By: Cody Sackett
Bullseye Glass Company is a manufacturer of colored glass for art and architectural purposes. In order to color the glass, they have to mix in metal oxide(s).
Bullseye Glass has been very popular in Portland, until recently. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was doing their normal air quality check and found that there were two heavy metals in the air. Arsenic and cadmium were at least 50 times over the air quality limit. They tested the moss from a tree close to Bullseye and found a third heavy metal, chromium. The DEQ has recently said that they have known about this problem for many years and never informed the public about potential health risks.
Arsenic causes arsenic poisoning which ultimately results in death and arsenic is also linked heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Cadmium can cause “metal fume fever” which is like a very severe flu and can lead to pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue), pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in air spaces of lungs), and death.
The citizens of Portland do not know how long they’ve been breathing this toxic air in, but are very displeased with the DEQ and Bullseye. Seven residents from the SE side of Portland have filed an 18-page lawsuit against Bullseye Glass Company. They are suing them for “using the neighborhood’s air and backyards as a dumping ground for the arsenic, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and other toxins it sends up its smokestacks.”
Since the lawsuit has been filed, Bullseye Glass has put in air filters and has suspended the use of the heavy metals in hopes to better their image and to keep their air clean.