News Article | March 31, 2017
As a PhD student, Laura Syron was helping her advisor with workplace safety research focused on the Pacific Northwest commercial fishing industry. The project got her thinking about worker safety throughout the seafood supply chain, from the boat to the processing plant. So she decided to do a study of her own. The result is likely the first to examine occupational health and safety inside Oregon’s seafood processing industry. Along with her co-authors, Syron, a doctoral student at Oregon State University College of Public Health and Human Sciences, examined data from workers’ compensation disabling claims at the Oregon Health Authority. That dataset offers information on industry, occupation, worker gender and age, incident circumstances, medical costs, fatality, and temporary disability days paid. A “disabling” claim includes missing three or more days of work as well as hospitalization and long-term disability. The big takeaway: Oregon’s seafood processing workers experience injuries at a higher rate than the statewide average. “I wasn’t sure what we would find — I was just curious if this was an industry that merited more research,” Syron told me. “And we found that it does.” Published this month in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, the study found 188 disabling claims in Oregon’s seafood processing sector between 2007 and 2013. No worker fatalities were reported in the dataset. In that time period, the average annual claim rate in the seafood processing industry was 24 claims per 1,000 workers. Both claim frequency and the claim rate for such workers increased during the years studied, though there were slight drops in 2009 and 2013. In comparison, the disabling claim rate for all industries in Oregon was 11.9 per 1,000 workers in 2007, dropping to 8 per 1,000 by 2013. Most of the seafood processing claims were among men, with workers ages 25 to 34 experiencing the highest frequency and rate of disabling claims. Oregon’s seafood processing industry disabling claim rate was nearly two and a half times higher than the all-industry rate. Additionally, while the disabling claim rate for all industries in Oregon decreased over the study period, the rate in the seafood processing industry increased. Potentially, a contributing factor for the increasing trend in the seafood processing industry claim rate over the study period could have been the increased demand for seafood preparation and packaging. During 2007-2013, Oregon seafood landings (i.e., the amount of seafood that is harvested and brought to shore for processing) experienced a 22% increase, from 271,062,716 pounds in 2007 to 349,434,448 pounds in 2013. Additional research is necessary to identify causes for the increase in disabling claims in the seafood processing industry. “It was encouraging that there were no occupational fatalities in the industry during the study period — that’s the great news,” Syron said. “But the musculoskeletal injuries are a big concern.” On that issue, the study found that about half of the seafood processing claims involved traumatic injuries, with the most common being injury to a worker’s muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. More than half of claims involved worker overexertion and bodily reaction, and about one-third were due to contact with objects or equipment. Nearly all the musculoskeletal injuries were due to overexertion and bodily reaction. More than half the claims involved workers who did tasks such as cutting and trimming fish or batching food. About a quarter of claims were among workers involved in transportation and moving. Among both groups of workers, injuries to muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments were most common. The authors noted that their findings align with previous research on seafood processing in the Pacific Northwest that also found high rates of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. For example, a study on Washington state workers’ comp data from 1987 to 1995 found that seafood cannery workers experienced some of the highest rates of carpel tunnel syndrome. On the issue of prevention — which averts injuries to workers and lowers workers’ comp costs for employers — the study said fellow animal product manufacturing sectors, such as poultry processing, could likely offer some valuable safety insights to seafood processors. “I hope that researchers and public health practitioners can partner with industry to think about how they can work together to prevent these injuries,” Syron told me. “Hopefully, these findings can start a discussion and help workers and industry reach that goal of keeping everyone safe and healthy.” For a copy of the seafood worker study, visit the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Kim Krisberg is a freelance public health writer living in Austin, Texas, and has been writing about public health for 15 years.
