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  • Lead levels drop, but hexavalent chromium persists in SE Portland
    Slight increase in cadmium still below 24-hour screening levels
    May 26, 2016
    Portland, OR—Levels of lead monitored for the period ending May 11 show that levels in the air decreased following spikes detected in monitors on May 9 and 10 that were likely connected to Bullseye Glass Co. in southeast Portland.
    Results of monitoring on May 11 showed lead levels have returned to those seen in previous months of monitoring, and are well below the 24-hour screening level—the short-term concentration above which immediate negative health effects could occur.
    Hexavalent chromium levels are still averaging above 12-month health goals, known as ambient benchmark concentrations. Investigators at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality continue to seek the source of these emissions.
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Recruitment for Director of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Got drugs you don’t need? Don’t flush them!
Recent news reports have brought attention to the presence of pharmaceuticals in Oregon’s waterways. A series of DEQ river basin assessments and monitoring studies for contaminants illustrates that trace amounts of drugs are present in waterways throughout the state.
You can help stop this pollution by following recommendations for disposing of your waste pharmaceuticals.
Metals emissions in Portland
Preliminary air quality monitoring data show high levels of cadmium and arsenic in the air near Southeast 22nd Ave. and Powell Boulevard in Portland. The data have prompted state agencies to investigate potential health risks from exposure to these metals. So far, data show that these metals are at levels above federal short term exposure guidelines and Oregon’s long-term health benchmarks.
To sign up for updates and for more information about what we know right now and what happens next, visit the new joint agency website: Safer Air Oregon.
- For information about industrial facilities in DEQ Northwest Region: Industrial Facilities
- Please send questions and concerns to DEQ at OregonAirToxics@deq.state.or.us 
- For answers to questions, call 211 or email the Oregon Health Authority hotline.