-Grown Food
- More resources for healthy urban gardening
Having your soil tested
- Labs that provide soil analysis for heavy metals
- Send the results of your soil testing to DEQ for review
- Healthy soils: Information about testing your yard or garden
- Background levels of metals in Oregon soils
- Soil disposal