News Article | November 3, 2016
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Food Hero social marketing campaign is an effective way to help low-income families eat more nutritious meals through fast, tasty, affordable and healthy recipes, two new research studies from Oregon State University have found. Food Hero was launched by the OSU Extension Service in 2009 in an effort to encourage healthy eating among low-income Oregonians. The initiative includes several components, such as a website, http://www. , with information in both English and Spanish; Food Hero recipe taste-tasting events in schools and communities across Oregon; and a library of healthy recipes that have all been taste-tested and many approved by children. "The success of the program is by far exceeding the scope of what we envisioned when we started," said Melinda Manore, a professor of nutrition in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at OSU and co-author of the studies. "Getting people to change their diet and eating behavior, especially when they do not have much money, is very difficult, and this program is helping to do that." The social marketing program is led by Lauren Tobey of Extension Family and Community Health at OSU, and Tobey is lead author of the studies. Food Hero is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education, or SNAP-Ed. SNAP-Ed focuses on obesity prevention within low-income households. One of the new studies, published in the journal Nutrients, explores how Food Hero was developed and tested. The goal of the program is to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among those eligible for SNAP benefits in Oregon, with a particular focus on low-income mothers. The campaign's strategy includes providing clearly focused messages, writing in plain language, being positive and realistic with the messaging, and offering simple tools for action that include an explanation of what to do and how to do it. The campaign has been effective in part because educators stayed focused on their target audience, the researchers said. The other study, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, examines Food Hero's recipe project in more depth. The recipes used in the Food Hero campaign are formulated to be healthy, tasty and kid-friendly. To date, the Food Hero recipes have been accessed millions of times via the website and social media sites such as Pinterest. "All of the recipes are simple to make and cost-effective for families on tight budgets," Tobey said. "Many families can't afford to have a recipe fail or try an untested recipe the family may not end up liking." The recipes also are being tested with children who complete surveys or participate in a vote. If at least 70 percent of participating children say they "like the taste" of a recipe, it is considered "kid-approved." The program has collected more than 20,000 assessments from kids who have tried Food Hero recipes at school or at community events. About 36 percent of the tested recipes have received the "kid-approved" rating to date. "When our nutrition educators say to the children, 'Would you like to try this for us and tell us what you think?' it empowers them," Manore said. "It also is a way to expose kids to foods they may not have tried before." Parents and caregivers are also surveyed after their children participate in tasting exercises. Of those who completed surveys, 79 percent said their child talked about what they had learned in school about healthy eating; 69 percent reported that their child asked for specific recipes; and 72 percent reported making at least one Food Hero recipe, the research showed. As Food Hero's tips, tools and recipes get shared in person, online, through the media and via social media, the program's reach also expands beyond the initial audience, the researchers said. Recipes from the program are now being used around the world, and in 2015, the recipes on the Food Hero website received more than 290,000 page views. Anyone interested can also subscribe to Food Hero Monthly, an electronic magazine that includes recipes and tips. To sign up, visit https:/ . In addition to their collaborations with Oregon partners such as the Department of Human Services, Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority, Food Hero program leaders are sharing materials and ideas with public health and SNAP-Ed programs in other states. "Since 95 percent of the Food Hero recipes contain fruits and/or vegetables, people who try the recipes are helping us meet the primary goal of the campaign, which is to encourage more fruit and vegetable consumption, especially among low-income families," Tobey said.
Robison S.G.,Oregon Health Authority |
Groom H.,Oregon Health Authority |
Groom H.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention |
Young C.,Oregon Health Authority
Pediatrics | Year: 2012
OBJECTIVES: Recent studies have described an increase in parental hesitancy regarding vaccines as well as increases in parental adoption of vaccine schedules that delay or limit receipt of recommended vaccines. This study quantifies potential prevalence and trends in alternative schedule compliance by measuring consistent shotlimiting in a metropolitan area of Oregon. METHODS: Retrospective cohort analysis using the Oregon ALERT Immunization Information System to track children born between 2003 and 2009 in the Portland metropolitan area. Joinpoint regression was used to analyze prevalence trends in consistent shot-limiting during that time period. The 2007-2009 Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine shortage and increased availability of combination vaccines were also examined for their effects on shot-limiting rates. RESULTS: A total of 4502 of 97 711 (4.6%) children met the definition of consistent shot-limiters. The proportion of consistent shot-limiters in the population increased from 2.5% to 9.5% between 2006 and 2009. Compared with those with no or episodic limiting, consistent shotlimiters by 9 months of age had fewer injections (6.4 vs 10.4) but more visits when immunizations were administered (4.2 vs 3.3). However, only a small minority of shot-limiters closely adhered to published alternative schedules. CONCLUSIONS: The percentage of children consistently receiving 2 or fewer vaccine injections per visit between birth and age 9 months increased threefold within a 2-year period, suggesting an increase in acceptance of non-Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices vaccine schedules in this geographic area. Copyright © 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Morris D.S.,Oregon Health Authority
Preventing chronic disease | Year: 2012
Preventing youth smoking initiation is a priority for tobacco control programs, because most adult tobacco smokers become addicted during adolescence. Interventions that restrict the affordability, accessibility, and marketing of cigarettes have been effective in reducing youth cigarette smoking. However, increasing numbers of youth are smoking tobacco using hookahs. Predictors of smoking tobacco with hookahs are the same as those for smoking cigarettes. Established interventions that curb youth cigarette smoking should therefore be effective in reducing hookah use. Potential policy interventions include equalizing tobacco tax rates for all tobacco types, requiring warning labels on hookah tobacco and accurate labeling of product contents, extending the cigarette flavoring ban to hookah tobacco, enacting smoke-free air laws and removing exemptions for hookah lounges, and expanding shipping restrictions on tobacco products.
