Heavy Metals Making Air Toxic to Health in Portland, Oregon
- 09:12 am,
- December 09, 2016
When the state of Oregon advises residents not to eat the food from their backyard gardens, people tend to take notice. And for good reason. Results of tests for Arsenic, Cadmium and Nickel in the air near glass manufacturing plants in Southeast Portland were so high that the businesses voluntarily stopped using some of the chemicals to make glass that are toxic, and have pledged to continue to work with the Oregon Department of Environmental Equality. Arsenic levels in the air were at 159 times the state’s air safety benchmark. The city has hosted several community meetings for the public, but at the end of the day residents are left to wonder, “Has my family been exposed?” Not to mention “where do I go to get tested?”
Human exposure to arsenic by inhalation has been shown to be strongly associated with lung cancer. Chronic exposure even at small amounts has been attributed to Diabetes. And no wonder the state is telling us not to eat the vegetables from our gardens because of possible soil toxicity: ingestion of inorganic Arsenic by humans has been linked to a form a skin cancer and also to bladder, liver and lung cancer. The EPA has classified inorganic arsenic as a human carcinogen. Nickel is also toxic, resulting in slight skin irritations to more serious issues such as gastrointestinal distress as well as neurological effects. Chronic exposure to nickel can cause issues such as respiratory failure, heart disorders, asthma and chronic bronchitis, plus an increased risk of cancer of the lung, larynx, nose and prostate.
Exposure to heavy metals can have very serious consequences, especially when children are exposed. For example, young children are more susceptible to the effects of lead exposure because they absorb several times the percent ingested compared with adults and because their brains are more plastic and even brief exposures may influence developmental processes. You and your children could be exposed without even knowing it. The only way to detect this is through a urine test, called a Comprehensive Heavy Metals Panel, which shows past exposure over the course of a day or two. Although more expensive, a hair strand test will show exposure over 6 to 12 months. Oregon health officials, in a show of how serious this is, have offered to pay for testing residents’ urine for heavy metals if they cannot afford it themselves. Through a doctor’s office, insurance will sometimes pay for testing. However, if there are no symptoms, they may deny the claim and pay nothing. Thankfully there is another, less expensive option, through New Century Labs.
Our Comprehensive Heavy Metals Panel covers 7 metals, including Cadmium, Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, Thallium, Creatinine, and Cobalt among others listed individually, for just $299 with an additional discount for the month of March by entering coupon code TOX2016. Find out if you or your loved ones have been exposed and check out our full line of heavy metal tests.
The moral of our store is what you can’t see CAN hurt you!