Wheeler Takes Aim at Oregon DEQ for Arsenic & Cadmium Levels in SE Portland
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Wheeler compared the DEQ’s actions to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, saying that the lack of ownership over toxins led in part to the crisis in Michigan.
“What we are learning from Flint, Michigan, where the water is unusable because of high levels of lead, is that bad things happen when regulators are asleep at the switch,” said Wheeler. "It's unconscionable that Oregon regulators knew about the air pollution for three years, but didn't seem to make any real attempt to locate the source."
Bullseye Glass, the company whose emissions were tied to air pollution near SE 22nd Ave. and SE Powell Blvd. in Portland, was emitting heavy metals that resulted in air with fifty times the normal levels of cadmium and 150 times the normal levels of arsenic.
Both chemicals are known to increase the risk of cancer at those levels. Exposure to elevated levels of arsenic can cause health risks, including bladder, skin and lung cancer. Cadmium affects the kidneys and lungs.
“Some in state government said they were glad the emissions had stopped – glad isn’t good enough,” Wheeler said.
Related Slideshow: SLIDESHOW: Ted Wheeler Announces Portland Mayoral Candidacy on Rooftop of Revolution Hall
Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler was joined by the press and many close friends, family members, and supporters on the rooftop of Revolution Hall off of SE Stark so that he could officially make his candidacy announcement for Portland mayor in the 2016 mayoral race.
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