Robison S.G.,Oregon Health Authority
Public Health Reports | Year: 2015
Objective. While U.S. adolescent immunization rates are available annually at national and state levels, finding pockets of need may require county or sub-county information. Immunization information systems (IISs) are one tool for assessing local immunization rates. However, the presence of IIS records dating back to early childhood and challenges in capturing mobility out of IIS areas typically leads to denominator inflation. We examined the feasibility of weighting adolescent immunization records by length of time since last report to produce more accurate county adolescent counts and immunization rates. Methods. We compared weighted and unweighted adolescent denominators from the Oregon ALERT IIS, along with county-level Census Bureau estimates, with school enrollment counts from Oregon’s annual review of seventh-grade school immunization compliance for public and private schools. Adolescent immunization rates calculated using weighted data, for the state as a whole, were also checked against comparable National Immunization Survey (NIS) rates. Results. Weighting individual records by the length of time since last activity substantially improved the fit of IIS data to county populations for adolescents. A nonlinear logarithmic (ogive) weight produced the best fit to the school count data of all examined estimates. Overall, the ogive weighted results matched NIS adolescent rates for Oregon. Conclusion. The problem of mobility-inflated counts of teenagers can be addressed by weighting individual records based on time since last immuniza- tion. Well-populated IISs can rely on their own data to produce adolescent immunization rates and find pockets of need. © 2015 Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health.
News Article | February 15, 2017
OTTAWA, CANADA--(Marketwired - Feb. 9, 2017) - CannaRoyalty Corp. (CSE:CRZ) (CSE:CRZ.CN) ("CannaRoyalty" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding term sheet (the "Term Sheet") regarding a royalty financing arrangement with Rich Extracts LLC ("Rich Extracts") whereby CannaRoyalty will receive a 30% royalty on Rich Extracts' gross revenues in perpetuity. Rich Extracts has constructed a 30,000 square foot facility in Oregon to produce cannabis extract products using a variety of extraction processes. The facility houses equipment including extractors capable of processing up to 60,000 grams per month and short path distillation units that can process up to 4,000 grams per week. Commercial operations will commence, and are subject to, the facility obtaining the necessary permits from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which are expected to be received in the first half of 2017. "Rich Extracts is an award-winning brand with a mission to produce the highest quality, purest cannabis concentrates and distillates in the Oregon market. We're excited to finalize this royalty agreement with Rich Extracts which is poised to be a leading cannabis company in Oregon, a market which in 2016 had estimated cannabis product sales of approximately US$200mm," said Marc Lustig, Chief Executive Officer of CannaRoyalty. In June 2016, Rich Extracts was granted its medical processing license (MMPS#281970) by the Oregon Health Authority for processing of cannabis products in accordance with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. In anticipation of the new standards that were to be enacted by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), in August 2016 Rich Extracts began a significant development and expansion of its operations in order to meet the expected OLCC guidelines. On September 29, 2016, Rich Extracts formally filed its application for an OLCC license and is expecting to obtain the license during the first half of 2017. Rich Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer of Rich Extracts commented, "CannaRoyalty is a remarkable partner that provided Rich Extracts with the capital and resources we needed to address the changes in the Oregon regulatory environment in the fall of 2016, a critical juncture in our business. The capital has brought us to the brink of our goal to build what we anticipate will be one of the most advanced, full spectrum cannabis extraction, and processing facilities in the country." The Term Sheet replaces the Company's existing term sheet with Rich Ventures, and contemplates the grant of a 30% royalty on the gross revenues generated by Rich Extracts, in exchange for the advances made by CannaRoyalty to Rich Extracts (approximately US$2 million to date, subject to further advances). Closing is subject to, among other things, (i) satisfactory completion of financial and legal due diligence by CannaRoyalty; (ii) the execution of final definitive documents acceptable to CannaRoyalty; and, (iii) the satisfaction or waiver of all conditions to closing specified in the definitive documents. The parties have also executed a general security agreement to secure the Company's existing advances against the assets of Rich Extracts. CannaRoyalty is a fully integrated, active investor and operator in the legal cannabis sector. Our focus is to build and support a diversified portfolio of growth-ready assets in high-value segments of the cannabis sector, including research, consumer brands, devices and intellectual property. Our management team combines a hands-on understanding of the cannabis industry with seasoned financial know-how, assembling a platform of holdings via royalty agreements, equity interests, secured convertible debt and licensing agreements. Statements in this news release that are forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties