EPA air testing finds hydrogen sulfide gas on Hayden Island - KPTV - FOX 12

EPA air testing finds hydrogen sulfide gas on Hayden Island

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Another dangerous air toxin has been detected in Portland, this time on Hayden Island, and neighbors there are angry that changes aren’t being made fast enough.

While officials are trying to find the sources of the toxin, neighbors said they have been complaining about the issue since last summer.

Mary Lou Putman and her husband have lived on Hayden Island since last August, and that is when she said they both started experiencing severe headaches, respiratory problems and bloody sinuses.

Putman and other residents complained to the EPA and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and the recent testing found them right.

According to the EPA, monitors found eight short-term detections of hydrogen sulfide gas over a 60 day testing period.

Officials believe the gas is coming from several different sources, but they have sent letters to two oil refineries in the area requiring them to do their own monitoring and report emissions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to hydrogen sulfide can lead to irritation of the eyes nose and throat, breathing difficulty, headaches, balance problems and even loss of consciousness.

Putman is relieved something is happening, but she is also angry that it has taken nine months to start getting answers.

“I trusted the system. I trusted that by doing these alerts, the authorities would have our back and they would protect the people in a health emergency and protect the environment,” she said. “But clearly, the status quo and the way that they handle these emergencies is not working, because we’re not being protected.”

The EPA will share all of their data at a community meeting at the Red Lion on Hayden Island on May 9. They’ll also discuss their next steps with neighbors.

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