Portland Harbor Public Health Assessment - public comment version released

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The June 9th meeting of the Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group will include presentation and discussion of the Public Health Assessment released by The Office of Environmental Public Health (OEPH) May 20th that looked at whether recreational use of the Portland Harbor Superfund Site poses a health risk. 
The Oregon Public Health Division is mandated to assess and report on potential health risks associated with chemical contamination at superfund sites in Oregon, and in the OEPH, the Environmental Health Assessment Program (EHAP) carries out that mandate. 
This health assessment concluded that the levels of chemicals found in the water, dirt, and sediment do not pose a health risk for recreational users. EHAP independently reviewed data from hundreds of environmental samples taken from the Portland Harbor superfund site. The levels of chemicals found in the samples were compared against health-based standards set by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Heavy consideration was given to how people might come into contact with the water, soil, and river sediment while recreating in the area and included children and sensitive populations in the analysis.
Although EHAP's report only analyzed chemical pollution, public health officials would like to remind people there are other health concerns associated with recreating in that stretch of the Willamette River, including the potential for bacterial contamination and dangerous physical hazards. 
This report is  open for public comment for 45 days, ending July 5, 2010. Public comments can be submitted to ehap.info@state.or.us, or by mail to 800 NE Oregon St., Suite 640, Portland, OR 97232.
Find the full report, a summary fact sheet and other related reports at http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/ehap/phsite.shtml
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