Toxics-Free Environments


OHA Report: Climate Crisis a Current and Growing Threat to the Health of Oregonians

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) just released its “Climate and Health in Oregon 2020” report, documenting the public health impacts from climate change across Oregon. The report is the first thorough analysis of the health effects of climate change in Oregon since 2014, and is the first of three OHA deliverables directed under EO 20-04, the Oregon Climate Action Plan. The report findings are grim, confirming what OEC has been saying all along-- that climate change is a public health threat disproportionately affecting lower income communities, communities of ...

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OEC Partners With Hacienda CDC to Expand Access To Eco-Healthy Home Kit

The average American spends 90% of their time indoors, and this has only increased for Oregonians during the winter months with the new COVID-related shutdown restrictions across the state. How do you maintain your home to protect against viruses, while also minimizing the amount of toxic chemicals you come across in cleaning products in a healthy, affordable manner? OEC has partnered with Hacienda CDC, a community development corporation that provides affordable housing for Portland's LatinX community, to help provide tailored solutions to those challenges. We know ...

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Americans may be exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution in their homes

In just 20 minutes of cooking, Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can surpass 1000 ppm and be in the red zone. As we shut our windows and insulate our homes for the fall and winter, OEC has some tips for you to save your air-quality during the colder months. As we have previously written, tens of millions of Americans are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution in their home due to gas stoves and gas appliances, and these appliances contribute to global warming. We at OEC did some research of our own. Our Environmental Health Program Director, Jamie Pang, installed an ...

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Emerging toxics: PFAS in groundwater

Photo of firefighter using foam to put out a car fire
“Forever chemicals” and where they’re being found in Oregon.

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Lead in Oregon’s Drinking Water

Image of water sample being taken from drinking fountain
Where it comes from, health impacts, and who is working to solve these problems.

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Toxics Lurking in Our Water

Learning what toxics issues are top of mind for Oregon communities.

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Nearly 1/2 of the food packaging tested from popular chains contain “forever chemicals”

There is no shortage of toxics entering our bodies these days, between wildfire smoke, chemicals from consumer products, and now toxics in our food packaging. A new study published last month, Packaged in Pollution: Are food chains using PFAS in packaging?, by OEC’s partners Toxic Free Future and the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families coalition concluded that nearly half of the food packaging used from popular chains contain toxic PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) (“forever chemicals”)—despite increasing consumer demand and legislative action to phase ...

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Climate Change, Economic Justice and Wildfires Collide

The West Continues to Burn Amidst a Pandemic and Heatwave The current wildfire situation is changing so fast in Oregon, that I have updated this blog no less than four times. Wildfires continue to wreak havoc and destruction across the West. As I type, the sky is filled with smoke, and the sun is an eerie shade of fiery orange-red. Gov. Brown has declared a state of emergency and State Fire Marshal leadership has advised that Oregonians from areas across the state be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. This is not a movie set during the apocalypse: this is our ...

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Toxic Free Kids Act in its final implementation stages!

Due to TFKA’s reporting requirements, we have discovered toxic chemicals in thousands of children’s toys and personal care products. Requiring reporting and phaseouts of these chemicals will lead manufacturers to develop better, safer products. 

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Gas Stoves Are Creating Unsafe Levels of Indoor Air Pollution

According to a growing body of research, tens of millions of Americans are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution in their homes. The culprit? Your gas stove. A study released by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) last month concluded that carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emissions from gas cooking can exceed the national levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and can seriously pollute your indoor air. Gas stoves emit a number of pollutants, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (HCHO), and ...

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