OHA finds 'low health risk' around Uroboros Glass site in Portland, seeks public comment

This March 11, 2016 photo shows Uroboros Glass, a colored-glassmaking facility suspected of being a source of the heavy metals, in Portland, Ore. Fiercely protective of its reputation as one of the most eco-friendly cities in the country, Portland is reeling from the discovery of poisonous heavy metals in the air and the ground of neighborhoods where thousands of people live, work and attend school. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)

PORTLAND, Ore. – New testing found that levels of metal in the air and soil around Uroboros Glass in North Portland are too low to harm people’s health, the Oregon Health Authority said Thursday.

The OHA released the public health assessment near Uroboros after health officials warned people two years ago that there were toxic levels of heavy metals - including cadmium and arsenic - around their location in North Portland. Uroboros has since been sold to a California company.

Officials conducted a public health assessment to find out just how much of a risk the metals posed to people who live, work, or play in the area, both leading up to the 2016 announcement and moving forward.

"What we found was that risk was, and has been, low," Todd Hudson, a toxicologist with the division's Environmental Health Assessment Program.

They used air sample data from 2016 that was collected by OHA and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) stations around the factory. They also collected soil samples form Albina Park, Albina Community Gardens, and a nearby daycare.

"It is safe to eat homegrown produce that was grown around the area of Uroboros Glass," Hudson said. "Most garden vegetables do not absorb metals."

The OHA is taking public comment on the findings – which are published online – through November 5. People can email comments to ehap.info@state.or.us or send them via mail to:

Attn: EHAP
800 NE Oregon Street Suite 640
Portland, OR 97232

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