Bullseye Glass owner: DEQ finding hit 'like a ton of bricks' - KPTV - FOX 12

Bullseye Glass owner: DEQ finding hit 'like a ton of bricks'

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A staff member working inside of Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland. Talking to Fox 12 Monday, the owner said he had no idea arsenic and cadmium emissions were a problem. (Simon Gutierrez, Fox 12) A staff member working inside of Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland. Talking to Fox 12 Monday, the owner said he had no idea arsenic and cadmium emissions were a problem. (Simon Gutierrez, Fox 12)
Staff working inside of Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland. Talking to Fox 12 Monday, the owner said he had no idea arsenic and cadmium emissions were a problem. (Simon Gutierrez, Fox 12) Staff working inside of Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland. Talking to Fox 12 Monday, the owner said he had no idea arsenic and cadmium emissions were a problem. (Simon Gutierrez, Fox 12)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Daniel Schwoerer, the owner of Bullseye Glass in SE Portland, opened up the doors of his company Monday for the first time since it became the center of a DEQ investigation into high levels of cadmium and arsenic in the area.

Schwoerer, whose company manufactures colored glass for the art industry, said Bullseye operated in accordance with its permit with the Department of Environmental Quality, and in accordance with state and federal laws. 

He said the DEQ’s announcement of abnormally high levels of heavy metals in the air around the plant came as a surprise.

“This whole thing has hit us like a ton of bricks,” said Schwoerer. “Our biggest concern is for our neighborhood.  We share their concerns, their frustration, their anger.”

Schwoerer said his company closely monitors the air quality inside the factory, which uses arsenic and cadmium, as well as chromium, to add color to glass.

“We got the guidance from OSHA to do that, how to monitor, how to do biological monitoring on our employees who directly use those materials, and we assumed that DEQ was giving us the same guidance in terms of air quality emissions,” said Schwoerer.

Schwoerer has voluntarily stopped using cadmium, arsenic, and chromium for the time being, until safety concerns are addressed, but said the metals are ingredients in roughly 60 percent of the glass Bullseye produces.

Schwoerer said he hopes the DEQ can help provide a solution that will allow his business to continue operating.

Governor Kate Brown is calling for long term action to prevent exposure to toxic metals. 

Official plans call for soil testing in north and southeast Portland. Governor Brown said she want to be certain people can not be exposed to heavy metal toxins in other ways. 

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