concerning the specific factors disclosed here and elsewhere in CannaRoyalty's periodic filings with Canadian securities regulators. When used in this news release, words such as "will, could, plan, estimate, expect, intend, may, potential, believe, should," and similar expressions, are forward- looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include, without limitation, statements including the Company's expectations with respect to pursuing new opportunities and its future growth and other statements of fact. Although CannaRoyalty has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, there can be other factors that cause results, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended, including, but not limited to: dependence on obtaining regulatory approvals; investing in target companies or projects which have limited or no operating history and are engaged in activities currently considered illegal under US Federal Laws; changes in laws; limited operating history; reliance on management; requirements for additional financing; competition; hindering market growth and state adoption due to inconsistent public opinion and perception of the medical-use and adult-use marijuana industry and; regulatory or political change. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate or that management's expectations or estimates of future developments, circumstances or results will materialize. As a result of these risks and uncertainties, the results or events predicted in these forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results or events. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this news release are made as of the date of this release. CannaRoyalty disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise such information, except as required by applicable law, and CannaRoyalty does not assume any liability for disclosure relating to any other company mentioned herein.
News Article | December 8, 2016
Bend, Oregon, Dec. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Signal Bay, Inc. (OTCQB: SGBY) the market leader in cannabis quality control testing and laboratory services announced today that the company achieved record sales growth for the second month in a row. The November 2016 revenues exceeded the record setting cash flow announced last month by over 50%. CEO William Waldrop stated, "In conjunction with the new Oregon regulatory environment and the fall cannabis harvest, we are continuing to see increased testing revenues for our EVIO Labs Division. For the month of November, the company set another record month generating over $345,000 in revenue.” These revenue numbers are preliminary and have not yet been audited or reported in accordance with GAAP standards. Signal Bay operates state-of-the-art testing facilities and offers accredited testing methodologies that ensure the safety and potency of the nation's cannabis supply through its’ EVIO Labs division. As the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana sweeps across the country, demand for reliable, independent cannabis quality control testing facilities is increasing dramatically nationwide. Mr. Waldrop added, “The Company is continuing to acquire equipment and expand our hub & spoke service offerings to meet the needs of the growing Oregon Market. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) distributed a letter last week stating they are working on over 900 pending applications for producers, processors and dispensaries. The Company is motivated by the recent rule changes impacting testing requirements in Oregon. The new Oregon Health Authority temporary testing rules allow for smaller cultivators and processors to now economically participate in the marketplace whereas two months ago, the cost of testing was a barrier to entry. About Signal Bay, Inc.: Signal Bay, Inc. is an Oregon-based Life Sciences company. Through its three subsidiaries: EVIO Labs, Signal Bay Research and Signal Bay Services; the Company provides research, consulting services, and analytical testing services to the legal cannabis industry. The Company's EVIO Labs division operates state-of-the-art testing facilities and offers accredited testing methodologies performed by a qualified team of scientists to ensure the safety and quality of the nation's cannabis supply. Learn more at http://SignalBay.com or the company can be reached directly @ 1-888-544-EVIO. This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements may contain certain forward-looking statements pertaining to future anticipated or projected plans, performance and developments, as well as other statements relating to future operations and results. Any statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be considered to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "estimate," "intends," "goal," "objective," "seek," "attempt," or variations of these or similar words, identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements by their nature are estimates of future results only and involve substantial risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to risks associated with the uncertainty of future financial results, additional financing requirements, development of new products, our ability to complete our product testing and launch our product commercially, the acceptance of our product in the marketplace, the uncertainty of the laws and regulations relating to cannabis, the impact of competitive products or pricing, technological changes, the effect of economic conditions and other uncertainties detailed from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available at www.sec.gov or https://signalbay.com/investors.
