Since January 2016, OHA, DEQ and Multnomah County Health Department have partnered to monitor air and soil around glass companies; Bullseye Glass in southeast Portland and Uroboros Glass in north Portland. This was in response to concerns over unsafe levels of arsenic and cadmium found in the air near Bullseye and cadmium found near Uroboros; hexavalent chromium also was later found near both sites. Additionally, the agencies reviewed cancer cases in these communities, and collected urine cadmium tests from residents.
Although the agencies found there were no short-term, or acute, health risks from being exposed to these emissions, the long-term effect of these emissions on residents is not known.
DEQ and OHA have been collecting additional air samples and reporting results, along with analyses of those results. They continue to assess the long-term risk in a full environmental public health assessment that is under way and is expected for release in fall 2016.
DEQ is working to identify similar industrial facilities that use heavy metals in production. DEQ has started monitoring air quality near Precision Castparts in Southeast Portland.
In April 2016, Governor Brown announced a new program, Cleaner Air Oregon, to overhaul industrial air toxics regulations. This program is led by OHA and DEQ.