PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — State monitoring done 4 months ago revealed spikes in the levels of heavy metals in the area of SE 22nd and Powell. Parents, like Erika Moseson, are taking a keen interest in the air quality in their Southeast Portland neighborhood.
“I was concerned about high levels back in October,” Moseson told KOIN 6 News, “and just heard about it now.”
High levels of the heavy metals are likely coming from Bullseye Glass Company on SE 21st Avenue, a glass factory in the area, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality revealed Feb. 4. The factory is regulated by an air quality permit and is operating in compliance with it.
Community meetings will be held Monday and Tuesday nights to get more details and information about the toxic metals discovered last fall.
Parents who live close to the air monitoring site are scrambling to get information. One resident said, “It’s actually the only thing on my mind.”
Dr. Gillian Beauchamp, a toxicologist with OHSU, said there are no reports of anyone with symptoms that could be connected to the metals linke dto lung, skin and kidney cancer.
“What we recommend is a one-time urine test,” Beauchamp said.
But that doesn’t take away the worry for those who live and work near SE 22nd and Powell.
The Monday meeting is more of an organizing event in the 3600 block of SE 28th.
But Tuesday’s meeting at Cleveland High School will feature state and county health leader answering questions from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
District officials told KOIN 6 News they may have test results from air monitors set up last week inside 5 Southeast Portland schools.