Portland residents look ahead to Erin Brockovich air quality ad - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland residents look ahead to Erin Brockovich air quality address Saturday

Posted: Updated:
Despite a report from the OHA saying most cancer rates near Portland glass companies were within expected levels, some homeowners are still worried about the health of their families. (KPTV) Despite a report from the OHA saying most cancer rates near Portland glass companies were within expected levels, some homeowners are still worried about the health of their families. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Erin Brockovich, the well-known environmental activist, will be in Portland to speak on air quality Saturday, one day after the Oregon Health Authority released 15 years’ worth of information on cancer rates near glass plants in Portland.

Bullseye Glass is one of the local glass companies at the center of controversy, after high levels of heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic were discovered in the air and in the soil nearby.

Since then, Bullseye, located in Southeast Portland, and Uroboros Glass in North Portland have agreed to stop using the dangerous heavy metals.

Some people who live nearby say that’s a good step, but there's still much more to do.

Bill Crawford's kids couldn't ask for a better play area than their backyard. it has all the things they would need for fun, like dirt, sticks, and sunshine.

But Bill almost had to let their backyard sanctuary, which was full of produce, shrivel up after learning heavy metals may be poisoning their plants.

Results from testing plants the family grew came back clear. He also had his kids tested for heavy metals.

"We tested some of our arugula," Crawford tells us. “Thank God my kids were tested and the lead results came up normal, and so did the cadmium and arsenic. It’s a huge relief for us."

It's welcome news, and it comes as Oregon Health Authority releases cancer rates from the last 15 years in neighborhoods near the two Portland glass plants.

The findings show no major jump in lung or bladder cancer, the two diseases most associated with heavy metal exposure. However, there was a slight increase in bladder cancer in the area between 1999 and 2003.

Even so, Crawford says the cancer rates are just one aspect.

“Yes, it’s nice to hear that cancer rates aren’t exceptionally bad; but, that’s not the only thing to worry about,” he said. “Again, it’s too bad we have to prove that we are sick before these companies can behave."

Crawford will be in the crowd of people gathering Saturday to hear Brockovich speak on Portland’s air quality.

“She’s going to be an inspiration. Her coming here seems to really demonstrate the movement,” Crawford said.

The Crawford kids can now enjoy their fresh-laid eggs and garden snacks. But their father said he won’t be able to breathe easy until he knows the air is clean.

“I’ve been very depressed about this whole thing,” Crawford explained. “This is our life. This is where we live. When you hear something like the air you breathe is toxic, yeah that’ll shake you up.”

Brockovich will speak Saturday at 3 p.m. at Revolution Hall, during a community forum hosted by the Eastside Portland Air Coalition. Doctors and environmental health experts will also be on hand to answer questions at the free event.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.