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Toxic Substances

People come into contact with a range of chemicals in their daily lives. Substances can pose very different risks depending on how a person comes into contact with them, the amount that gets into their bodies, and for how long and how often this occurs.

Certain populations are more vulnerable than others to toxic substances in their environment, including:

  • Babies
  • Children
  • Elderly
  • People with compromised immune systems (i.e. cancer, HIV/AIDS)
  • Organ transplant recipients
  • Pregnant/breast feeding women
  • People with enzyme deficiencies
  • People with certain genetic vulnerabilities
  • Subsistence cultures
  • People with low socio-economic status

Additional Resources

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Promoting Environmental Health in Communities. 
PEHC is a collection of fact sheets, talking points and a presentation designed to teach communities about the environment, toxicology and health.

Leadership in Sustainable Chemicals Policy: Opportunities for Oregon (pdf)
This white paper was a collaborative effort between Portland State University, Oregon Environmental Council, Metro, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division.

Buying Guide for Healthy Communities
Oregon Clean and Safe website provides information about safe products for clean rivers and healthy families from the Oregon association of clean water agencies (ORACWA).