State: Don't eat produce grown near glass makers in north, SE Po - KPTV - FOX 12

State: Don't eat produce grown near glass makers in north, SE Portland

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State and Multnomah County health officials are warning people living near two glass makers to avoid eating produce and herbs grown in their yards. State and Multnomah County health officials are warning people living near two glass makers to avoid eating produce and herbs grown in their yards.
Uroboros Glass in north Portland. Uroboros Glass in north Portland.
Bullseye Glass Co. in southeast Portland Bullseye Glass Co. in southeast Portland
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

State and Multnomah County health officials are warning people living near two glass makers to avoid eating produce and herbs grown in their yards.

The warning comes after high levels of cadmium and arsenic were detected in the air near Bullseye Glass in southeast Portland and high levels of cadmium were found near Uroboros Glass in north Portland. Both companies also use chromium. They have recently stopped using cadmium, arsenic and chromium.

It is difficult to say for sure whether produce grown in the affected neighborhoods is safe until soil tests are complete, according to a fact sheet issued by the Multnomah County Health Department, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

The agencies advise avoiding produce grown within a half-mile of the glass makers while soil tests are studied over the next several weeks.

The agencies said vegetables, in general, should be washed well or peeled before eating.

Anyone working in the soil should wash their hands before eating or drinking.

Cheri Trettin, who lives in southeast Portland, said she’s always preferred container gardening rather than risk what may be in the ground.

“Now, it’s not what’s in the soil, it’s what’s going on top of the soil that we need to be concerned about,” she said.

Her family eats pears, kiwis and apples that grow on fruit trees in their yard and donates dozens of pounds of fruit to local food banks.

“I’m inclined to have my own stuff tested, to be honest, just to put my own mind at ease just to what’s going on in my soil,” said Trettin.

The Clinton Community Garden is the only Portland Parks & Recreation community garden in the affected area.

Staff plans to put signs up about the notice.

Read more: Healthy gardening tips from the Oregon Health Authority.

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