News Article | November 18, 2016
Portland State University's Institute for Sustainable Solutions has formed a new partnership with Neighbors for Clean Air and Lewis & Clark Law School's Northwest Environmental Defense Center to pursue cleaner, healthier air for all Oregonians, thanks to a $250,000 award from Meyer Memorial Trust. The partnership, BREATHE Oregon, will provide clear scientific data, legal analysis and community outreach so residents and policy makers have the information they need to make decisions that improve air quality in Portland and throughout Oregon. BREATHE Oregon builds on a research partnership launched last spring between the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, the City of Portland and Multnomah County to assess heavy metal pollution in Portland-metro neighborhoods in response to community concerns about elevated levels of toxins found in the area. "The BREATHE Oregon partnership helps ensure that meaningful scientific research about local air pollution moves from PSU labs into the hands of community advocates and policy makers," said Robert Liberty, director of the PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions. Linda George, PSU professor of environmental science and fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions is leading PSU's research efforts. "It's our hope that our research will engage local residents and inform future air quality oversight in our state," George said. In addition to scientific and legal analysis of air quality data and impacts, the Meyer Memorial Trust award funds a series of community symposiums and a fleet of student interns who will work with local organizations to expand outreach about air quality issues. "The path toward cleaner air is complex, and informed community involvement is essential," said Mary Peveto, the co-founder and president of Neighbors for Clean Air. "Through BREATHE Oregon, we'll work with communities most affected by air pollution to ensure they have access to accurate and relevant information and a seat at the table. We're excited about collaborating with our neighbors, our university, and our state regulatory offices for healthier air." The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are in the process of overhauling industrial air toxic regulations to align them with public health, as directed by Gov. Kate Brown's Cleaner Air Oregon initiative. The Cleaner Air Oregon advisory committee includes representatives from each of the BREATHE Oregon partner organizations, providing a direct connection between academic research, community advocacy, legal analysis and policy recommendations. "State health experts and regulators depend on accurate, scientifically sound data and engaged, well-informed communities to protect the health of Oregonians," said Lynne Saxton, director of the Oregon Health Authority. "We welcome the partnership of Meyer Memorial Trust and the grantees to achieve cleaner air in our state." The Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University empowers effective community-university collaboration for a more livable, resilient, and sustainable future. With a specific focus on addressing climate change, ISS serves as a link between the city and PSU--working across campus and in the community to provide valuable educational experiences while advancing sustainability efforts in our city and region. (pdx.edu/sustainability/iss) Neighbors for Clean Air (NCA) is a grassroots nonprofit that seeks to improve public health for all Oregonians by reducing toxic air pollution. (whatsinourair.org) The Northwest Environmental Defense Center is an independent nonprofit organization based at Lewis & Clark Law School, and has been working since 1969 to protect the environment and natural resources of the Pacific Northwest. (law.lclark.edu/centers/northwest_environmental_defense_center)
News Article | March 7, 2016
Residents and clean air activists protest in front of the state's Department of Environmental Quality office in Portland, Oregon March 4, 2016. Boxes of community grown produce brought by residents and clean air activists to the state's Department of Environmental Quality office, in an effort to get answers from state officials after being told last month not to eat the vegetables in their gardens, are pictured, in... The results of the testing could heighten suspicions from residents and environmental advocates that emissions of arsenic and cadmium from the two plants exposed residents to much higher levels of the heavy metals than have been told. Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a public health scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the scare demonstrates the need for closer federal oversight. "Communities are left testing their soil, testing their children, testing their homes and saying, well, how come I see these contaminations?" she said. "That’s not how it should be." There is already ample evidence from tests conducted by the U.S. Forest Service of airborne contamination near the factories, as well as signs that the metals may have settled into the soil. The Forest Service tests, conducted on moss growing on trees near one of the factories, found levels of arsenic 150 times higher and cadmium 50 times higher than Oregon safety benchmarks. Near the second factory, cadmium levels were found to be similarly elevated. Long-term arsenic exposure is linked to skin cancer and cancers of the lung, bladder, and liver as well as skin color changes and nerve damage, according to information posted on the Oregon Health Authority website. Long-term cadmium exposure is linked to lung and prostate cancer, as well as kidney disease and fragile bones, according to the site. The state has not received any reports of people being treated or hospitalized as a