Toxics-Free Environments


Diesel pollution and health

Diesel exhaust is costing Oregon billions of dollars each year in health care costs, lost lives and missed work and school. “In pediatrics, we want to prevent kids from getting sick. We are asking parents to take individual action. But there’s nothing we can do to get them to prevent exposing their kids to air pollution. It’s only good public policy that can help protect kids in that way.” — Dr. Paul Lewis, MD, MPH; Tri-County Health Officer Diesel exhaust consists of particles and gases including 44 toxic substances. At least 80% of diesel exhaust is ...

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Diesel and air quality

Why do we need to act now to reduce diesel pollution from heavy-duty engines? Because it's not only one of Oregon's biggest air quality problems—it contributes to all of them.  According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's 2017 Air Quality annual report, Oregon's "air pollutants of greatest concern" are:Ground-level ozone (smog):  Diesel engines are responsible for 49% of NOx (a smog-forming pollutant) from transportation. Heavy duty vehicles are the largest source of NOx emissions in Oregon. Ozone is created when NOx and VOC pollutants meet ...

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It’s time to pass this good idea: household hazardous waste stewardship

In 2017, the Oregon Poison Center received 3,478 phone calls from people accidentally exposed to spills, leaks, or other accidental exposure to household products.¹ Today, we have the opportunity to advocate for a bill that would protect against these incidents--and protect our environment--by ensuring the proper disposal of hazardous household waste in Oregon.House bill 2772, introduced last month, would establish a statewide stewardship program for household products that are flammable, corrosive or toxic--such as roach spray, oven cleaner, paint stripper and more. ...

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New report: Oregon fails on diesel

This month, Oregon’s cross-agency team of experts made it very clear: None of our current efforts to reduce diesel pollution have worked, or will work, to meet our state’s goals for protecting human and environmental health. "Diesel emissions impacts to human health and the environment are not being adequately addressed by the DEQ [Department of Environmental Quality] or through Toxics Reduction Strategy planning.” This matter-of-fact statement, and details about Oregon’s diesel problem, are part of a newly updated toxics reduction strategy presented to the ...

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Latinos Unidos Siempre: The power to create change

To Sandra Hernández- Lomelí, the future of environmental protection lies in empowering people to advocate for themselves.For too long, the Latinx community in Oregon has been disconnected from the environmental community, she explains. “I think there are a lot of people who would love to work on these issues. It’s about providing access.”Sandra is program director at Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS), founded in 1996 by youth in Salem to defend immigrant rights. Even deeper than any advocacy issue is the organization’s dedication to youth and their families....

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Cleaner air and construction for Portland

Today, Portland adopted “clean air construction standards,” a policy that will bring an end to the dirtiest diesel construction equipment on city-funded projects. They’ll start by restricting idling of heavy-duty diesel engines on construction sites, and move on to require cleaner engines. What great news for everyone who breathes in Portland! It’s a big deal because 65% of the toxic diesel pollution in the Portland area comes not from trucks, but from non-road engines: construction equipment like backhoes, excavators and lifts. Diesel is one of Oregon’s worst ...

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Toxic Free Kids Act: Carcinogens

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Green tips for the season of giving

Joy, peace and jolly to you! Here at Oregon Environmental Council, we believe in the power and health benefits of celebration. We also believe the "season of giving” includes giving people the tools they need to act on their environmental values.In that spirit, we offer these green living tips for the holiday season:It’s a frustrating reality that children’s products still contain toxic chemicals (read more about how we're working on this)!There are a number of resources that identify kid's toys that avoid plastics, adhesives, and other components likely to ...

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Toxic Free Kids Act: PBT Chemicals

This data on persistent and/or bio-accumulative chemicals in children's products was reported to the Oregon Health Authority in 2018. The table below may take a moment to load. For more information on the links between these chemicals and health effects, visit Oregon Health Authority. !function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=d+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("scri...

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Chemicals of Concern In Children’s Products

In 2015 the Oregon legislature passed the Toxic Free Kids Act. The law requires manufacturers who make children’s products to report when their products contain toxic chemicals that are scientifically linked to health impacts in kids.

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