result of exposure to the metals released in emissions by the glass companies, according to Jonathan Modie, a spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who lives near one of the hot spots, describes the situation in the state's largest city as a public health emergency. He told Reuters on Friday that he had asked the Centers for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency to provide "experts on the ground" when the soil tests are released to "help us get at the core facts." This comes after revelations in Flint, Michigan, that a switch in the city's water source to save money corroded its aging pipes and released lead and other toxins into its drinking water. That crisis has emerged as a rallying point for Democrats as the U.S. presidential election approaches. Even if the soil tests in Portland show low levels of the heavy metals, residents who live near the factories fear the exposure may be more widespread, extending beyond the hot spots that are being tested. "This is just the tip of the iceberg," said Kerry Ryan, a Portland resident who lives five blocks from one of the factories. Ryan, who now has an 11-month-old daughter whom she is breastfeeding, said she is arranging to have herself tested for exposure to the metals. According to the Oregon Health Authority’s website Q&A, arsenic and cadmium can be found in breast milk and may contribute to low birth weight. Bullseye Glass Co officials did not return a call seeking comment. Officials with Uroboros Glass Studio declined to comment. Last month, Oregon public health officials advised residents to stop eating vegetables grown in gardens within a half mile of the so-called pollution “hot spots,” or areas where the pollution appears to be concentrated. On Thursday, about 50 residents mounted a protest in downtown Portland, chanting "clean air now" and delivering boxes of rotting produce harvested from their gardens to the state's environmental quality offices. Arsenic and cadmium contamination, confirmed by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, occurred near Bullseye Glass, located in a middle-class neighborhood near public schools and a city park. Cadmium contamination was confirmed near Uroboros Glass, located in an industrial section of a residential neighborhood near the Willamette River. Both plants have voluntarily halted the use of the metals, used to create color for stained glass, according to the state's Department of Environmental Quality, which is conducting the soil tests that are set for release this week at the request of Gov. Kate Brown Last week attorneys for seven residents filed a class action lawsuit against Bullseye, alleging the company was negligent and reckless in burning heavy metals without adequate pollution controls. Bullseye was in compliance with state regulations under a loophole that Wyden called “the size of a lunar crater” during a press conference in February. According to the Portland Oregonian newspaper, the firm Weitz & Luxenberg is also meeting with area residents. The firm is currently working with environmental activist Erin Brockovich to seek redress for residents whose health may have been harmed by a massive natural gas leak in Southern California.
News Article | March 9, 2016
Boxes of community grown produce brought by residents and clean air activists to the state's Department of Environmental Quality office, in an effort to get answers from state officials after being told last month not to eat the vegetables in their gardens, are pictured, in... Soil analysis found "low risk" to residents' health near Bullseye Glass Co. in Southeast Portland, officials said. State health officials said they would release an analysis next week of soil samples collected near a second plant, Uroboros Glass Studio. Oregon officials also said rates of metals-related cancers were not elevated among residents living near Bullseye and Uroboros. Elevated levels of heavy metals in the air have prompted a class-action lawsuit and a protest march by concerned residents. Chris Edmonds, a spokesman for Bullseye Glass, said the soil tests affirm that "the company is not a source of harm to the community." Calls to Uroboros Glass were not immediately returned. The soil was tested under the supervision of the Oregon Health Authority and the Department of Environmental Quality, after state air monitors showed airborne levels of the metals significantly higher than Oregon safety benchmarks. The analyses showed samples of soil from around Bullseye were generally below naturally occurring or "background" levels of heavy metals chromium, arsenic, and cadmium, the department told a news conference. "This is only the first round. We will see more soil and air data in the coming weeks," said Department of Environmental Quality interim director Joni Hammond. "Residents are free to get their gardens planted" but should wash their vegetables and dirty hands, Oregon Health Authority toxicologist David Farrer said. Oregon Health Authority toxicologists found that the levels of metals in the soil were too low to be harmful to people, including children at an area child care facility. Experimental moss tests conducted by the U.S. Forest Service first detected the toxic heavy metals. Those findings led to a class-action suit and demands for more oversight. Last week, about 50 residents mounted a protest in downtown Portland, chanting "clean air now" and delivering boxes of rotting produce harvested from their gardens to the state's environmental quality offices. Long-term arsenic exposure is linked to skin cancer and cancers of the lung, bladder, and liver as well as skin color changes and nerve damage, health officials said. Long-term cadmium exposure is linked to lung and prostate cancer, as well as kidney disease and fragile bones.